Foodservice Equipment Reports

American Fast-Food Chains See Great Promise In India

Is India—where the fast-food market is expected to double in size to $1.1 billion over the next three years—the final frontier for burgers, coffee and doughnuts?

Chains such as Burger King, Taco Bell, Starbucks, Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts started expanding in the country last year. Burger King joined forces with Everstone Group, an India-focused private equity and real estate firm, to bring the restaurant chain there and will open its first store in the next few months. On the heels of its debut last fall in Mumbai, McDonald’s plans to open 150 of its McCafé coffee outfits in India over the next three to five years. McDonald’s has had a presence in India since 1996.

And Krispy Kreme just opened its first outlet in Delhi, adding to its five branches in Bangalore—all serving eggless recipes for India’s vast vegetarian market.

The debut store is the Winston-Salem, N.C., chain’s first venture in northern India, under a partnership with Bedrock Food Co., which also operates the Subway chains there.

Although it has only had a presence in India for less than two years, Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Donuts is carrying out a major revamp to help it take on its American rivals. Dunkin’ is focused on occupying the space between the quick-service and café segments, and honing its appeal to young adults. “Our research shows that after more than a decade of experiencing QSR brands, there’s a segment of consumers who find existing options to be somewhat childlike,” Dev Amritesh, president/COO of the Dunkin’ Donuts division at Jubilant Foodworks, told India’s Business Standard.

Last year, Jubilant saw same-store sales growth slow by more than half from the corresponding year-ago period. That will not slow its expansion; instead, plans for new stores in the fiscal year have been bumped up to 20 from an earlier target of 18. The new stores will have a more adult theme with slightly muted colors; over the next few months, a similar palette will be brought to the country’s 21 existing stores. Dunkin’ Donuts also has tweaked its menu with yam patties, bagel buns, mutton and corn burgers, and a revamped coffee selection.

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