McDonald's Is Opening Its First Vegetarian-Only Restaurants

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For the first time ever, McDonald's (MCD) is opening a pair of restaurants that will not serve any meat at all, reports Amy Kazmin at the Financial Times.

Both of the restaurants will open next year in India — one in the city of Amritsar (the holiest site in the Sikh religion), and one in the town of Katra (a "jump-off point" for Hindus visiting the mountain shrine of Vaishno Devi.)

The stores will serve the vegetarian items currently sold in Indian McDonald's restaurants, and the chain will likely develop some new items as well.

“A vegetarian store makes absolute sense in the places which are famous as pilgrimage sites,” McDonald's India spokesperson  Rajesh Kumar Maini told the FT.

It's all because of local preferences. Cows are sacred in India, and much of the country is vegetarian.  So the existing McDonald's locations in India don't serve beef, but they do serve lots of chicken in its place. 

For instance, there's no Big Mac in India. Instead, stores serve the Maharaja Mac, which has chicken patties. It also sells the Filet-o-Fish, Chicken Nuggets and more non-beef menu items. The two vegetarian locations won't serve any chicken or fish items at all.

Right now, McDonald's has more than 250 restaurants in India — a number it plans to double by the end of 2014.



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