International Fast Food Chains Make Their Presence Felt In India

There has been an influx of International Food Chains making their presence felt in the Indian fast food sector in 2015. From coffee shops to burger joints and even the world-renowned Jamie Oliver have brought their chain of restaurants to India this year. Since McDonalds opened up shop in India in 1996, there has been a steady increase of  International Fast Food chains targeting the Indian market for expansion.

The reason behind this could be attributed to the growing revenue of the Indian fast-food market. According to Economist Intelligence Unit, the market could potentially double in size within the next few years, hitting a peak of $1.12 billion by next year. Driven by the world’s largest youth population willing to splurge out the cash for fast food, the fast-food market is seen as huge revenue generator for these chain restaurants. A significantly higher number of single working professionals in the metros also contribute to a share of the pie which these restaurants are all too eager to get a slice of.

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Carl’s Jr., one of the leading fast food chains in the US, has recently opened up its first outlet in Delhi. Speaking of the trend, Sana Chopra, executive director of Cybiz BrightStar Restaurants Pvt Ltd, the India franchise partner of Carl’s Jr, said, “The Indian audience is overall responding very well to the influx of international chains into India. We are very happy with the response to Carl’s Jr. Coming into India, Carl’s Jr is bringing in an entirely different concept of burgers.We believe that this differentiation from the regular is what makes us so unique and well received by our audiences.” 

Although there are many international fast food chains hitting the Indian shores with their different menus and concepts, there is still a significant need to cater to the Indian market. The menus of these restaurants have changed, sometimes drastically, to suit the Indian palette. Amit Jatia, vice chairman of Westlife Development, a firm that operates McDonald’s restaurants in India, said, “We have localized our menu and due to this, we are not just seen as an international brand, but one which the people of India feel comfortable with.”

The competition for the waddles of money coming from the pockets of the Indian consumer is still at an very early stage. International fast food chains will continue to target the Indian market due to the population and the sheer number of young professionals in the work force willing to spend money for restaurants offering something different than normal.“The [quick-service restaurant] market is still very nascent, and there is ample space for more and more brands to come in and coexist,” Jatia said.