McDonald’s, the world leader in burger-based fast food, has plans to open its first meat-free location in the northern Indian city of Amritsar. The inaugural vegetarian Golden Arches will be located near the Golden Temple, a holy site for Sikhs, with a second location planned for the town of Katra, which is adjacent to the holy Hindu temple of Vaishno Devi Mandir. In respect to local culture, McDonald’s restaurants in India are already 50 percent vegetarian, having replaced signature beef-based meals with local cuisine.
Currently, the chain caters to Indian customers who don’t eat beef or pork for religious reasons by offering options like McVeggie burgers and McSpicy Paneer sandwiches. Kitchens are divided into separate sections for cooking vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, but the new restaurants will be exclusively vegetarian. New menu items will include items like the McAloo Tikki, a potato-based burger, and a vegetable and cheese pastry, the Pizza McPuff.
In statements to media outlets, McDonald’s spokesman Rajesh Kumar Maini speaks to the decision to open an all-vegetarian location:
It will be the first time we have opened a vegetarian restaurant. There is a big opportunity for vegetarian restaurants [in India] as many Indians are vegetarian.
Photo Credit: Associated Press