Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

In its latest effort to tailor itself to specific consumer bases, McDonald's has announced that it will open two all-vegetarian restaurants next year in India. In a way it's a logical next step, since beef and pork products are already absent in its other Indian-based restaurants out of respect for Hindu and Muslim customers. Despite this, one Hindu nationalist group has complained that the chain was "associated with cow slaughter," echoing past protests involving the use of beef broth to make McDonald's fries.

What's the Big Idea?

India's growing middle class is spurring extra investment by American companies, with one estimate stating that the fast food industry alone is expected to triple by 2014. McDonald's two new restaurants will open in Amritsar and Katri, two cities with holy sites that attract millions of meat-abstaining religious pilgrims every year. The company is known for adjusting its menus to fit cultural norms, as evidenced by McFalafels in Israel and McPoutine in Quebec. Although the number of Golden Arches in India is minuscule compared to the rest of the world, McDonald's could use the bump in sales: Its profits and stock price are on the downswing.

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