McDonald's to open vegetarian restaurant in India

McDonald's, the ubiquitous hamburger and fries chain, is tailoring its expansion plans to cater to Hindus and Muslims who are forbidden from eating beef and pork, respectively.
A customer buys food at McDonald's first location in India in 1996. The chain will open vegetarian-only locations next year. (Reuters)

McDonald's Corp. is set to stray from its burger-and-fries origin and open its first ever vegetarian-only restaurants next year.

The chain's first two such locations will be in Amritsar and nearby Katra in India, sometime next year, the chain said Tuesday.

Tailoring its offerings to local tastes is nothing new. In virtually every country the chain operates, it has offered a local variant of a classic dish in an attempt to cater to local sensitivities.

The chain began offering salads and other vegetable-based options about a decade ago, in response to criticism its grilled and fried meat products were fatty and unhealthy.

But the two Indian outlets will be the first time the chain has offered an entire location that serves nothing but vegetarian products.

The chain has more than 30,000 locations worldwide, with 271 of them in India.

The vegetarian locations are an attempt to double that over the next three years, a McDonald's executive told the Financial Times on Tuesday.

When asked by CBC News to comment on whether Canadian customers can expect more vegetarian options or an entirely vegetarian location, McDonald's Canada did not immediately respond.