McDonald’s to add 40 outlets by Dec, 2009.

FAST-FOOD retailer McDonald’s will step up expansions in India after recording a 20% year-on-year growth early this year. The retailer plans to open 40 new restaurants by 2009-end, said Amit Jatia, JV partner & MD (west & south region). “We are also increasing our headcount to 7,000 from 5,000 at a time when most companies are either cutting costs or reducing employee numbers,” he said.

McDonald’s India is a 50:50 joint venture between McDonald’s and Hardcastle Restaurants for west and south India. For east and north India, the food retailer has a tie up with Vikram Bakshi’s Cannaught Plaza Restaurants. McDonald’s refrained from hiking prices despite rising pressure on input costs last year. “Currently, we do not see any reason for raising prices of our food items as the commodity prices, especially edible oil prices, have eased and our back-end supply-chain is strong enough,” Mr Jatia added. The largest fast-food retail network will invest around Rs 120 crore, excluding real estate, for its expansion. The food retailer offers services to 180 million customers every year from its 155 outlets and expects to manage the customer growth rate of 30-40% on y-o-y basis. Further, it has tied up with BPCL and HPCL to open restaurants at their upcoming motels on express highways.

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