McDonald's enters India with beef-free restaurants

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BOMBAY -- McDonald's Corp. will open on October 13 its first fast food restaurant in India in the nation's capital of New Delhi, five years after receiving government approval to enter the market. Bombay is next on the McDonald's list. The marketer in April 1995 appointed Connaught Plaza Restaurants and Hardcastle Restaurants as exclusive franchisees for New Delhi and Bombay respectively.

But the Big Mac served up in these cities will not contain a beef filling in deference to India's Hindu population which worships the cow. The menu will feature chicken and vegetarian items. DDB Needham affiliate Mudra Communications, New Delhi, handles McDonald's India.

Fast food restaurant chains have flocked to India since the country's economic liberalisation got underway five years back. PepsiCo Restaurants International has two KFC restaurants in New Delhi and Bangalore, and one Pizza Hut outlet in Bangalore. Another KFC restaurant is being readied for launch at opposite Bombay's Chowpatty beach.

British chain Wimpy has a string of restaurants in New Delhi, the first foreign restaurant brand to enter. But Domino's Pizza's has been most successful. Within a year of launch, six outlets have sprung in New Delhi, with plans to enter Bombay near fruition.

Copyright October 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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