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When Burger King brings its doors to India for the first time next month, customers will be asking one question: Where’s the beef?
The answer: there is none.
Burger King India diners will be the first in the world to sample the newest Whopper offerings from the second-largest burger chain in the world (Mcdonald's is the largest), consisting of a Chicken Whopper, a Vegetable Whopper, and a Mutton Whopper, according to The Wall Street Journal India.
In an effort to respect the religious practices of the Hindus and Muslims that make up most of the country’s population, Burger King has opted to drop beef and pork from its menu in India. However, the news did not go over well after Burger King India announced the news on their official Facebook page.
“Whopper as chicken is unacceptable,” one Facebook user wrote on the page. “That sir is not a Whopper. It looks more like a chicken sandwich trying to be cool.”
Despite the backlash from fast-food lovers in India, the fast-food chain seems generally unfazed by the criticism.
Burger King plans on opening 12 outlets in India over the next two to three months, with six in Delhi and six in Mumbai, according to a report from Live Mint. The brand will open the flagship location in the capital within the month in a popular mall in South Delhi, and has been eyeing additional locations in Pune, Chennai and Bangalore.
Burger King enters the Indian fast food market behind Fatburger Inc., and almost 20 years after McDonalds, which offers a potato-based burger called the McAloo Tikki burger, as well as their beef-free take on the Big Mac called the Maharaja Mac. Other fast food chains such as Dominos and Subway have tailored their menus in India to serve mostly spicier and more vegetarian-friendly options.
Burger King currently has 1,100 restaurants in the Asia Pacific region, ranking as their smallest market. The U.S. and Canada continue to be the largest, with more than 7,400 restaurants out of the 13,667 total worldwide.