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McDonald’s woos health-conscious customers with new stores and menu

business Updated: Mar 18, 2017 11:36 IST

Mumbai: Fast food chain McDonald’s India is modifying its menu and store design in a bid to attract a younger and more health conscious clientele.

Westlife Development Ltd, which holds the McDonald’s franchise in south and west India, has opened a new outlet at Nariman Point in Mumbai, which offers a new healthy menu comprising soups and salads along with burgers and fries.

The restaurant is also the first in a series of planned redesigned outlets that will have at least two digital kiosks to order and pay and table service using RFID or radio identification tags rather than self-service apart from wireless mobile phone charging outlets at the tables.

“We picked Nariman Point because there is a big working, office and residential population nearby and pretty much all of Mumbai comes to south Mumbai,” said Amit Jatia, vice-chairman of Westlife Development.

“A consumer brand has to evolve every day because consumers are evolving very rapidly,” Jatia said. “We worked on small elements of this in every restaurant, and then we brought it together.”

While the Nariman Point outlet opened in December last year, the company has been experimenting with two self-ordering kiosks at another outlet at Hill Road in Bandra in western Mumbai. The kiosks allow customers to customize orders to a greater degree with sauces, vegetables and condiments.

“The first initiation of this [experiment] started 12 months ago,” Jatia said.

McDonald’s is trying out a new menu that includes two soups and two salads, along with the breakfast menu that it launched in 2010. The chain revamped the breakfast menu this January to include new offerings for Indian tastes such as masala dosa burger and masala scrambled eggs. “Those are two of our largest selling items on the breakfast menu, along with the classic Egg McMuffin,” Jatia said.

In keeping with its healthier take, McDonald’s is also rolling out calorie counts on its menus.

Jatia, however, declined to share how much revenue came from the McCafe and breakfast menus or his expectations from the soups and salads range.

In November 2016, McDonald’s in the US launched a “digital” store with kiosks and table service. The company has been on a mission to make its menu healthier and shed its unhealthy tag for years as the US battles an obesity epidemic and consumers become more health-conscious worldwide.