This week, McDonald’s introduced two versions of the classic Big Mac, a Big Mac Jr. & a Grand Mac. Guy Adami of CNBC Fast Money tasted these two newbies with the classic Big Mac on live TV. It was a fun segment because the Big Mac has been a love of ours since our youth. But alas, Guy Adami complained the next day that taking bites of the three Macs had not agreed with him. Is he is getting old or is it a question of Presidential timber? (As an aside, Guy, why would you make such an admission on live TV? Haven’t you learned anything from President Trump?)
Neither Guy Adami nor his anchor Melissa Lee were aware of the new burger launched by McDonald’s. But before we get into details of the new burger, we just got to look back to January 19, 2014. On that day, we wrote in our article Fast Food Technology – America & India:
- “There are many food concepts in India that are screaming for such franchising based expansion. Back in the 1960s, Udipi food went national – superb, clean, wholesome food that came out of the town of Udipi in the state of Karnatak located on the southwestern shores of India. They say the food has its origins in the Math established by Madhva-Acharya (1199-1278 CE), one of the four great Acharya of Indian metaphysical thought. Today, there is hardly an Indian that hasn’t eaten a Masala Dosa or Idli-Sambar. Even Wikipedia calls Udipi food as world-renowned cuisine”.
- “This food is ideal for franchising. It is simple, easy to make and can be eaten either as a snack or a meal. But no one in India has thought of franchising it”.
Guess what? McDonald’s listened to us, perhaps via ESP or something. Because McDonald’s just introduced a Masala Dosa Burger. But wait! What is a Masala Dosa?
Now what does the MickyD Masala Dosa burger look like?
Actually, it is not a burger but a Masala Dosa Brioche. As Huffington Post India argues, this is similar to the McAloo Tiki burger that has been a best seller since its launch two decades ago. No doubt the purists hate the Masala Dosa burger, but the reality is fast food outlets are so much more convenient than most restaurants.
Take our own example. We love a different variety called Neer Dosa, especially the ones served by our neighborhood restaurant in South Mumbai. But they only serve it after 7:30 pm. How unbelievably inconvenient? We would gladly, on occasion, trade the superb delicacy of that restaurant’s Neer Dosa for an average tasting McDonald’s equivalent of Neer Dosa. Look at it & see how simple it would be make it as fast food.
As we wrote back on January 19, 2014:
- “The reality is fast food in India is growing because these chains deliver a bright clean store with food of reasonable quality. So Indians can meet there, chat, spend time with family & friends without the formality and cost of a high quality restaurant. But we have never heard any one in India rave about the greatness of food served by McDonald’s or Burger King. So why don’t Indian organizations build their own branded fast food chains that serve Indian food & snacks?”
What is the problem? Why can McDonald’s India come up with a Masala Dosa burger (we confess our dislike the pretentious brioche term) but not other Indian chains? After all, McDonald’s India is run by Indians. Because the secret to McDonald’s is not the recipe of the food but the management technology of delivering the same taste, feel, comfort & safety across its hundreds of restaurants. That is why Domino’s Pizza has been such a runaway success in India.
So would we eat the Masala Dosa burger or offer it to President Trump? Not really. But we would buy shares in McDonald’s India if they spin it out as a separate entity. Because the people who run McDonald’s India are smart, aggressive and they have huge, secular growth ahead of them.
Finally, a suggestion for McDonald’s India subject, of course, to preserving our IP rights – They should bring out a wrap version of Masala Dosa instead of manufacturing a sandwich. After all, the dosa is itself a wrap even though it is served flat. And you can, quickly & easily, serve a Masala Dosa wrap in various formats – Onion, Rava etc.
PS: Coincidentally the day before we read about the launch of McDonald’s Masala Dosa brioche, we received a comment on our January 19, 2014 Fast food article from a Mr. Pritesh Patel – “please write something”. So we thank Mr. Patel & kinda dedicate this article to him. .
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