There was never a day that any of us could imagine that fast food giant McDonald’s would trade in their signature Big Mac for veggie patties.
Oddly enough, the day is arriving sooner than we ever expected. And they just might be making fast food-chain history by doing so. Such is the case for their recently released plans to open their first vegetarian-only location in India early next year.
The non-meat restaurant will open in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar — a pilgrimage site near the Golden Temple. Already growing in the Indian market with 271 restaurants featuring a menu consisting of only 50 percent meat (chicken), with a Muslim population that does not eat pork and a Hindu population that doesn’t eat beef, the custom menu will cater to the needs of their new target.
What changes will be made to adjust to the growing needs of U.S. fast-food enthusiasts? Should McDonald’s also offer a vegetarian menu stateside that calls for healthier options without the sticker price of a trip to Whole Foods? Outside of the parfait, oatmeal and side salad, eating healthy on a fast food diet is near to impossible.
With over 15 million Americans living a vegetarian lifestyle, could the restaurateur potentially tap into a new market that might appreciate a leaner and less chemically-processed menu offering?
Often the scapegoat for rising obesity rates, unhealthy eating in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities and diabetes in children, McDonald’s has been doing much in recent years to change their image and make people feel better about eating their subpar food. They’ve even declared that each restaurant will post caloric count of menu items to help customers make healthier choices.
As a staple in many American diets, holding McDonald’s accountable for the food they serve might be a necessary evil for customers who have yet to ditch the brand for greener pastures. If McDonald’s does decide to adopt a vegetarian menu in America, would you actually be convinced to order?