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Friday, Dec 24, 2004

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McDonald's plans more outlets

Sudha Menon

Pune , Dec. 23

FAST-FOOD major McDonald's India is all set for a major expansion and will add 18-22 outlets to its existing network of 65 outlets across the country.

As part of the Rs 50-crore expansion plan for India, customers will be treated to a larger basket of offerings on its Rs 20 `Happy Price' menu, Mr Amit Jatia, Joint Venture Partner and Managing Director, Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt Ltd, which looks after the Western Region operations, told Business Line on Wednesday.

McDonald's fans can look forward to sweeter times at the outlets as the company plans to roll out Cold Kiosks, a new concept currently being tested in Mumbai, to other cities.

Mr Jatia said the Cold Kiosks, which will either be part of the main outlet or adjacent to the McDonald's outlet, will offer customers an innovative range of cold desserts such as ice creams with unusual flavours and coatings.

"Flavours like bubble gum, green apple and peach being offered in ice creams at the Mumbai Cold Kiosks have been very well-received and we plan to extend the concept to other cities across western India in 2005," Mr Jatia said.

The company is to foray into new destinations such as Surat and Nashik in the West and at least three to four cities in northern India, Mr Jatia said. It will also plan additional outlets in cities such as Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Baroda.

The company is set to launch its third outlet in Kalyaninagar, an upscale locality in Pune, next week, according to Mr Jatia. He said plans are being firmed up to add a couple more in the city in 2005.

Mr Jatia said the expansion plans will be complemented by a major initiative to make the brand affordable to a larger audience by expanding its Happy Price menu, which currently offers customers snacks such as Aloo Tikki, Chicken Mcgrill and Pizza Puff for Rs 20 each.

"The Happy Price offering drove up business significantly along with our home delivery services kicked off in March 2004, and we now plan to extend the menu to add iced-tea, coke float and potato wedges at the same price in 2005," Mr Jatia said. "Customers must be able to have a meal with two-three things of their choice at as little as Rs 20-Rs 60," Mr Jatia said.

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