World’s first vegetarian McDonald’s

Posted at 10:45 AM, Sep 05, 2012
and last updated 2012-09-05 10:49:25-04

(CNN) – For the first time ever McDonald’s will open outlets serving all-vegetarian menus at two of India’s most-visited pilgrimage sites.

McDonald’s plans to open near the Golden Temple in Amritsar by mid-2013. The second vegetarian Mickey-D’s will be in the small town of Katra in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Golden Temple is a holy site for Sikhs and hosts thousands of visitors per day from around the world. Katra also entertains large crouds. They welcome around 8 million pilgrims a year en route to the Hindu shrine.

Both pilgrimage districts are entirely vegetarian. McDonald’s has been in India since 1996, but hasn’t been able to push its core product — beef burgers — in a country where cows are sacred for Hindus. Hindus make up roughly 80% of the population in these areas.

The signature items to be served on McDonald’s all-vegetarian menu include the McAloo Tikki burger made from spiced potatoes. There will also be a  McVeggie, using a patty of carrots, peas and potatoes, and the McSpicy Paneer filled with Indian cheese.