McDonald's 15 outlets in North and East India region have recorded highest ever sales in May. This happened despite the long-drawn dispute between McDonald's and its Indian franchise for North and East region Connaught Plaza Restaurants (CPRL) - a Delhi-based company run by Vikram Bakshi.
According to a report in the Economic Times, the sales are up anywhere between 2 and 17 per cent across restaurants in Delhi, Kolkata, Gwalior and Lucknow. "In terms of sales, this is an all-time high since the opening of these restaurants," CPRL MD Vikram Bakshi told the ET.
Speaking on the current dispute and its impact, Bakshi said: "The numbers prove that the consumer doesn't care about the controversy. There is nothing different or unique being done other than staying with the basics, which is ensuring regular supplies, quality of product and service. All this despite the situation and conditions not being perfect for operating the restaurants."
The fight between McDonald's and Bakshi began in 2013 after fast food giant removed Bakshi as the Managing Director of CPRL. The National Company Law Tribunal later reinstated him and also refrained McDonald's from interfering in the functioning of CPRL besides appointing an administrator to oversee the smooth functioning of CPRL.
The battle which gained momentum after Bakhshi's ouster turned ugly when McDonald's India terminated the franchise agreement of 169 outlets last year in August. As per the termination notice served by the US-based fast food company, these restaurants were barred from using McDonald's brand name, trademark, design, operating and marketing practices and policies, food recipes and specifications after September 5, 2017.
Bakshi remained adamant, stating that he will continue to use the McDonald's brand for the restaurants despite the franchise agreement being terminated. Both the parties are now fighting out their case in various legal forums including NCLT, NCLAT and Delhi high court. Bakshi continues to operate the outlets.
While Bakshi maintained that he would continue to run the outlets, McDonald's issued a warning to customers against eating at any of its North and East Indian region. In an e-mail statement to Quartz, McDonald's India spokesperson said: "Since the termination of the franchise agreement, MIPL has not been able to verify if the unauthorised McDonald's restaurants operated by CPRL in north and east India are complying with applicable McDonald's standards, including those pertaining to supplies, operations and safety standards, and quality required for McDonald's products."