Wendy’s, the world’s third largest burger chain, has opened its first store in India today. The Columbus, Ohio-headquartered burger chain, is banking on quality rather than quantity to sell its burgers in India. Wendy’s burgers will sell at Rs 59 and above, which is comparatively higher priced than burgers from its rivals McD’s and KFC that sell in the range of Rs 25-35 and upwards. “We are starting at Rs 59 because we believe that’s where quality comes in. Competition is playing the Rs 30 game but you can’t do quality at that price,” Wendy’s global president Darrell van Ligten was quoted as saying.
Wendy’s plans to open 40-50 stores in India in the next four years at a cost of around Rs 2 crore per restaurant. To make its burgers more appealing and popular among Indian customers, Wendy’s has customised its menu for the country, which is a first for any country in which it operates. Wendy’s burgers in India will not have any beef, which is expected to drive higher sales for the company. Its starting menu has 11 vegetarian and 10 non-vegetarian products with burger prices going up to about Rs 200 apiece.
The American burger chain has entered India with an exclusive franchise partner with Sierra Nevada Restaurants Pvt Ltd (SNRPL). India has become a hot destination for international burger chains, which are looking to expand to newer markets in the face of rising operating costs in developed ones. However, India’s QSR market is small, and is expected to grow by around 26% year-on-year, according to market research firm Crisil.