Wendy’s India makes debut

US burger chain Wendy’s has made its Indian debut this week – with the first of up to 50 stores planned over the next five years.

Wendy’s India is a joint venture between International Market Management of England and Rollatainers of India who established Sierra Nevada Restaurants to run the business.

The first outlet has opened in Gurgaon.

“Sierra Nevada plans to open three more outlets in the Delhi-National Capital Region during summer and up to 20 more in Northern India over the next few years,” the statement said.

Wendy’s India is seeking to differentiate itself from rivals like McDonald’s and KFC. Its burger pricing will start at Rs 59, while McDonald’s and KFC sell burgers from Rs 25-35 upwards.

Sierra Nevada says it will offer customers “a casual dining experience at a quick serving restaurant price”.

“We are starting at Rs 59 (US$0.92) because we believe that’s where quality comes in,” Wendy’s global president Darrell van Ligten told the Economic Times of India. “Competition is playing the Rs 30 game but you can’t do quality at that price.”

The Wendy’s India menu will not include beef, instead offering 11 vegetarian products and 10 non-vegetarian, using chicken or lamb. The most expensive burger will be Rs 200 ($3.12).

“India is a growing, dynamic market, which is attracting the attention of leading brands around the world,” Wendy’s president and CEO Emil Brolick said in a statement.

“We’ve worked on the concept with the Wendy’s team for almost two years” one of Sierra Nevada’s directors Sanjay Chhabra added.

Wendy’s is the world’s third largest burger chain behind McDonald’s and Burger King, with 6500 restaurants in 29 countries.

Van Ligten told the Economic Times losing the first mover advantage by entering the Indian market behind McDonald’s and KFC had an advantage.

“Thanks to them, we don’t have to educate Indian consumers about western QSRs.”

* Image: The Greek Mutton Burger (INR 189) featured on Indian blog Salt and Sandals. Click here to read the blog’s detailed description of the Wendy’s India menu and more images.


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