McDonald’s has had a tough row to hoe in India, where it operates about 270 restaurants. Even though that’s only around 1% of their total, the fast food giant wants to see more Golden Arches in the country where they’ve struggled to get a foothold.
Several years ago, it was discovered that although they were claiming that their food was vegetarian, the oil that McDonalds used in their deep fryers contained beef flavoring. Needless to say, in a country where a vast majority of the citizens worship cows, this faux pas wasn’t received well.
As a matter of fact, Ronald McDonald et al were nearly forced out of the country.
Since then, the chain that accounts for approximately 3% of the beef consumption in the US has tread carefully in India, and now their hard work is starting to pay off. Though many of their stores sell meat (but not beef), there are strict rules in place to ensure that there is no cross-contamination.
Now McDonald’s is wanting to add strictly vegetarian stores near the Golden Temple located in Amritsar and close to a Hindu shrine near Kashmir. Public opinion on these new veggie-based fast food establishments is mixed. The media and some of the public are excited abou the new restaurants but some Hindu groups are offended.
An official from Swadeshi Jagran Manch, a Hindu nationist group, sums it up.
The organization associated with cow slaughter” is openly seeking to humiliate Hindus by opening their stores so close to religious points. Simply stated, “We are definitely going to fight it.”
It looks like the hamburger-giant-gone-veggie has a battle on its hands if it follows through with its intentions. Some of the Indian people quite simply ARE NOT lovin’ it.
Personally, I think that we need fewer McDonalds, not more, vegetarian or not. I like a good veggie burger now and then and I admit that french fries taste good. But do we really want more fast food restaurants and do we want them pretending to be healthier than they are?
What do you think? Is a vegetarian fast food place any better than the rest?