McDonald’s estranged Indian partner Vikram Bakshi on Thursday said that Connaught Plaza Restaurants (CPRL) has signed on ColdEX as the new logistics partner to re-open restaurants that have been hit by supply constraints, after its long-term logistics vendor Radhkrishna Foodland discontinued supply chain services to CPRL, earlier this week.

This statement came close on the heels of McDonald’s India Pvt Ltd (MIPL) raising concerns on Thursday, regarding the compliance of quality and safety standards at the restaurants being run by CPRL. CPRL is a 50:50 joint venture between McDonald’s India and Bakshi. The two partners are embroiled in a legal tussle since 2013. In a statement McDonald’s India said: “Since the termination of the franchise agreements, MIPL has not been able to verify if the unauthorised McDonald’s restaurants operated by CPRL in North and East India are complying with applicable McDonald’s standards, including those pertaining to supplies, operations and safety standards and quality required for McDonald’s products. These restaurants need to be closed immediately.”

However, Bakshi in a statement said, “The logistics partner, ColdEX, has been chosen very carefully by the CPRL team after a thorough due diligence. As responsible Indians, we are confident that they will be able to deliver to the best standards and expectations.”

He added that ColdEX is the national distribution partner to several restaurant chains, including Starbucks, KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King. Bakshi added that about 100 restaurants have been affected by the disruption of supplies caused by the “illegal and abrupt termination” of services by the previous logistics vendor Radhakrishna Foodland.

“This is allegedly a preplanned step in collusion with McDonald’s and their wholly owned subsidiary in India, McDonald’s India and in direct contravention of the judgment of the NCLT, that ordered for the smooth functioning of the CPRL restaurants without any hindrance,” he added.

On the issue of supply constraints being faced by CPRL, McDonald’s India had earlier this week said that the dispute is between CPRL and their vendors and not McDonald’s India.

Meanwhile, McDonald's India added, “Using unapproved vendors for the supply chain is creating compliance risks to McDonald’s standards for food quality and safety. As an ex-franchisee, CPRL is fully aware of how McDonald’s control process works.

“Our commitment to some of the highest food safety and quality standards has long been a part of the McDonald’s brand. Globally, we work with our trusted network of suppliers to uphold our stringent practices and over the years have been successful in consistently reducing customer complaints.”