McDonald’s, that carnivore’s haven of beefy Big Macs and chicken McNuggets, is going vegetarian.
The fast food giant will open its first non-meat restaurant next year in India, in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar. The branch, to be located by the much-visited Golden Temple, will serve herbivore options tailored to the country’s cultural tastes, according to AFP.
Much of the Indian population avoids certain types of meat. Hindus consider cows sacred and don’t eat beef, while Muslims avoid pork. Indian McDonald’s restaurants already feature much less meat than the chain’s locations in other countries.
The company’s bestseller in India is the McAloo Tikki burger, which features a fried potato patty and is responsible for a quarter of sales. The chain has fewer than 300 branches in India – a growing market for fast food that has already attracted competitors such as Subway, KFC and more.
Research in recent years suggest that Indians spend a quarter of their income on food, compared to the 1.5% they shell out for health issues.
Next up: Another vegetarian McDonald’s planned for Katra, a town near the Hindu pilgrimage site of Vaishno Devi.
The company has long customized menus to its host country. There are kosher McDonald’s in Israel and Buenos Aires, McBaguettes in France, McArabia pita-style sandwiches in the Middle East and more.