Monday, April 7, 2008


I don't think it's much of a secret anymore that Chennai is finally able to join, well, the 60s at least, with its very first McDonalds. The storefront opened April 2nd and we've been twice. I've also been sick in the tummy since then. Coincidence? Probably not.

Can a McDonald's really be a McDonald's without beef? The short answer is No. A McAloo Tikki (that's a spiced potato veg patty to you all) cannot take the place of a BigMac. The Indian attempt at a Mac.. the MaharajaMac... while comparable in size, is a couple spicy chicken patties with plenty of lettuce and mayo and the requisite extra slice of bread. Katherine couldn't finish hers, too spicy she said, and she'll eat anything.
There are those who say the only relevant part of the McDonald's menu are the french fries. They do have a point. Though if I were in in the U.S. I'd still put McD fries well below, say, Wendy's. But we're in India, so being fair means comparing McDonald's India to KFC India or Pizza Hut or Dominoes India or even Subway India. McDonald's wins the fry war down here in Tamil Nadu. It's an easy choice, seeing as the others don't really have fries. Of course, the local fast food includes ChicKing, RedE, Dhaba, and others, many of which do serve fries. I'll give McDs it's deserved credit, their fries are superior.
Overall, as far as quality and comparison to U.S. expectations go for the entire menu, KFC and Dominoes are the winners in our book. KFC chicken is tasty and crispy. Dominoes has pepperoni. See, we're very easy to please.
KFC was quite perturbed when McDonald's opened up next to one of their only 2 resturants in the city. It was desolate in there last week when McD opened. But I'm not worried and neither should they be. Their clientele will return. We have no intentions of patronizing the fry king in the near future. But some fried chicken sounds pretty darn good.
McDonald's sell burger for Rs.400,000
Source: Indo-Asian News Service

Chennai: A vegetable burger, that ordinarily is priced at Rs.42, was sold for a whopping Rs.400,000 at McDonald's first Chennai outlet on Tuesday.
Kick-starting its first outlet at Ascendas IT Park, McDonald's auctioned its first burger and donated the proceeds to the Banyan, a city-based NGO. The successful bidder was Shiva Kumaar P.R., managing director of Saravana Bhavan Holdings LLC.
"The opening of the restaurant in Chennai is in line with our expansion plans in southern India," said Amit Jatia, managing director of Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt Ltd. The Mumbai-based Hardcastle, which is operating in southern and western parts of India, is a 50:50 joint venture between McDonald's and the Jatia family.
The company has set up 56 McDonald's outlets in the two regions and has plans to increase the numbers.
"We will be opening around 30 restaurants in these two regions in two years time with each outlet involving around Rs.30 million outlay excluding lease rental," Jatia added. In the south, the company is looking at Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad for expansion apart from other towns like Coimbatore.
Declining to give the average amount per bill Jatia added, "The average turnaround time per table is around 30 minutes. We serve around 4,000 to 6,000 customers per day."
According to him, part of McDonald's success in India is attributed to its ability to build an efficient supply chain and to respect for Indian customs and culture. "We source fresh lettuce from Pune, Delhi, Nainital and Ooty, Cheese from Dynamix Dairies, Maharashtra, fresh buns from Bector Foods and others," he added. Each outlet has just three days stock of food articles and there are no central commissaries.

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