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Burger King Plans Global Reign on India Innovation


Burger King Plans Global Reign on India Innovation
NOTHING LIKE CHICKEN TANDOORI Chain has 11 burgers on its Indian menu that don’t exist anywhere else and is eyeing major expansion

Vinod Mahanta & Neha Tyagi

Mumbai: It has been quite a speedy ride for Burger King in India.
Within two years of its launch, the fast food major has expanded its presence to 66 outlets in nine cities, and India master franchisee Everstone Capital has lined up $100 million for aggressive expansion plans over the next few years.

“It’s a market where we are just getting started. Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) are just evolving in India and we are in the market at the right time. In India, we now have all the ingredients in place to scale up aggressively,” says Jose Cil, global president, Burger King.
Everstone is aiming to scale up the number of stores to three digits by the end of this year, or early next year. It holds a majority stake in Burger King India through its subsidiary F&B Asia Venture.

“Capital is not a constraint for the company. We have focused on building a business that’s centred on quality. We have in place a great management, a much liked product port-folio and a robust supply chain. It’s a platform that is geared for growth. What is slowing us down is lack of good quality locations,” says Sameer Sain, co-founder, Everstone.

Everstone has the largest bouquet of restaurant brands in India, of which some are owned, some franchised, or are investee companies.

The firm has bet big on India food services industry that’s expected to touch $77 billion (about 24,98,130 crore) by 2021, growing 10 % annually.

“We like our partners to possess a sense of ownership and an entrepreneurial mindset. Our Indian Sameer Sain and Jose Cil partner understands the local market and also shares a similar vision,” says Cil, who arrived in Mumbai after a six-day tour that included visits to over 30 Burger King outlets across Delhi, Amritsar and Bengaluru, among other places.

Before launching its first restaurant, the Burger King and Everstone spent a year looking for right lo-cations, understanding the Indian consumer preferences and putting together a new menu.

Currently, Burger King has 11 burgers on its Indian menu that don’t exist anywhere in the world. Also, despite beef burger being its global best-seller, it follows a no-beef and no-pork policy in India. All its out-lets have separate kitchens for vegetarian and non-vegetarian food.

“India was a unique market and we had to build the menu from scratch. We will now be taking Indian innovations like Veggie and Chicken Tandoori Burger across the globe. Its good food at a great price,” says Cil.

There was even an online petition on change.org to introduce its beef burger in India but company chose otherwise, given the sensibilities involved. According to the company, 50 % of all Burger King sales in India come from vegetarian products.

Given the rising demand for healthy food options and a consumer trend of moving away from unhealthy fast food, restaurant chains are opting for healthier options, and Burger King is adapting to this change. “We lead our competitors on the health front. Our patties are flame-grilled, we use fresh ingredients, fresh buns, our sandwiches are made to order and our entire supply chain is based in India,” says Cil.

Rolling out a contra strategy in the segment, Burger King globally sold all its older restaurants, apart from a handful in Miami, to its franchise-es and even new market strategy, like for India, is franchisee-based.

Source : Economic Times

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