McDonalds is famous worldwide for their delicious and juicy hamburgers; but the chain will be opening its first two vegetarian restaurants in India this year.
The Meat-free outlets will be located near the Golden Temple in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar and a small northwestern town of Katra near the Hindu Vaishno Devi shrine.
The new ventures are part of an ongoing effort by the fast food chain to become more popular in a country that is yet to fully embrace the American franchise.
“There is a big opportunity for vegetarian restaurants as many Indians are vegetarian,” said Rajesh Maini, a spokesman for McDonald’s in Northern India. “At the moment, India is still a very small market with just 271 restaurants in India, and 33,000 across the world.”
McDonald’s has already altered its Indian menu to appeal to the mostly Hindu and Muslim population as they do not serve pork or beef opting for lamb, chicken, fish and vegetarian options such as the McAloo Tikka and McSpicy Paneer.Not everyone is excited about the franchise’s new outlets with one of the chosen locations proving to be controversial with an Indian religious group.
Members of a Hindu nationalist group believe the plan to open a McDonalds restaurant in Katra is humiliating to Hindus.
“It’s an attempt not only to make money but also to deliberately humiliate Hindus. It is an organization associated with cow slaughter. If we make an announcement that they’re slaughtering cows, people won’t eat there. We are definitely going to fight it,” said national co-convener S. Gurumurthy.