McDonald’s outlets start reopening as CRPL finds new logistics partner

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New Delhi: Connaught Plaza Restaurants Pvt. Ltd (CPRL), the north and east India licencee of American fast food chain McDonald’s Corp., has partnered with a new logistics firm and has started reopening some of the 84 closed restaurants.

CRPL’s original logistics partner Radhakrishna Foodland Pvt. Ltd discontinued supply chain services to the company on 20 December, forcing it to look for a new partner.

CPRL is a joint venture between McDonald’s India (MIPL) and its estranged partner Vikram Bakshi. It operates 169 McDonald’s restaurants in north and east India.

Bakshi, managing director of CPRL, said the company is working with a “strong group in logistics space” to deliver raw material to all 84 McDonald’s restaurants (starting with the ones in north India) that were closed on Monday because of supply constraints.

By the end of 2017, all McDonald’s restaurants will be up and running, said Bakshi, without identifying the new logistics partner.

“Supplies to some of our stores are being made today; our stores will start reopening later in the day. Between today and tomorrow, about 20 outlets will be back in business and before the end of the year, we will have all our stores serving customers again,” said Bakshi.

On 20 December, Radhakrishna Foodland, which manages the distribution network of CPRL, discontinued its services, citing “reduction in volumes and uncertainty of the future” as the reasons.

The closure of the outlets came in the backdrop of an ongoing legal battle between Bakshi and McDonald’s India Pvt. Ltd. On 21 August, McDonald’s India terminated its franchise pact with CPRL.

According to the termination notice, Bakshi was supposed to cease using McDonald’s name, trademarks, designs, branding, operational and marketing practice and policies and food recipes and specifications from 6 September 2017.

This termination has been challenged by Bakshi before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for being in contempt of an earlier NCLT order, which had asked McDonald’s to refrain from interfering in the functioning of CPRL.

McDonald’s India and Bakshi landed in court in 2013, after the former voted against the re-election of Bakshi as the managing director of CPRL. Bakshi challenged his removal at the Company Law Board (now NCLT), accusing McDonald’s India of mismanagement and oppression. NCLT reinstated Bakshi as managing director in July this year.