It is 15 years since the first McDonalds opened in Mumbai. I can remember my sister-in-law proudly taking my wife and I to the restaurant, only to be horrified when we didn’t want to eat anything there. We blamed the long queues rather than our experience of Maccas back home.
For Indians, the opening of McDonalds meant many things. For some it meant Western Imperialism, and from memory there were some vigorous protests at the time. But for my sister-in-law, and I suspect for many Indians, the opening of McDonalds meant that India had reached a stage of importance. In early-IT-boom India, McDonalds opening was a symbol of growth and that the West now paid attention to India.
The West now pays a lot more attention to India, which is a good thing for India. And this is reflected in McDonalds. While the cola and fries are familiar to any McDonalds connoisseur, the burgers are, well, Indian. In Hindu India, ‘two all beef patties’ is not a road to popularity and success. Rather there is the McSpicy Chicken, Big Spicy Paneer Wrap, the McVeggie, and, instead of a Big Mac, the Chicken Maharaja Burger. The Chicken Nuggets are there as is the Filet-O-Fish, but overall the menu looks a lot more interesting than the Australian equivalent.
And the queues are still there.
Now, if we could just have the Veg Supreme McMuffin added to the Aussie breakfast options.

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