INDIA – Westlife Development, which operates McDonald’s restaurants in the southern and western region of India, has announced plans to open up to 30 outlets of the quick-service restaurant brand in the current financial year.

Currently, Westlife Development’s arm Hardcastle Restaurants operates 305 McDonald’s restaurants across 42 cities in India.

The stores are in the states of Telangana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and parts of Madhya Pradesh and Union Territory of Puducherry.

Last financial year, the franchise only managed to open 5 stores. The new stores therefore represent a 500% rise from last year’s figures. They will be opened at a cost of Rs 100 crore (US$13.67 million).

Their planned opening shows a lot of confidence about growth in the FY2022 for the company, which now witnesses more than half of its sales from convenience channels such as delivery, takeaways and drive-thru.

“The intention is to open 20-30 McDonald’s outlets in the current fiscal year. We will invest Rs 100 crore for opening these outlets,” Westlife Development Vice-Chairman Amit Jatia said.

Jatia noted that his McDonald’s business has pivoted towards becoming a convenience brand adding that the company had put in place all digital channels in place and had now entered its “second wave with a lot of strength.”

He further noted that the main difference from the first COVID-19 wave and now is customers ordering outside food, which did not happen last year.

In the last quarter of the 2020-21, the franchise reported that 55-60 per cent of the its sales came from convenience channels and 40-45 per cent from in-store business.

Westlife Development reported narrowing of loss to INR 6.45 crore (US$88, 851) for March quarter 2020-21, helped by higher income.

It had posted a net loss of INR 25.26 crore (US$3,453,577) in the January-March period a year ago. Its revenue from operations stood at INR 357.58 crore, up 6.31 per cent from INR 336.35 crore in March quarter 2019-20.

Last month, McDonald’s launched a campaign with popular film celebrity and ‘National Crush’ Rashmika Mandanna to celebrate the deliciousness of McSpicy Fried Chicken.

he brand has forayed into the fried chicken category with the launch of McSpicy Fried Chicken– an offering curated especially to please the palates of our chicken loving customers.

McSpicy Fried Chicken is made with the best quality chicken and is marinated using the spiciest chillies – Ghost Pepper Chillies, making it spicy till the bone.

As a part of the latest campaign, the brand has launched two quirky, light-hearted TVCs featuring Rashmika Mandanna, who can be seen relishing the all-new McSpicy Fried Chicken with friends and family.

The ad films showcase that how even thinking of having anything other than McSpicy Fried Chicken is just a preposterous idea and that no matter how much of it you have, you can never get enough.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE