Yum Brands! Inc-owned Taco Bell is expanding its existing alliance with its Indian franchisee partner Burman Hospitality Pvt Ltd (BHPL) and has named it as an exclusive national master franchise partner for India. Under the renewed association, BHPL will open 600 Taco Bell restaurants in India by 2029.
Yum! Brands also operates around 800 KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in India through its local franchise partners. The brand is a quick service restaurant (QSR) chain that serves Tex-Mex fare, such as tacos, nacho and burritos. It started operations in India in 2010 and BHPL became its local partner in 2015, operating 35 restaurants in 11 cities in India currently. This were a mix of Taco Bell’s owned outlets and those operated by BHPL.
Gaurav Burman, scion of consumer goods conglomerate, Dabur, leads BHPL. He stated that with the master franchise pact with Taco Bell in place, his company can enter into sub-franchise agreement with third parties, which will help in the brand’s expansion plans.
Since Indians were not very conversant with Mexican cuisine, Taco Bell has localized its F&B offerings over the years, introducing dishes like Chicken Tikka Masala Burrito and Crispy Potaco and including more vegetarian options. To build a stronger customer connect, it also renovated some stores in busy areas and converted them into full format outlets.
Talking about the brand’s evolution in the country since 2010, Ankush Tuli, managing director, Taco Bell, Asia Pacific and Middle East, said that it was testing the waters back then since the category was nascent. “Now, the chain can expand in various formats, including in-line restaurant, standalone outlets, and or kiosks at food courts of malls,” he noted.
By putting more dots on the map, Taco Bell is confident that it can successfully familiarize more urban consumers to its Tex-Mex offerings, and especially since it has been readapted to suit their palates. This will go a long way in helping it achieve its target of opening 600 outlets in the country.