India is at the cusp of food explosion today; global brands which have entered the Indian market are either dropping their tradition by going the ‘veggie’ way to capture the Indian market or are changing their food products according to the palate and taste of the Indians.
Wendy’s, opened its first outlet in Gurgaon last month partnering with Sierra Nevada Restaurants, which had actually initiated the talk with its global counterparts two years ago to bring the hamburger chain to India. But the brand took almost six months to decide on how to proceed further, finally signing the deal in early 2014 and establishing its first outlet at the ‘hungry’ Indian land after almost one-and-a-half years of the agreement.
The company with a tag line- ‘Quality is our recipe’ has spent over a year to develop their product ensuring that they will be suitable and relevant for the Indian customer. And it has worked out an extensive vegetarian menu to suit the Indian palate, dropping its signature ‘Beef square hamburger’ from the Indian menu. Not only this, the hamburger chain has partnered with a group of casual dining chefs to do an extensive research on the menu and not making it a ‘QSR Burger’ where the patty has come prepared rather developing and preparing the patty and the fillings freshly to give it a casual dining experience.
“Yes, I would say we have tailor-made the menu. We have engaged a culinary team which has worked with us in different capacities in our restaurants in our food businesses. It's a team of chefs who have worked with various casual dining chains,” shared Sanjay Chhabra, Director, Sierra Nevada Restaurants which holds the master franchisees of Wendy’s in India.
Not poised for throwing the number, Chhabra, who also runs restaurants like Barista Coffee Chain, Kylin and is in the process of bringing Jamie’s Italian to India by launching its first outlet in India believes their entry in the Indian market was at the correct time, Indians are now much more experienced and ready to accept a brand.
Going slow on number counts, Wendy’s will be opening over 20 outlets in first two years focusing on NCR and North India.
According to a latest research by FICCI, “Quick service industry and casual dining are the two most popular segments that form 45 per cent and 32 per cent of the overall market, respectively.”
With a view to delivering fresh and local, Wendy’s is also sourcing all its ingredients from around the country, grown in the local farms and factories.