In October 1996, Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt. Ltd., (HRPL) a wholly owned subsidiary of Westlife Development Ltd brought the world famous McDonald’s to India with the launch of an outlet in Bandra, Mumbai. Since then Hardcastle restaurants has opened 245 (as of 30 September 2016) outlets across West and South India.
The restaurants have allowed customers from across the country to enjoy McDonald’s quintessential dining experience which includes quickly served food, clean and comfortable dining areas and unique facilities. Through the course of twenty years, with the unique experiences it provides, McDonald’s has revolutionised the concept of eating out.
Here, we’re taking a look at some of McDonald’s unique practices, ranging from its food and beverage offerings, its variety of formats, its unique supply and demand chain to its involvement with employees which help explain its status as a fast food giant in India today.
Adapting The Menu To Suit Local Palates
While McDonald’s is a global fast food icon, about 70% of their fare has been developed to suit the local, Indian palate. The McAloo Tikki is a perfect example; made with a potato and peas patty with Indian spices and breadcrumbs, it was introduced in 1997 and was an instant hit. Since then, it has travelled abroad to countries in Asia like Singapore and Dubai to name a few.
Adapting The Menu To Suit Local Culture
Across the world, McDonald’s iconic ‘Big Mac’ burger has been made with a double beef patty. However, displaying respect to the culture in India, a revised version of the Big Mac – ‘The Chicken Maharaja Mac‘ was created and in Jan 2016 a veg variant was also introduced! Indeed, India is the first country in the world where McDonald’s does not serve beef or pork products.
Meals For All Occasions
Whether you’re craving a good, hearty breakfast, a quick lunch or a wholesome dinner, McDonald’s always has something for you. While McDonald’s outlets serve hot cakes, McMuffins and McEggs for breakfast and burgers and wraps for later meals, McCafés are the perfect destination for a range of gourmet beverages including speciality coffee, teas, frappes, smoothies and a range of desserts including cakes, cookies and muffins.
Value For Money Meals
To provide customers with balanced meals, McDonald’s offers combo meals for almost all its fare. The Chicken McGrill, the Aloo wrap, the McAloo Tikki and the Masala Grill Chicken can all be had with fries and a soft drink at a pocket friendly price, creating a balanced, satisfying meal which is easily accessible.
A Range Of Healthy Menu Options
We’re living in a society which has become increasingly health conscious and McDonald’s has ensured it is providing a range of options for those who count their calories. A majority of their patties and breakfast options are grilled. According to recent reports, McDonald’s India reduced the sodium by 20% in the world famous MacFries and 10% across McNuggets and buns and the fat content in their mayonnaise from 67% to 25.5% so you can now indulge with low fat mayos in your favourite burger. Meanwhile, its dairy products such as the soft serves contain less than 3.5% fat.
McDonald’s has gone a long way in ensuring that it is a family restaurant. The trademark Happy Meals are a prime example of this; children receive a meal containing a burger or nuggets paired with a tetra packet of juice and – the item which gets them most excited – a toy. Through the Happy Meal, parents can ensure that their children receive a rounded meal as well as a new form of entertainment.
Children can also enjoy their birthday parties at McDonald’s. These parties or ‘Birthday Blasts’ include Ronald McDonald invitation Cards, exiting games with cool prizes, return gifts, a special gift for the birthday child from Ronald McDonald and a special birthday card.
While McDonald’s offers fun, spacious dining areas to customers, it also understands that sometimes families just want to spend some quality time at home. So, it offers a home delivery or ‘McDelivery’ option. The home delivery menu is almost the same as the in store menu and the chain also offers special offers on delivery such as a free dessert with a meal or a one plus one deal which customers can avail of using coupon codes.
McDonald’s is family friendly in a variety of ways but also appeals to a younger crowd. McCafé, a in-house coffee style chain with their classy decor and plethora of beverage choices which makes it a perfect places for youth to unwind and enjoy affordable luxury meals and drinks.
Drive Thrus, which can be found on expressways and highways throughout the country are a traveller’s best friend as they offer them a range of amenities including a comfortable place to dine on delicious, hygienic food, clean bathrooms and parking facilities.
Producing Large Quantities To Cater To Volumes Of Customers
Through its unique supply chain, McDonald’s produces and serves a staggering quantities of products annually including approximately 15 crore buns, about 3.2 million litres of special vegetarian sauce which is used to add flavour to burgers and wraps and 1,200 tons of locally grown iceberg lettuce.
Working With Farmers To Ensure Premium Produce
McDonald’s has worked and continues to work with local farmers to help establish and improve their farming practices. For instance, at a time when iceberg lettuce was imported into India it trained 500-600 farmers to produce the crop in India itself, creating fresher lettuce which is ‘Made in India’. Through this and other similar efforts, it has ensured that it produces premium produce along with helping the lives of farmers and boosted local economy. Today, McDonald’s sources 90-85% of its raw resources directly from farmers.
The produce sourced from farmers is then taken to McDonald’s production partners like Mrs. Bector’s (which produce the burger buns) and Vista Processed Foods (which produces the patties). These production companies work in an efficient fashion to produce patties, breads, sauces and other products, ensuring that stringent hygiene and quality check steps are undertaken during every leg of the process.
Unique Supply Chain
Once produced, the products are then picked up by McDonald’s logistics partner, Radhakrishna Foodland which handles the distribution of products across the country. The company has an expansive fleet of delivery trucks as well as storage space at a variety of optimum temperatures for each product. Through Radhakrishna Foodland’s delivery process, products arrive at McDonald’s outlets fresh and in a timely fashion.
Hygiene and Food Safety at McDonald’s Outlets
Following their delivery, the products are then assembled in McDonald’s kitchens which have separate sections for vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare. To ensure hygiene and food safety, various measures are taken including food audits twice daily, equipping every station with sanitising solution and directing the staff to wear appropriate clothing such as hair-nets, minimum jewellery for women inside the kitchen.
As well as providing indirect employment to farmers and employees of processing and delivery companies, McDonald’s directly employees over 7,000 individuals across West and South India; read more about McDonald’s employees here.
McDonald’s makes a special effort to employ a diverse workforce with employees from across India as well as a large percentage of women.
Skills For Life
Each employee at the chain is trained with a Skills For Life course, which provides individuals in lessons on customer service as well as leadership skills which will help them with not just their McDonald’s careers, but a range of job paths in the future.
Opportunities for Education
Additionally, employees are encouraged to pursue higher learning opportunities – the chain has tie ups with institutes like Symbiosis and Welingkars which allow employees to avail of discounts. Indeed, there are several examples of employees at McDonald’s who started out as high school graduates and now head multi crore businesses.
Service With a Smile
Finally, every McDonalds’s employee is trained to follow the catchphrase ‘Service With A Smile’ ensuring that customers enjoy a pleasant ordering and delicious dining experience.
This complex web of factors from employee opportunities, behaviour and satisfaction, food quality, initiatives and unique facilities, which work together to guarantee a customer an un-paralled dining experience. And, it’s this experience it provides which has given McDonald’s its stellar reputation today and will continue to do so in the years to come.