McDonald’s in India
McDonald’s began operations in India in 1996. The fast-food chain started making profits after it broke even in 2008. Reports suggest that McDonald’s two subsidiaries in India, Connought Plaza Restaurants based in New Delhi and Hard Castle Restaurants in based in Mumbai posted accumulated losses of Rs 189.19 crore and Rs 119 crore in fiscal 2008. A total of Rs 211.41 crore of accumulated losses for fiscal 2008 for the company. India and China continue to be high-growth markets for McDonald’s. The top management felt that McDonald’s had achieved tremendous brand success in India and there was nothing extraordinary about accumulating losses and that McDonald’s India was not a unique case as the company was making losses similarly in many other markets.
What McDonald’s is doing to increase the footfalls and increase the store utilisation?
McDonald’s menu is recognized world over for its affordability. A McDonald’s store gets an average of 3,000 walk-ins every day in each of its 165 restaurants in India. Typically, a customer visits a McDonald’s store twice. The key is to make that customer visit the McDonald’s store a third time so that the existing store space and rent can be leveraged further. Earlier attempts by McDonald’s to do so included adding breakfast to its menu, longer hours of service, setting up of kiosks etc. Eventhough breakfast was on its menu globally, it was on launched on a trial basis in India.
However, McDonald’s had a ‘snack joint’ tag in India. To overcome this McDonald’s added a lunch and dinner menu.
McDonald’s Pricing Strategy in India
In September 2009, McDonald’s announced reduction in prices by almost 25% for its lunch and dinner menus. Prices for its extra-value meals like McVeggie and McChicken were reduced to Rs. 85 and 95 respectively from Rs. 110 and 120 respectively. Typically a meal consists of burger, French fries and soft drinks. This strategy was surprising as it came at a time when food prices were increasing by the day. Cutting prices in such times did not make sense. But the management in India was convinced that tweaking the prices of it combo meal offering would help customers prefer McDonald’s as a lunch and dining destination as well.