Indian fast food restaurant holding company Westlife Development is reportedly planning to open 25-30 new McDonald’s units in 2021-2022.

Owned by Westlife, Hardcastle Restaurants is the master franchisee of McDonald’s restaurants for western and southern India.

The company expects its business to return to pre-Covid-19 levels from next quarter. It will open three new stores this quarter with plans to add 25-40 units every year from the next fiscal year.

Approximately 60% of the new stores are scheduled to be launched in six major cities, which are Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad, while the rest are being planned in smaller towns.

Westlife Development vice-chairman Amit Jatia said: “If the momentum of consumer confidence continues, we will achieve, and hopefully, exceed pre-Covid-19 levels in the next two-three months.”

Jatia also said that the company will continue to expand in the coming quarters through the in-store business while convenience channels will remain in place.

Jatia added: “Convenience channels are here to stay. For occasional use for the restaurants, where people used to come for hangouts and celebrate, this was not being met and that need is coming back. It would not take away business from the convenience channels.”

According to Jatia, the company almost reached pre-Covid-19 numbers in December last year.

Hardcastle Restaurants reported 85% of the pre-Covid-19 level in-store business during the same period.

Westlife currently runs 304 McDonald’s stores across 42 cities in the western and southern India.

Last April, McDonald’s launched a unique work from home (WFH) policy for its restaurant management team and frontline crew amid Covid-19.

In January last year, McDonald’s entered a partnership with Zomato for food delivery in the northern and eastern regions of India.