Taco Bell India eyes 600 stores before franchise plan

Taco Bell India plans to expand to more than 600 stores before sub-licensing to local operators.

The US-headquartered QSR chain has appointed its existing local partner since 2015 Burman Hospitality,  as master franchise holder for the country.

Following nine years in the territory, the brand now seeks to open 600 locations in India within 10 years, a target that if achieved will make India Taco’s largest foreign market, reflecting the popularity of its menu in the region extending beyond its parent company’s core offerings of its sister brands’ chicken, burgers and pizzas.

The appointment makes Burman the largest Taco Bell franchise globally in terms of store count. “If you look at chicken and pizza, they are two very familiar categories to the consumer and that helped both KFC and Pizza Hut with their explosive growth, not only in India, but all over the world,” said Taco Bell International president Liz Williams. “The Mexican category is a relatively new category for consumers and I think the Indian consumer has shown us they are ready for it.”

Research conducted last year showed that the vast majority of food ordered in the Indian territory is North Indian, followed by Chinese and South Indian. The market for other cuisines is shown to be expanding.

Burman is currently seeking to keep a tight control over store launches before seeking sub-franchisees and then expanding into new formats such as food court kiosks.

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