Connect to share and comment
The land of a million chili peppers tastes a few new spices, warily.
Those low prices are a draw for customers like 17-year-old Monica Simha, a college student who was on her fourth visit in as many weeks. “We have changed the premise that an exotic cuisine comes at a premium pricing,” said Vineet Sharma, a Taco Bell senior manager.
A big hit on the menu was the free fill offer of Pepsi beverages. Many middle-class customers who could not seem to wrap their minds around the borrowed Western concept thronged the counter. Sharma said that a few people noticing the crowds came up to ask him if free food was being handed out.
The food may be Mexican and the ambiance international, but some things here are decidedly middle-class India. A couple trying to jump the line to avoid the rush was roundly told off by those waiting. Customers left the tables cluttered with leftovers and wrapping, ignoring the prominent trash bins in the corners. In a corner, an elderly couple furtively filled up an empty bottle with the free refill beverage.
But Bajpai, who sees all this as par for the course, said, “It might take a little time but India will mature to the global experience.”
Editor's note: This story was update to correct pronounciation description.