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

Westlife Development, which owns the McDonald’s franchise in south and west India, has launched a new restaurant at Nariman Point in Mumbai


McDonald’s 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. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
McDonald’s 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. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Mumbai: Fast food chain McDonald’s is changing its menu and store design to bring in a younger, mobile and more health-conscious clientele to its restaurants.

Westlife Development Ltd, which owns the McDonald’s franchise in south and west India, has launched a new restaurant at Nariman Point in Mumbai. The store serves the 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, table service using RFID or radio identification tags rather than self-service and 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,” Amit Jatia, vice-chairman of Westlife Development, said. “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 restaurant opened in December last year, the company has been experimenting with two self-ordering kiosks at its other restaurant in Hill Road, Bandra, a western Mumbai suburb. The kiosks allow a customer to customize their orders to get a greater degree, with sauces, vegetables and condiments.

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

With that, McDonald’s is also trying out a new healthy menu that offers two soups and two salads on the menu, along with the breakfast menu that it had launched in 2010 and which it revamped this January with new offerings including Indian-customized ones like a masala dosa burger and masala scrambled eggs. “Those are two of our largest selling items on the breakfast menu, along with the classic Egg Mc Muffin,” Jatia said.

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

Jatia, however, declined to share the numbers on how much revenue comes from the McCafe and Breakfast Menus, or how much he is expecting from the new 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.

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