INDIA – As part of its business strategy, Connaught Plaza Restaurants the franchise holder for Mc Donald’s business in North and East India, is looking at technology, restaurant reimaging and menu innovation to drive better customer experience and engagement in 2021 and beyond.

Additionally, the company says it will enhance its menu with new menu items as per the Indian taste palate, as it has been doing with some of its recent launches such as Double Patty Burgers, Dosa Masala Burger, Chicken McGrill, Piri-Piri Fries among others.

The company opened its first restaurant in Basant Lok, New Delhi in 1996 and this year celebrates its 25 years of existence in the country’s quick service restaurant (QSR) segment.

“Digital technology was already transforming the industry before Covid-19, and now it has turbo-charged the penetration of technology,” Sanjeev Agrawal, Chairman and Developmental Licensee, Connaught Plaza Restaurants, said.

At a time when customers are cautious about their safety, focus on providing convenience with technology, best in class safety measures and value-for-money proposition offers an optimistic growth trajectory for QSR’s in the region.

To address safety concerns, McDonald’s India — North and East has introduced the Global ‘Safety+’ programme that includes nearly 50-plus process changes in the restaurant operations.

Safety+ is a global system of enhanced hygiene and safety practices that help ensure that every part of the experience is safe for its customers and employees.

On the digital front, the company has so far introduced several technology initiatives such as 100 per cent contactless ordering and WhatsApp based delivery service to promote safe food consumption.

The company has also seen significant increase in restaurant visitors at most of its drive-thru restaurants and delivery channel, which exceeds the pre-Covid level.

Moving into 2021, the company is optimistic that the country’s mass vaccination drive will play a pivotal role in more customers returning to dine-in visits at its restaurants.

“The Indian QSR segment is a very exciting and dynamic space offering huge opportunities for growth. We are very optimistic about 2021, and have aggressive investment plans with exciting projects in the pipeline in the North and East region this year.” Sanjeev Agrawal added.

Keeping up with its North and East counterpart, McDonalds India- South and West is launching its own inititatives to improve consumer experience.

For instance, Last December, the QSR launched EatQual – a special pack for customers designed to make their restaurants accessible to customers with limited hand mobility.

Early this year, Westlife Development Ltd, which owns Hardcastle Restaurants, the master franchisee of McDonald’s restaurants for western and southern India announced plans to open three new stores in this quarter and then resume its growth journey of adding 25-40 stores every year from the next fiscal.

According to a company official, expectation for  the business to return to pre-COVID-19 level from the next quarter informed the company’s decision to embark on its latest expansion drive.

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