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Chain Links: India is Young and Young People Like to Eat

MenuschezwancheeseFast food appeals to India's vast under-30 population, and it's not all Maharaja Macs and paneer pizza. Homegrown chains like Kaati Zone and Jumbo King (I love those fried potato burgers) are stepping up. 

Young people in India (the 50% under 30 stat is cited yet again) also love coffee. Dunkin' Donuts wants a piece of that.

Some Indians, though, are eating at the opposite end of the spectrum. New Delhi's Le Cirque opened in August and has had to accommodate restrictions like Jains' onion and garlic-free diet. Luckily, pasta pirmavera, a Le Cirque invention, is already vegetarian.

Tony Roma’s is one of those Kenny Rogers Roasters-esque restaurants that flounders here but persists abroad. Bangkok and Jakarta now have more American ribs. And so does LA…in a cross-cultural twist, the new Tony Roma’s in Torrance is paired with Capricciosa Italian Restaurant, a Japan-Italian chain. (Both are ran by the same Singapore-based holding company, Mas Millennium.)

Not all American chains are having the same good fortune as KFC or McDonald’s in China. Applebee’s, Outback Steakhouse, and California Pizza Kitchen have all had to close down branches in Shanghai and Beijing. American businessman, Scott Minoie, has took a different approach and opened a chain of restaurants in China called Element Fresh with no US springboard. He’s been looking to local successes like Hai Di Lao and South Beauty (um, that Sichuan chain is way fancier than Outback or Applebee’s) for inspiration.


Vada pav photo from Jumbo King



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