McDonald’s on Monday snapped its franchise agreement with Connaught Plaza Restaurants Ltd (CPRL), its equally owned joint venture with Vikram Bakshi that operated the US chain’s restaurants in northern and eastern India.
McDonald’s has taken away all branding, trademark, design and marketing policy rights from CPRL while culminating a 22-year relationship with Bakshi.
The decision could impact about 6,500 direct jobs in India, and lead to the possible closure of McDonald’s restaurants in the northern and eastern regions, at least temporarily. CPRL owned 169 outlets, including 43 in and around Delhi that have already been shut down.
According to three industry executives, Amit Jatia, the vice chairman of Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt Ltd (HPRL) who has the master franchise for McDonald’s in West and South India for two decades, is the front-runner to get the rights to operate the US chain’s restaurants in the North and East as well.
In a statement, McDonald’s said it was “committed to finding the right developmental licensee partner for North & East India”.
A company spokesperson, while speaking to ET, neither denied nor confirmed any move to expand the partnership with Jatia. Ron Christianson, McDonald’s global head of corporate relations and foundational markets, would only say that the process to find a new partner was in the initial stages. An HRPL spokesperson declined to comment.