Westlife Development, the operator of McDonald’s in India plans to expand its presence across the country through malls, standalone stores on high streets and drive through, after witnessing a short blip in store opening plan owing to volatility of lockdown. The master franchisee of McDonald’s restaurants for western and southern India, expects its business to return to pre-COVID-19 level from the next quarter and continue to add more stores to its network.
The company plans to open 25-30 stores every year to expand its presence across the country. Currently, Westlife Development operates over 300 McDonald’s stores in 42 cities of the western and southern India.
“Drive-thru has become a big enabler for us as consumers are preferring this format of food takeaway more than ever before. The use-case for drive-thru has also evolved owing to increased road travel and hence, we will focus on this format a little more going forward,” said Sanjay Soni, Senior Vice President – Development & Supply Chain at Westlife Development Ltd. According to the company it expects business back to pre-Covid levels in the coming quarters. The firm has already witnessed revenue from convenience channels which comprises delivery, on-the-go and drive through having exceeded pre-COVID levels.
“Even with the Government restrictions of timing and capacity, dine-in is showing strong recovery. So once complete normalcy resumes, we are confident in-store also building back, sooner than later,” said Soni.
Restaurants have been severely disrupted during the lockdown as the government moved to announce a nationwide closure. However, they were allowed to open for online deliveries, but remained shut in shopping centres, malls and areas due to the second wave of the pandemic.