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Opinion McDonald's To Open First Vegetarian Outlet In Amritsar


Apr 3, 2005
US fast food giant McDonald's, famed for its beef-based Big Mac burgers, on Tuesday said it will open its first ever vegetarian-only restaurant in the world in India next year.

The world's second-biggest restaurant chain after Subway already tailors its menus to suit local tastes -- which in India means no beef to avoid offending Hindus and no pork to cater for Muslim requirements.

It will open its first vegetarian outlet in the middle of next year near the Golden Temple in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar in northern India, where religious authorities forbid consumption of meat at the shrine.

"It will be the first time we have opened a vegetarian restaurant in the world," a spokesman for McDonald's in northern India, Rajesh Kumar Maini, told AFP.

After the opening in Amritsar, the US chain plans to launch another vegetarian outlet at Katra near the Vaishno Devi cave shrine in Indian Kashmir -- a revered Hindu pilgrimage site that draws hundreds of thousands of worshippers a year.

It sees the potential for many more vegetarian restaurants across the country.

McDonald's in India already has a menu that is 50 percent vegetarian.

Its McAloo Tikki burger at 28 rupees or 50 cents -- which uses a spicy fried potato-based patty -- is the top seller, accounting for a quarter of total sales.

Among the chicken-only meat offerings, the Maharaja Mac is also a favourite.

Currently India, with its population of 1.2 billion, is still a "very small market for McDonald's", said Maini.

"We have just 271 restaurants in India and across the world we have nearly 33,000," Maini said.

The chain serves half a million customers a day in India, out of 50 million people it serves daily in over 100 countries.

"When you look at the potential of the country, it's one of the top priority countries and we're laying the groundwork for capturing the market," said Maini.

"We plan to nearly double the number of outlets to 500 plus within the next three years," he said.

McDonald's realised soon after it entered the country that it had to rework its international menu to Indian tastes.

"The reasons were very compelling -- cow slaughter is not allowed because of religious reasons and we couldn't do pork either," Maini explained.

Hindus, who account for 80 percent of India's population, regard cows as sacred. For Muslims, the consumption of pork is prohibited in the Koran.

"It was the whole idea of going local and creating flavours that would create acceptance for us," Maini said. "We had to look at the whole market innovatively and we realised only chicken-based and vegetarian food would work."

McDonald's is not alone in "Indianising" its offerings. Domino's Pizza, another leading fast food chain in India, has created pizzas with extra spicy toppings.

But growing consumption of food high in fat is spurring concern that India is importing the Western disease of obesity, creating a ticking public health timebomb.



Dec 3, 2011
Mcdonalds are not doing as well as they have done in the past over here in the west.
There are too many other chains and especially the 'diner' style chains over here like A&W, Wendys/Arbys, Dairy Queen, Whitespot...etc.....etc...

I mean they have had all size soft drinks at $1 for the entire summer period this year over here and i'm sure the US has had similar.
They struggle get keep their breakfast sales up because of all the coffee shop/diners we have, so they start offering FREE Coffee YES FREE with NO other purchase required for certain weeks at a time just to get more customer traffic.

I mean these little tactics show that they do suffer with competition from other burger outlets, but they are still winning and making big bucks every where else.
Setting up establishments in places like India is just even bigger rupee/dollar signs flashing in their eyes at the expense of our arteries!!

The punjabis and indians are going to purchase and consume no matter who sets up their bases over there. Younger indians want to be modern, western but at the same time hold onto something indian. So they have their own veggie menus to cater for this---fantastic---, Why didn't Denny's think of that ???

Personally. I have NEVER been a Mac-fan!!! It is unhealthy and very fastly produced and very CHEMICALLY induced CRAP!!
If I were to fancy a real burger or similar, then I go to a ''Real'' burger joint where it takes 10-15 mins to cook from frozen and NOT ultra fastfood mcdonalds where you get it in few minutes!!!

I don't think that India has the 5 a day fruit and veg strategies or other healthy eating promotions. Stick a bollywood star on the kiddies meal and you will have a sure seller, even if it contains more artery cloggers than BK's Triple Whopper with triple cheese!!!!
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Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Jul 4, 2004
Mac. people are going to make a fool of vegetarians. They recently admitted that all the frying medium they use is not only the vegetable oils but is a mixed one with animal fats. So, how their products become pure vegetarian, I fail to understand.:angryyoungsingh:

Hardip Ji..

Gyaan Thiaan Kichh karam na jaannna,,,,,they know not what they do...fools wrangle over saag....looks like Mad cow disease is same as green saag disease...


Nov 14, 2010
Hardip Singh ji

I wasn't sure how much I was allowed to criticize on the forum, but I have many many issues with Mac Donalds. I'm avid about animal rights and McD doesn't care about all the suffering of the animals whose meat they buy. I usually don't say anything against people's choices about food they buy, but I plead at times with my bff not to buy their chicken because I saw a video of how they suffer. I suspect it may be no different when it comes to other meat products.

PETA campaign against McD cruelty (CAUTION: Very Graphic images and descriptions of animals suffering): http://www.mccruelty.com/default.aspx

I know this has to do with catering to Hindus who view cows as sacred, but, imho, since Hindus also practice ahimsa, it would make no sense to buy a vegetarian item from a place that uses chicken meat, etc., from chickens who endured much suffering.

I knew McD was using a "flavoring" which had animal ingredients in it in their fries so I wouldn't doubt they do this with other foods also.

I confess one of the hardest things for me to give up was Big Macs and Quarter Pounders, but I would never be handle even a bite now without immense discomfort.


Apr 3, 2005
Brush them lightly in oil and bake them and they are ok for you. Any food freshly prepared is better than junk from McPukes :p

You are talking about home made samosa's .99.99% people don't eat these type of Samosa's.Anyway my point is India already have a culture eating Veggie junk which are available on roadside to restaurents.
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