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McDonald's New Twist in Asia: Vegetarian-only Cuisine

What do you make of the McAloo Tikki burger? Tried the Maharaja's Mac?

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the audio to hear it.)

You might be familiar with these McDonald's offerings if you frequent their franchises in India.

Now the company is going one step further to challenge the traditional definition of a burger joint.

Next year it will be opening its first ever vegetarian-only restaurants near religious shrines in India.

Sara Senatore is an analyst at the equity research firm Sanford Bernstein and Company.

She says emerging markets require different menus and different operating models, and that sometimes those new ideas spread.

"We've seen the global limited service restaurants innovate in other markets and bring that to the United States," she says, offering as an example the McCafe beverage line, which had its start in New Zealand.

But if you think there will be a vegetarian-only McDonald's franchises in the US anytime soon, Senatore says don't hold your breath.

  • mcdonald_hmong.jpg

    Credit: Manya Gupta

    McDonald's Hmong language billboard in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo: Video grab)

  • RTXITS8.jpg

    McDonald's serves beefless burgers in India, and the French can order beer with their McDeluxes. (Photo: Reuters)

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