Sunday MID-DAY, July 30, 1995

Big Mac has big plans

By Shonali Ganguli in Bombay

Will the famous Big Mac soon be available at your neighbourhood fast-food jopint?
Well, you will have to wait at least a year to sink your teeth into one of the fast-food giant's juicy delights.
Fifteen managers have already been recruited for the franchised restaurants, and are now being trained at MacDonalds' outlets in Indonesia.
The corporation wants local managers, suppliers and diistributors, says Amit Jatia, MacDonald's joint venture partner in Bombay.
Properties are right now being sought all over the city and suburbs, he says.
"We should be ready early next year, right now we are working on the responses we have received from various people," he adds.
Jatia has never run a restaurant before, but he says he ventured in with McDonald's because it is one of the top ten companies in the world.
"The company has plans to open in Bombay and Delki. It has set up a joint venture withVikramj Bakshi in the capital.
Jatia and Bakshi have a 50per cent stake in the enterprise. "We hope Bombay will be the first venue and are looking for just the right place so it can be set up properly," says Jatia.
"MacDonald's worldwide has mostly standard quality products. We are seeking to maintain that. In fact, the quality of MacDonald's products maintain parity throughout the world," he says.
Which means, to maintain the food's quality, the corporation has to sometimes charge twice the amount for a packet of french fries in one country than it does in another.
Trainees may eventually have to attend Hamburger University, Oak Brook, Illinois, the heart of the MacDonald's corporation. "When we open in India, ultimately all training will be given here," says Jatia.
Food, will be standard MacDonald's fare, with a few changes. No beef, for example. So the burgers will be of mutton and chicken. There will also be vegetable sandwiches, fish burgers, chicken nugget and, of course, french fries.
And what is the outlook? "Since the standards are very high, we should do well," says Jatia.
Since they were able to maintain the standards in China, India should be no problem, he adds.