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Hunger Games

Dec 10 2013, 02:53 IST
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SummaryThe quick-service restaurant category has finally established itself in India. Banking on a loyal clientele, each of the global brands, whether it is Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s or Pizza Hut, is now launching new retail formats even as they introduce more desi variants in their menus

It’s a cold and foggy morning in Delhi, but at the McDonald’s outlet in DLF Cyber Hub in Gurgaon on the outskirts of the national capital, there’s a steady stream of customers popping in for a hot cup of coffee

and a hearty breakfast consisting of Hash Browns and McMuffins. Most of them are young executives

living in digs nearby and working at the gleaming information technology office complexes around. For many of them, lunch too will be a quick affair as they go online to the Domino’s Pizza website and order pizzas.

For the young urban Indian, food items once considered ‘foreign’ such as burgers, pizzas, bagels, wraps, etc., are de rigeur today. Whether it is Pizza Hut or Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s or KFC, Taco Bell or Dunkin Donuts or Subway, each of them offers a variety of affordable fast food items perfect for almost every occasion. Only last month, Burger King Worldwide, the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world, formed a joint venture with private equity (PE) major Everstone Capital to enter India.

The deal includes a long-term master franchise and development agreement, which includes sub-franchise rights for all of India. Over the next few months, Everstone will work with Burger King’s Asia arm — BK AsiaPac Pte Ltd — to set up the supply chain in India and execute a rollout plan to establish Burger King restaurants across the country. “India is a market with huge potential for Burger King restaurants and we have the chance to offer the unique brand proposition to its consumers with our own local twist to the menu,” said Elias Diaz Sese, president, BK AsiaPac Pte. Ltd.

According to a recent report by Technopak Advisors, a strategic advisory firm, the Indian quick-service restaurant (QSR) market, as this fast food category is known, is valued at $1.1 billion (R6,890 crore) and is expected to grow by 21% annually to touch $4.2 billion (R25,843 crore) in 2020. “There are many factors that have aided the growth of the category. Around 65% of urban Indians are below 35 years, and these are the people who are likely to eat out most of the time. Also, earnings have increased apart from the rise in spending power as more women join the workforce. Thirdly, the Indian consumer’s palate has evolved over the years mainly from exposure through international travel and media,” said Tarun Jain,

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