McDonald's to open in Sri Lanka next year

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OAK BROOK, Ill. -- McDonald's Corporation is to open its first restaurants in the island-nation of Sri Lanka, located off the southern tip of India.

The first is scheduled to open toward the end of 1998 in the capital, Colombo, home to more than one million residents and the port-of-entry for hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.

McDonald's has signed an agreement with local businessman Rusi Pestonjee to develop and run its restaurants on the island under license. "We believe he will help make us Sri Lanka's leading quick service restaurant," says Jim Cantalupo, president and CEO of McDonald's International.

"Rusi will be able to draw on the strength of our entire international system -- its resources, its training, its world class suppliers -- in order to bring Sri Lankans the quality McDonald's experience found in more than 104 countries around the world."

Pestonjee, who will spend time training at Hamburger University, McDonald's worldwide management training center in Oak Brook, Illinois, first came across the Golden Arches as a student in the U.K., before setting up his own car rental business.

"I've wanted to bring McDonald's to Sri Lanka since I was 19 years old," he says. "I'm proud that all my business experience has now allowed me to bring the world's leading brand - McDonald's - to my country."

McDonald's expects to offer its standard menu as found around the world, with the possibility of offering a vegetarian burger in addition to its beef, chicken and fish options.

Copyright September 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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