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Priya Ganapati |
April 08, 2004
After nearly eight years in India, McDonald's will be finally coming to your doorstep.
From March 15, McDonald's has started home delivery services. The first to offer it is its restaurant in Bandra in Mumbai. And within a few months, all McDonald's restaurants will offer a home delivery option.
"The key idea is convenience. We are a quick service restaurant available at high-traffic locations. But there is a large number of people who find it difficult to travel. By offering home delivery we can reach out to them and increase our penetration," says Amit Jatia, Managing Director, Hardcastle Restaurants, the franchisee of McDonald's in the western Indian region.
McDonald's does not place any restriction on the minimum order for home delivery, but it will charge a flat fee of Rs 10 per order as delivery charges, irrespective of the size of the order.
In terms of distance covered, McDonald's does not have any rules laid down, but Jatia says that the stores will deliver to neighborhoods which are up to 10 minutes away by road.
"The key is to deliver hot and fresh food. So we have mapped the area that we can cover even during peak traffic. So the distance covered will differ across the restaurants," says Jatia.
Unlike Pizza Hut and other western fast food outlets, McDonald's has been slow to offer home delivery. Despite being in the business for nearly eight years, it is only now that it is slowly rolling out this option.
Jatia says that McDonald's waited so long to get it right.
"A business is built over time. We don't want to do everything at the same time. We first concentrated on rolling out the restaurants, then getting the menu right according to our customer preferences, then innovations like roasted ground coffee and deserts, and now we think it is time to offer home delivery," says Jatia.
He hopes that home delivery will boost McDonald's sales in the western region by 10 to 15 per cent.
Throughout the country, McDonald's serves nearly 4.5 million people a month. It is growing rapidly at 30-40 per cent every year.
Today, McDonald's has 53 outlets in western and northern India. There are McDonald's stores present in Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Delhi, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Noida.
Southern India has, however, been a blind spot for the venture. Jatia says that McDonald's is looking to start its restaurants in the southern region and will soon take a decision on it.
Recently, McDonald's introduced kiosks that sell largely desserts at prices that are highly affordable. Priced at Rs 8, 12 and Rs 18, these desserts have become popular and Jatia claims that it is among the most popular innovations to come from the McDonald's stable.
Photographs: Jewella C Miranda