Chocolate and Gold Coins

Friday, August 26, 2005

Mexican and Indian Fast Food

Ravikiran Rao, (who writes an interesting blog – at least until Aug 11), has written many interesting comments on my blog recently. Here is one that deserves more comment:

[It] occurred to me that it might be interesting to study the evolution of Indian food in the US with Mexican food in the US..

Specifically, if we can answer
1) When was Mexican food introduced?
2) Were the restaurants started by immigrants?
3) Were they first patronised by immigrants?
4) When did restaurant chains like Taco Bell start? Who started them? First-gen immigrants? Second-gen immigrants? Non-Mexicans who wanted to cash in on the popularity of Mexican food?
5) Who are the ones innovating there? Small restaurants? Big chains? Or the former introduce and the latter popularise?
6) What sort of innovations? Did they just get recipes over from Mexico or did they come up with innovations uniquely suited to Americans' palate?

A comparison of the trajectories the two cuisines are taking would tell us a lot about the cultural differences between the two ethnicities. We Indians may also learn something about ourselves...

Those are good questions and while I am not completely qualified to answer them, I know roughly what the answers are:

The Hispanic population in the U.S. has always been here, especially in Southwest. By “here” I mean in the area that is currently the U.S. Keep in mind that the U.S. took a major chunk of Mexico after the Mexican American war in 1848. Yes, many Hispanics have since immigrated to the U.S., but I believe that there is probably not a great difference in the traditional cuisine of Mexico and of the Hispanics in the Southwestern U.S. This cuisine was based on corn tortillas (tortillas are like chapatti) and mashed beans and meats (beef and pork). The taco (a fried corn tortilla shaped like a “U” and filled with meat) is probably a genuine Mexican food from centuries ago.

I am sure that there were mom and pop Mexican restaurants in the U.S. Southwest for at least a century and the clientele was mostly the Hispanic population. By the 1950’s many of the Anglo population in Southern California had occasionally tried Mexican food.

Mexican fast food was not created by Hispanics. It was created by Anglos. Taco Bell was probably the first really successful Mexican fast-food chain and it was started by Glen Bell (hence the name) in 1964. There is actually an excellent history of Taco Bell at their website. Apparently Glen Bell was quite the entrepreneur. He started with essentially nothing, and he created not just Taco Bell but also Der Wienersnitzel, which was once a major hot dog chain.

Taco Bell was never particularly authentic Mexican food. I doubt if Glen Bell really cared if Hispanics thought it was authentic or not. He was producing fast food and this really restricted what he could do. Taco Bell has never served vegetables, for example, which makes it rather uninteresting food for me. Critics joke that Taco Bell is always taking their five basic ingredients and combining in different ways to seem like different food. But there is something there. They really have innovated – given the fact that they are stuck with the five basic ingredients. And Taco Bell cuisine is getting less and less related to ordinary Mexican cuisine. But when I live in the Southwest, I will say that Hispanics really did seem to like Taco Bell food.

The Taco Bell formula I think is roughly this:
  1. Keep the menu simple

  2. Mass produce most of the food in central factories

  3. Keep people from getting bored with the food by introducing minor innovations

  4. It pays to advertise


Could this formula work for Indian food. I don’t see why not. But then why hasn’t someone done exactly this? Maybe more surprising, why hasn’t a successful Chinese fast food chain emerged? There could be several explanations:
  1. The major fast food chains, for some reason, don’t know how to translate their fast food formula for other types of cuisine

  2. Indian and Chinese restaurants are already numerous and very competitive so margins are very low. There really isn’t a lot of profit to be made by introducing Indian and Chinese fast food

  3. Indian and Chinese food is served very promptly, so again there is not much scope for fast food to provide a new niche in the market

  4. Indian and Chinese fast food is like a billion dollar bill left in the street that everyone passes and says, “It cannot be genuine, for if it were, someone would have picked it up by now.”


I think there might be truth in all of these possibilities. It could be that Chinese food is hard to produce in a fast food manner because it must be reasonable fresh. I find that if I reheat Chinese food, it doesn’t taste any good. That’s not true of Indian food and Indian food works really well in the buffet style and the food can sit around for a while and still be very good. Dal can stay good for hours if kept heated. It might be that Indian food is a good candidate for fast food, but maybe it just hasn’t been done yet in the U.S.

I don’t know about India but I am guessing that India hasn’t formed major fast food chains like McDonalds and Taco Bell yet. This might simply be because it isn’t as easy as it might look to unlock the power of economies of scale. You have to know how to advertise effectively. You have to know how to really get the cost down to rock bottom and maintain consistent quality. You have to know how to recruit and train a small army of low wage workers who can produce a consistant quality product. Fast food is really not restaurant food, it is manufactured food delivered to restaurant-like places. It requires a different body of knowledge than the average restaurateur knows.

So does anyone else have a good idea why there isn’t Indian fast food?

54 Comments:

  • I don’t know about India but I am guessing that India hasn’t formed major fast food chains like McDonalds and Taco Bell yet.

    Actually, there are a few chains popping up. MTR (the legendary B'lore restaurant) has started a chain of fast food restaurants (that dot Bangalore, and are moving in to other cities, especially in the South), and have a great "brand name" to bank upon already. Bangalore also has another chain, "Adigas" (there must be at least 25-30 outlets), and they too are now moving to other cities. These chains are "south indian snacks" (idli, vada, dosa etc) type or "chaat" types.

    I'm willing to put good money down to bet that in a few years, there will be a few major chains across the country. The process is well on its way.

    And, McDonalds in India is completely different from the usual MDs in the states. They serve paneer burgers and "aloo mctikki's" and such like in India. Talk about innovation.

    By Blogger Sunil, at 5:53 PM  

  • Fast food is essentially food that you get fast. This is many times prepared food, or food that is half ready so that it can be prepared quickly. As you yourself say, Indian food can and is prepared early on (in the buffet style) to serve you fast. Also there are some places which do offer you some combo meal kind of things which may be classified as Fast Food.
    So the question would then be - 'Why there arent any Indian Fast Food chains?'.
    This is an entirely different question. First of all Indian food is not as popular as Mexican or Chinese Food.
    2nd. Another aspect of Fast food, though maybe not as prominent is that it should be easy to eat or take out. Most Indian food consists of a set of different items which .. for example you cant really eat while driving.
    3rd. I believe in the UK some small chains are springing up which do offer what we are talking about.

    By Anonymous anya, at 5:56 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Chandan, at 2:10 AM  

  • Hey interesting insights there. And you bet its a billion dollar bill lying around waiting to be picked up. Hmmm and one important thing is, Indian food is so diverse and is yet to be discovered. It is scattered accross country and is to be unified and is being done at a slower pace. And anya you are right, most Indian food consist of different items which is difficult to carry around. But ?? I strongly belive, complicated and complex the things are, more interesting it becomes. It depends on how v deliver and advertise the product

    By Blogger Chandan, at 2:15 AM  

  • Interesting. So Taco Bell was started by a non-Hispanic. It occurs to me that in the question: "Why isn't there an Indian Fast food chain?" The factor that needs explanation is not "fast-food", but "chain".

    Indian fast-food is available in India. Fast-food restaurants are quite popular. I am sure it will take very little effort to convert a Masala Dosa into a wrap that can be taken out, so I think Anya's objection goes out of the window. (He is probably thinking of only those items that are currently available in the US)

    So I think I will discard any explanation that relies on the intrinsic nature of Indian food. I think the real barrier is the difficulty in making the transition from Mom-and-Pop stores to the franchising model. That is a difficult cultural leap - from a situation where you have complete control over your business to another where you have to rely on someone else to run your shops for you, and where you have to rely on a 100 page contract to ensure quality. I rather suspect that first-gen immigrants will find it impossible to make the transition... In India, I suspect it is a lot more difficult, because contract enforcement is much weaker. I am guessing that most of the chains Sunil mentions (I can think of one more - Saravana Bhavans) either don't use franchising, or if they do, keep their franchisees within their caste or community. Either way, it would be a limiting factor on the growth of the franchise. (Everything comes back to your India-US-Finland post Michael!)

    So I predict that if at all an Indian fast-food chain gets started by an Indian in the US, the franchises will be almost exclusively run by his caste-brethren.

    By Anonymous Ravikiran, at 4:49 AM  

  • Michael,
    I think the ultimate yardstick for selling fast-food in the US is - can I buy it through a drive through and eat it in the car? By that metric, a lot of Indian fast-foods fail...masala dosas maybe...but none of the other chaat-type foods / vada with sambar etc lend themselves to being eaten on the go. This is why I think they will never take off on a Taco-Bell scale. I live in Europe now, and have never seen a drive-through here...it is a very American concept, and to succeed in the US, you need to play by the drive-thru rules, IMO.

    By Blogger venkat, at 6:14 AM  

  • So I predict that if at all an Indian fast-food chain gets started by an Indian in the US, the franchises will be almost exclusively run by his caste-brethren.

    May be true......but there's plenty of people of any given community in India even if they adopt this model.....(like Saravana Bhavan, or MTR etc). Any way, the employment it generates etc is not based on community factors....

    It's just a matter of time for Indian fast food chains to grow. And McD's and others, who are present in India and have adapted to an Indian taste.

    But, at least in the States, it's going to be difficult for Indian food to break into the fast food market. Most people associate Indian food with a large spread, or even buffet (buffets in Indian restaurants are very popular)...but not take out. Still.....there are possibilities.

    By Blogger Sunil, at 10:40 AM  

  • Hi Sunil, Ravikiran, Anya, Chandan and venkat

    General comment: I think both the chapatti and the dosa offer the opportunity for the "wrap" style fast food. You could even use roti and perhaps naan, but chapatti would be ideal. There are restaurants in the U.S. (Chipotle and Taco Bell) which specialize in putting rice, beans, and meat, and cheese in a flour tortilla. There isn't a big difference between a flour tortilla and a chapatti (except chapatti tastes better).

    I guess that I'm not too surprised that there are a few chains growing across India. It bound to happen. There is a lot to learn about making successful chains. Often times, it is very hard to control quality. I suspect that is why Starbucks refused to franchise.

    Sunil: I'm sure you're right and the process is on its way. It may be that when McD went into India, that was the catalyst to convince some people to really think about forming large chains and getting the benefits of the scale economies.

    Anya: I think that you're right and that is one reason why I mentioned Chinese food. It is very popular and there are no real famous national Chinese fast food chains. But I don't think chinese lends itself to fast food so well.

    Chandan: It think this is a very important point: there is a whole universe of Indian food that is very good and most people in the U.S. have never tried. People are tired of the same old burger, burrito, pizza, sandwich. They would like some new food.

    Ravikiran: Yes, there is a world of difference between the mom and pop restaurant or pav bhaji stand and a real chain. There are several dimensions on new skills to learn: media, factory production, quality control. McD and Taco Bell and some others know how to do this, but oddly, they have been reluctact to branch out into new cuisines.

    Venkat: I think with some minor modifications, you could make Indian style fast food something you could eat in your car. Indian food has some very interesting parallels to Mexican food. But it is interesting that Taco Bell won't touch vegetables. I wonder why? It would be very hard to make any decent Indian food with vegetables.

    Sunil: Yes, the buffet is kind of like fast food. It is fast, it is reasonably inexpensive. But there is one curious thing about the buffet: it's a bad deal for thin people. If you don't eat a lot you are better off going to Taco Bell. I think that buffets tend to attract overweight people, and you lose a lot of business of non overweight people. Interesting.

    By Blogger Michael Higgins, at 12:14 PM  

  • Octavio Paz had a couple of comments re food in that great book, In Light of India. Think chillies came to India from Mexico?

    By Anonymous Prashant Kothari, at 11:03 PM  

  • Ravikiran is partly correct that these chains might come up a generation later but first the food has to get established. Most non-Indians I have met here have never tried Indian food. Its just as simple as that. For a certain type of food to take off it needs a captive market.

    Now, Italian food must have been as foreign as Indian food is to people here now. The reasons are that the world was less multicultural and even the Irish and the Italians were considered different 'races'. Those were the times! But the Italian food shops had a captive market of a large Italian immigrant population that culturally went out to eat. This reminds me of the food colum written by Vir Sanghvi in the Hindustan Times. He said that Indian food will never become a cuisine because Indians don't have the tendency to go out a lot for food and if they do they will never order 'home food' (dal, vegetarian fare etc) and instead go for tandoori, muglai etc. This he contrasted with the Thais who make it a point to go out every week. When he says this, he is not talking about a few neo-rich techies or the upper/middle class but most people in Thailand.

    So Indian food doesn't have a captive market to build a base on. Then Mexican/South American food is in itself s combination of pre-existing Amerindian food as well as those of the conquerors/colonisers. To add to that it has been further diluted and Americanised/Europeanised to become Tex-Mex food. No self-respecting Mexican would call Tex-Mex Mexican food. I have seen a quite a number of Italians complain that the 'Italian' food in the US is not that Italian. But all these had a European element from the beginning (an example is the preponderance of cheese). Moving to a Chinese/Indian taste would be slower (especially in the hinterlands).

    So what might be in store for Indian food in the US? I will say dilution away from its origins, slow adoption (unless a huge wave of immigration is allowed which seems to be having even lesser possibility) and perhaps no chance of a specifically 'Indian' chain.

    yum yum

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:35 AM  

  • Hi Prashant and Yum Yum
    Prashant: I have been reading your new group Indian Economy blog, (just click on his name to get there).

    There are a lot of interesting parallels between Indian and Mexican food. I am sure that there was a bit of borrowing each way, but I wonder how?

    Yum Yum: I think Indian food is catching on here in the U.S. It certainly isn't as popular as Mexican, Italian, or Chinese. But the whole restaurant market here is so huge, there probably is room for Indian fast food. But it might take a lot of skill to make it an Indian fast food formula workable.

    By Blogger Michael Higgins, at 12:19 PM  

  • Michael,

    Yeah, it would be nice if we had a few Indian fast-food chains. The only one that I have come across is Hot Breads -- they serve Indian-style baked goods and cakes. According to their website (www.hotbreads.net), it was started in south India and now has several franchises in the US. If you like stuffed croissants and good black-forest cake, I believe there is one in the DC area.

    Now if only there was an Indian fast-food restaurant that served rumali-roti and kabab wraps...

    By Anonymous iu, at 2:29 PM  

  • Hi IU
    I never heard of this place but it sounds interesting. Croissants and Cakes don't sound like Indian food, but maybe they're innovating.

    By Blogger Michael Higgins, at 6:28 PM  

  • I am thinking that you don't yet have an Indian Fast food chain in India because of the nature of Indian food. Indian food is generally spicier and "gravier" than US tastes, and might not be liked across the board. I do know that a lot of the westerners like spicy food, but not all, and a chain might not be good economics - a few pockets here and there might have enough people who like the food thereofre giving you volume, but not across the country.

    By Blogger Ravages, at 7:14 AM  

  • Just read Ravikiran's comment:
    Saravana Bhavan is by far the most popular chain in South India (besides its presence in UAE, UK, Singapore and two restaurants in California)

    They have a simple formula, cook the major stuff (rice, sambhar, curies, the batter for dosas and idlys) in a central kitchen, ship it out to the outlets which will heat it and serve. And they are all exclusively run by his own employees. No franchisees yet. Except in the UAE.

    I don't have much detail about the california place yet, but i have heard tyalk saying it was started off by a desi who missed the food and got in touch with the people here and asked them if he can replicate the model...

    Chandrachoodan

    By Blogger Ravages, at 7:20 AM  

  • Sorry, my first comment ought to read:
    I am thinking that you don't yet have an Indian Fast food chain in the US

    By Blogger Ravages, at 7:25 AM  

  • Hi Chandrachoodan
    You wrote that Saravana Bhavan, they produce much of the food in a central kitchen and distribute it to the restaurants. This is how I thought you would do it, it takes advantage of the economies of scale. But it also requires that you have 6 to 10 restaurants or more to operate at an efficient level. Since there are only about 12 Indian restaurants in the whole D.C. area, it would be brave to increase that number by 50 percent or more by adding just one restaurant chain. The market for Indian food may not be big enough yet.

    By Blogger Michael Higgins, at 2:00 PM  

  • Unbelievable - not one person has mentioned Haldiram's as a fast food chain. At least in Delhi, there are at least 7 outlets of Haldirams - big 2/3-storey places, where you get all the usual, the Paani Poori, the Aloo Tikki e.t.c. That is Indian fast food, and it's served on every street corner. Sure the chains are lacking, but being the free-market fundamentalist that I am, I blame this on the stupid Socialist laws of India. I'm sure there is something which prevented chain restaurants - and even chain stores for that matter from coming up in India (though of course, there are some brave souls which have ventured forth in recent times). All that's needed is the Haldiram type thing to be transplanted into the USA and Voila! We have Indian fast food.

    By Blogger phucker, at 6:19 AM  

  • Hi TTG
    Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    It would be nice if Haldiram opened some franchises here in D.C. I'm sure they would be a hit. People here are tired of the same-old same-old.

    By Blogger Michael Higgins, at 5:45 PM  

  • Thought you would like this. cash

    By Blogger Mike, at 6:14 PM  

  • Amazing discussion! I strongly believe in the concept of "See a need, fill a need", and was quite convinced about the Indian fast food chain 'billion dollar bill', waiting to be picked up. So convinced, that I was actually googling the same, when I stumbled upon your blog. Ammmmazing...!!! (can't stop saying it :).

    I'm of the opinion that, with the right team, plan, supposedly around 2,000,000 indians in the U.S., and many many more interested in the Indian cuisine, it is very do'able. So, Mike and others (nice comments guys!)...if any of you are seriously considering picking up this bill, even if just to check it out, do look me up!

    By the way, I'm an Indian, working in the U.S. and currently researching the fast food chain prospect. Hoping to get it started someday. Even considering working on this idea as a B-School project someday. It might take years to setup, but looking forward to it, nevertheless!

    By Blogger Nemo, at 4:50 PM  

  • good site

    By Anonymous fitness, at 5:02 AM  

  • Iam looking into the FF Indian. There's a need and I'm ready to strat the process. Where are all my chef's??

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:59 PM  

  • Hi there !

    I am looking for fresh ideas and perspectives on what one would expect(in the menu) in an Indian fast food restaurant.I am researching this fantastic idea and all viewpoints would be very welcome.

    Cheers

    Noregrets.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:28 PM  

  • I think one of the things holding back the start of an Indian fast food chain, is that Indian food isn't very popular in the US. The food tends to be spicy, somewhat exotic, and doesn't appeal to the majority of the people. I believe that a fast food restaurant should not just be fast, but also served mainstream, Americanized food. For example, look at Taco Bell...you cannot tell me that it's "authentic" Mexican style food!

    I think that an Indian fast food chain would be a good idea, because it would bring variety to the fast food industry, plus it would introduce the concept of Indian food to many Americans who haven't yet tried it. It would have to be "watered-down," mild-spiced Indian food in order to appeal to a wide group of people, including small children who might find authentic Indian cuisine to be way too spicy. One could easily convert Indian foods into an American-friendly side item. For example, serve a slightly crunchier version of Nahn bread in wedge slices. Perhaps include some spicy(but not too spicy) dipping sauce. This idea might also work for Samosas, since they are fried and can easily be eaten with hands. Maybe also include little side orders, such as rice with curry. Make the curry in 3 flavors--beef, chicken, and bean(lentils, chickpeas, or both?). But not ALL fast food has to be easily eaten with hands...for example, look at Boston Market! They could also feature wrap-type sandwiches containing rice and curry. Most(if not all) of their food requires plate, fork, and knife. So an Indian fast food place could serve side dishes and soups, too. Whereas Taco Bell offers a choice of mild, hot, or fire sauces, an Indian fast food place could offer a choice of mild red sauce, hot red sauce, and green sauce. A shaker of saffron would be offered at the tables with salt and pepper shakers.

    Another good idea would be to have childrens' meals, similar to McDonald's Happy Meal. The childrens' meals could come in a little box with Indian-inspired designs. Mendi-inspired fake tattoos and stuff could be just some of the toys that come with the childrens' meals.

    It is definitely an idea...America just has to be willing to give it a chance. There are many Americans who have never tried Indian food, but are turned off by the curry smell or the fact that it is "unknown" to them. I think Indian fast food could really show Americans that Indian food is actually quite delicious.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:47 AM  

  • Well friends
    I have already started the process of building an Indian fast food chain in the US starting with the west coast. I have researched the market and the models to narrow down to the best. As we see, this cannot be a typical indian style menu but has to be a fusion menu. I would love to get all your inputs to fine tune the model. If you need to contact me...deepan7777@yahoo.com is my direct email

    By Anonymous aj, at 9:24 PM  

  • I live in Dallas which has an unbelievable Indian population. There are some fantastic Indian restaurants around as well as some good Indian grocery stores, but what I want is something I can just pick up and take home, or even just grab for lunch and bring it back to my desk at work.

    I work in an office building that is attached to an upscale mall. About half the time, we wander to the mall for lunch, and there's all the usual food court venues, but what surprises me is that, given that about a third of the office building's work force is Indian, there is no Indian restaurant.

    I don't see why there couldn't be some sort of quasi-fast food, not-quite-sit-down Indian restaurant chain. Daphne's, a Greek restaurant styled in this way, was moderately successful in Southern California (before Im oved to Dallas).

    Anyways, I DEFINITELY see the need and I'm surprised it hasn't caught on yet. I look forward to one day seeing (or better yet, tasting) the fruit of your labour and being able to grab some curry to go. Huh--"Curry to Go", "Curry a F(l)avour", "Curry Hurry"... some interesting name ideas rolling around in my head at 3am.

    Good luck!

    By Blogger Tom, at 3:37 AM  

  • Very interesting...you might like to post a link in your bloglist to http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com.

    You'll find great information about Mexican food and its counterpart, Tex-Mex food in the USA.

    Mexico Cooks! is loaded with goodies, you'll like it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:08 AM  

  • The finest in INDIAN FAST FOOD is coming soon!! NaanKebabz (Kebabs with a "Z" for zing.) is now in Norwood New Jersey. The concept of best of the Naans (bread) and Kebabz (Chicken, Lamb,seekh,fish) and the best Indian curries (chicken, Goat, Keema) and veg dishes (gobi aloo, saag (spinach), chickpeas) with samosas, in a FAST FOOD setting is unique. All kebabz are served with veg rice, naan,salad and mint sauce. All curries come with rice, naan and salads. The Food is great and prices are very reasonable. www.naankebabz.com

    By Blogger naankebabz, at 7:11 AM  

  • The finest in INDIAN FAST FOOD is coming soon!! NaanKebabz (Kebabs with a "Z" for zing.) is now in Norwood New Jersey. The concept of best of the Naans (bread) and Kebabz (Chicken, Lamb,seekh,fish) and the best Indian curries (chicken, Goat, Keema) and veg dishes (gobi aloo, saag (spinach), chickpeas) with samosas, in a FAST FOOD setting is unique. All kebabz are served with veg rice, naan,salad and mint sauce. All curries come with rice, naan and salads. The Food is great and prices are very reasonable. www.naankebabz.com

    By Blogger naankebabz, at 7:12 AM  

  • I also have a post about Mexican Indian food at my blog http://www.alexheaton.com/2007/08/test-it.html

    Have you heard of Tandoori Doritos? I have the commercial at http://www.alexheaton.com/2007/08/test-it.html

    By Blogger Alex Heaton, at 11:15 PM  

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    By Blogger naankebabz, at 8:00 AM  

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    By Blogger naankebabz, at 8:03 AM  

  • I love this blog, because I have been working for the last 6 months, on a fast food Indian restaurant business to eventually lead to a franchise system. I have broken the business plan to several steps, & I see only one real challenge. This is to beat the concept of "People like what they know, they eat what they know & they know what they like & they eat what they like". People may go to restaurants to try different stuff but in the fast food arena, people like the normal stuff. So how do you change people's eating habits??
    In the next few weeks I'm going to be doing taste tests using 10 combination meals with 10 different tasters (simple palettes only). I haven't figured out which meals to use so I welcome suggestions. I am looking for those meals that a westerner would love at first taste. Any ideas?

    By Anonymous Geevan, at 7:07 PM  

  • Hi everybody!!!

    After reading the comments, one thing is sure that the indian fastfood has to be a fusion of indian taste, spices, gravies with indian and western ingredients also.
    I am currently living in London and have not seen any branded Indian fastfood chain except for Donner and Kabab and south indian restaurants. But none of them are fastfood except tiffinbites(which is quite expensive com[ared to donner kabab).
    According to me indian FF are not only in shortage in US but also in UK. I am currently working on a business idea to start a Indian FF in Central London. I have seen central london life. People are always in hurry and dont spend much time on food. They usually buy sandwitches, rolls, some chinese stuff.
    Indian meal basically comprises of atleast 2 things eg. Dal-roti, Dal-rice, roti-subzi etc. We need to make it one like rajma curry with rice, topped with some salad.
    We can make chiken tikka rolls filled with some salad. I have some ideas about recipes as I myself know how to cook this and still working on how to develop more items.
    We should also not forget that the western food is biased towards non-vegetarian stuff and thus we need to develop a lot of non-veg and egg based recipes on the menu. But at the same time we need to develop their vegetarian taste as westerners dont know how to make vegetables tasty. Vegetables could include capsicum, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, peas, broccoli etc. Either we need to mix vegetables with meat or may be single.
    The ingredients have to be standardised accross all the franchise outlets. Like cooked chicken tikka which just needs to be defrosted before putting in the wrap. Wraps can be white or whole meal or best of both wrap. Chappatis can be sold by stuffing meat or veg in them and can be used for wraping some salad and salad sauce.
    Footlongs can be used to make some stuffings.
    I have disclosed a lot of ideas that can be included in the menu. I have many more ideas which I have developed after 3months of survey and plan to do this survey for another 2 more months.
    If anybody is interested in Indian Fast food chains in central london then contact at k.bhavneet@gmail.com.
    Thanks and would be very happy to receive your feedback.

    By Blogger bhavneet, at 5:02 PM  

  • Indian Fast Food is here in North America.

    Rasoee - The Indian Kitchen is a Canadian Franchise looking to expand in North America (2 Locations in the Greater Toronto Area at the moment).

    For more information go to www.rasoee.com or email dleblanc@rasoee.com

    By Blogger dleblanc, at 1:25 PM  

  • What about bunny chow? It's kind-of an Indian-South-African fast food that consists a scooped-out loaf of (french) bread filled with curry and capped with the scooped out bread.

    By Blogger The Cynic, at 2:37 AM  

  • There does exist a Chinese fast food chain: Manchu Wok.

    By Blogger The Cynic, at 3:07 AM  

  • Hi...there is an Indian Fast Food joint in North Wales, PA...close to Montgomery Mall in Lansdale area. It is called "Hot Breads" and is a franchise of the hotbreads based out of India.

    They serve Indian fast food from Kathi roll, Vada pav to Indian fusion food such as Chicken Tikka Panini or Paneer wrap. They also have a large selection of pasteries such as blackforest, crossaints and not to forget delicious south Indian food. You should try their Dosa.

    This place is your answer to Indian fast food in Philadelphia area.

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  • Indian food tends to combine inexpensive ingredients with labor-intensive preparation that makes it too expensive to compete in the US fastfood marketplace. To fix this, preparation must be mechanised and rationalized. This is how McDonalds figured out how to sell hamburgers, fries and shakes at half of prevailing prices.

    El Pollo Loco's sides have never impressed me but I love their chicken. Lately I've been making naan, dal, a couple tarkaris, raita, chutney and a sweet, then buying EPL chicken to make a pretty nice meal for $3/person out of pocket. Why not commercialize this? EPL isn't exactly tandoori but it works.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:20 PM  

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    By Blogger Shopping Blog, at 11:52 PM  

  • i agree with Sunil.... I haven't yet seen McDonalds in India

    By Anonymous kitchen apron, at 10:27 PM  

  • Good Information. Thank you for sharing and I want to share information about Tandoori Chef which is An authentic North Indian, fine dining restaurant, Tandoori Chef offers Hackensack and the surrounding area a wonderful taste of Indian cuisine.

    By Anonymous Davis, at 1:57 AM  

  • Good Information. Thank you for sharing and I want to share information about Tandoori Chef which is An authentic North Indian, fine dining restaurant, Tandoori Chef offers Hackensack and the surrounding area a wonderful taste of Indian cuisine.

    By Anonymous John, at 1:44 AM  

  • Good Information. Thank you for sharing and I want to share information about Madras Bistro which provides our guests with an authentic North and South Indian vegetarian dining experience. We are located in Hackensack, New Jersey and serve a wide selection of dishes representing the tastes of India.

    By Anonymous Davis, at 4:56 AM  

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    By Anonymous Davis, at 11:57 PM  

  • Good Information. Thank you for sharing and I want to share information about Tandoori Chef2 which is An authentic North Indian, fine dining restaurant. Tandoori Chef offers Maplewood and the surrounding area a wonderful taste of Indian cuisine.

    By Anonymous Davis, at 1:16 AM  

  • Nice Information. Thank you for sharing and I want to share information about Tandoori Dragon, a Indian-Chinese Cuisine in Hackensack, Paramus, Saddle Brook and Maywood NJ, realizes the growing popularity of Indian Chinese cuisine.

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