Nando’s cooks up a vegetarian menu in India1 min read . Updated: 12 Jun 2015, 05:36 PM IST
Famous for its Peri-Peri chicken, Nando's will now add paneer and mushroom burgers to its menu
Bengaluru: The local arm of the South African casual dining chain Nando’s has whipped up a vegetarian menu for the very first time. This has been done keeping in mind the large vegetarian population in the country, and makes it the meat-serving food chain’s first ever move globally, said Sumeet Yadav, chief executive officer at Nando’s India, that runs eight restaurants in the country.
“Vegetarians in India have a large veto on what and where to dine," said Yadav.
“They can really impact decisions and drive away traffic," added Yadav in an interview with Mint on Friday.
Nando’s known for its South African style Peri-Peri chicken dishes will now add paneer and mushroom burgers, veg espetada, etc, taking the number of vegetarian dishes from a measly five to a whopping 25.
The company spent half a million dollars ( ₹ 3.2 crore) and six months, studying consumer behaviour across eight cities in India before designing a new vegetarian menu for the country.
“We saw that if two out of four in a group were vegetarian, a wholly non-vegetarian menu would drive them away," added Yadav, recently appointed to head the casual dining chain in India. Yadav expects vegetarians to contribute at least 25% of orders going forward.
Vegetarians account for 32% of India’s population, at least in urban areas.
India’s aversion to meat eating, often linked with the country’s religious beliefs, has a large impact on food consumption. Recently, Bharatiya Janata Party government in Maharashtra imposed a ban on cow slaughter and sale of beef.
Foreign food chains, more than often, have had to tweak large portions of their non-vegetarian menu to vegetarian offerings to make their servings more democratic and palatable.
The world’s second largest burger chain, Burger King for instance, recently said it would launch a non-beef version of its hugely popular—Whopper burger—in India making it the first market ever to serve a non-beef variant.
In 2014, fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken too launched an extensive vegetarian menu.
Nando’s is also expanding, a decade after it opened its first outlet in the country through a master-franchisee. It will open six restaurants this year, spending close to ₹ 6 crore on each and enter newer markets such as Mumbai and Hyderabad. Nando’s globally owns 1,200 restaurants in 30 markets.