McDonald's is set to open its first outlet in southern India by the end of this December, five years after arriving in the country.

The 24-strong chain of fastfood restaurants, which sell over 40,000 burgers every day, currently has outlets in the north and west of India. These outlets are wholly operated by franchisees Connaught Plaza Restaurants and Hardcastle Restaurants respectively as McDonald's do not have an office in the country.

Its decision to set up shop in Bangalore, in the south of India, is described as part of an aggressive strategy to open 15 more outlets during 2001. Vikram Bakshi, managing director of Connaught Plaza, added that many preparations had to be completed before the chain could move into this area: for example establishing the supply chain and the distribution centre, and assessing the size of the market. 

The franchisee currently training to take control of the burger outlet in Bangalore has not been identified.