News of forty-three McDonald’s outlets shuttering gate in Delhi due to a failure in renewing licenses left the Capital shocked, to say the least. To give you a little perspective, that’s 43 out of 55, which means almost an 80 per cent dip in store count.
However, while losing so many outlets of one of the Capital’s most popular fast food chain has come as a blow to many, the food chain remains unperturbed, terming the closure of stores as “a local issue in Delhi”. Hardcastle Restaurants Vice Chairman Amit Jatia added that the impact is just a blip in short term.
Just A Blip
Speaking on the larger impact of this development on the chain, Jatia told PTI:”I do not think so. From West and South point of view, we are firing from all cylinders and things are good for us.”
“The customers do not care as who owns the restaurants. The customer is visiting a McDonald’s from McDonald’s and not necessarily knowing as who they are (franchise),” he said. That said, he did add that it will have an impact in the Delhi market as now the customers will go to some other fast food chain for their burger fix.
But will we see McDonald’s making up for the lost outlets anytime soon? According to Jatia: “We (McDonald’s) have 420 restaurants in India and is opening 30 new restaurants a year. From a brand point of view to cover 43 restaurants is just a matter of year. I my view, its a blip in the short term”.
In the meanwhile, Hardcastle Restaurants has plans to invest INR 700 crore in the next 3-5 years to double the outlets of the fast food chain from the current 260 to 500 in the North and East regions.
In addition to stepping up their store count, the company is also set to introduce a store-in-store concept by launching McCafe stores in its existing McDonald’s outlets.