As McDonald’s unveils the two latest additions to its menu in New Delhi and Mumbai, the critics are asking if the fastfood outlet has McMorphed into an Indian takeaway.
To please the Indian palate, the ‘menu vision’ team designed a new Chicken McGrill, chicken in masala sauce with exotic chutney, and Pizza McPuff, a hot vegetarian calzone. Add these to the already popular McAloo Tikki burger, the McKebab burger and the Maharajah Mac, and the menu now looks less than 25% similar to its western equivalent, despite that the company insists it can be relied upon to provide “standard fare and consistency” world wide.
“Even in China we do not have so many items!” exclaimed Vikram Bakshi, managing director of McDonald’s in India.
Indian innovation is within the fast food arena is not new, and is often essential for commercial survival. While Dominos Pizza were routinely spread thick with masala sauce, KFC‘s bird failed to make an impact against its tandori-ed rival and when its secret ingredients were claimed to contravene the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, the restaurants were closed down.
Bakshi explained that McDonald’s was not all that McDifferent: “we’re just filling a gap in our product range revealed by our market surveys.” But he also said that the “menu vision” team were still continuing its work. It remains to be seen if the new restaurant planned in Bangalore in 2001 will be called McIndian.