When Dave Thomas, founder and chief executive officer of Wendy’s, now the world’s third-largest burger chain, founded his company in Ohio, USA, years ago, he hadn’t quite estimated the success that his simple fast-food business could bring him one day. Today, with 6,515 restaurants in 29 countries, it’s needless to say that his idea has been savoured world-wide and welcomed with insatiable appetites. Nothing changes when the brand decides to enter the Indian market, with its first outlet in Gurgaon. People queue up to get a taste of the quintessential mega hamburger Wendy’s is famous for.
Launched just days ago, Wendy’s menu in India includes the brand’s classic, Baconator, in chicken and not beef. Salads, baked potatoes, chilli and frosty dessert are all in the offering. It boasts one of the largest vegetarian menus, with six burgers, including Greek Falafel, inspired by the classic Lebanese preparation, in addition to Spinach n Corn and Mushroom Cheese. They have also added a burger for Rs 59 called the Spicy Aloo Crunch burger, inspired by the Sindhi potato dish, Aloo Ke Tuk. In the non-veg range, you could try the Panco Coated Fried Chicken Breast/Thigh Meat Burgers with or without bacon, and with sauces such as Ghost Chilli and Smoky Chipotle. “We’ve worked on the concept with the Wendy’s team for almost two years,” says Sanjay Chhabra, the co-director. “In that time, we talked to Indian consumers and discovered that all they want was a distinctive menu at affordable prices. While staying true to Wendy’s values, we’re customising the brand experience to make it relevant to India in 2015,” he says.
While the restaurant’s interiors are spartan, it makes up for the lack of imagination in the decor with the well-designed menu, keeping in line with the thing that matters the most—its food offerings. “The food is served on real plates and that’s a value addition. I’m sure we’ll stand out in this market,” says Jasper Reid, the co-director.