Dear McDonald’s, make me your franchisee in North India. Hear me out.

Dear McDonald’s,

It has not been an easy year in North and East India for you. You had to end your agreement with your franchisee there, because the guy you had a licensing agreement would not pay you, among other things. He even filed criminal charges against you that meant that, until recently, your employees could have had to face questioning by the police if they flew down to New Delhi from Illinois to negotiate.

I feel for you guys — not only have all of your stores been shut down, you now have to completely restart your business in a market where your competitors are inching their way up. You have to start from scratch, zero, square one.

And that is precisely where I come in. Your hunt for a new franchisee begins, and I have a somewhat unconventional suggestion: me.

A personal stake

I’ll have to admit, McDonald’s, that I am still a bit raw about you ignoring my request to release the famed szechuan sauce from Rick & Morty in India. But that was a limited run even in the US, and the company that ignored me was a franchisee. I assure you that this is all water under the bridge. I’m willing to let bygones be bygones.

As it so happens, I am a huge fan of McDonald’s — I even have a very specific (and significantly large) order that I have committed to memory, which sometimes your cashiers have a hard time keeping up with. In the interest of brevity, I will not reproduce this order here; rather, it is included below as an annexure.

I intend on working as a journalist in New Delhi. I currently live in Pune, where McDonald’s is not just open, but successful. In West & South India, McDonald’s is the place to go to for a quality fast-food dining experience. When I move to New Delhi, I may no longer have access to this experience.

As a result, I now have an urgent and personal stake in making sure that the McDonald’s brand survives in North India.

Work-work balance and funding

Now, I know what you’re thinking: how is this journalist going to balance time between his usual work of filing stories on a deadline, and managing the largest fast-food brand in the world in half of the world’s second-most populous country? And more importantly, where’s the money going to come from?

Both are very fair questions.

On the first, I’d like to say ho jayega boss. I didn’t get this far in life without balancing different tasks. Do you know what it’s like to juggle three assignments on a midnight deadline while also having a class in the following morning? How about creating a résumé? These are real-life challenges that I have conquered. Reviving a hitherto mismanaged business is nothing.

On funding, I would like to point out that although your previous franchisee had a lot of money, he failed to make the Peri Peri spice mix available during summers. This franchisee let the weather outside their restaurants shape their inventory, oblivious to the fact that human mouths are well-shielded from nature’s vagaries — and temperatures — inside your air-conditioned restaurants.

You can trust me to not make this mistake. You can also trust me when I say that I will reform the uniforms of McDonald’s employees. Green and white stripes? What was this franchisee thinking? Are these employees fast-food workers or toothpaste salespeople? These people deserve some dignity, for the love of all that’s holy. And I can give it to them.

A final note

Now, I understand that I haven’t really explained a business strategy here, or indeed, where I will source funding from to run said business. You may brush me off thinking that I am just a young teenager unhealthily lashing out about his favourite fast-food restaurant slowly slipping out of his reach. You would be right, but that’s beside the point.

I repeat my request: please make me your franchisee partner for North & East India. I may have been able to put up with the lack of Peri Peri in my fries, but I cannot make do without the restaurants that surround it.

Best regards,

Aroon Deep

Annexure — My McDonald’s Order

1 Large McSpicy Burger Meal
— No ice
— Fanta instead of Coke
— No lettuce in the burger
— A slice of cheese on the burger (two on days when I’m feeling vulnerable)
— Peri Peri spice mix for the fries (very important)

1 Six piece nuggets
— Mustard (or one day, perhaps, Szechuan Sauce)

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