McDonald’s India Pvt Ltd (MIPL) on Thursday conducted a quality check to examine the packaging at the Connaught Plaza Restaurants Pvt. Ltd (CPRL)-run McDonald’s outlets in Delhi, said a person aware of the development, on the condition of anonymity.
CPRL is a joint venture between McDonald’s India and Vikram Bakshi, and operates 169 McDonald’s restaurants across north and east India.
The move came immediately after the Delhi high court granted permission to the company earlier in the day, to inspect and examine the packaging and cartons in which eatables are being sold.
The court was hearing a plea seeking an injunction to restrain CPRL from using McDonald’s trademark and reputation since the latter had terminated its franchise pact with CPRL last year.
“They are selling products in my name without following the worldwide standards followed by McDonald’s,” Rajiv Nayer appearing for McDonald’s had said.
Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw refused to grant an ex parte injunction in favour of McDonald’s India. “It is a running business, we cannot put a stay,” he said, during the hearing.
A representative of McDonald’s India was allowed to visit 10 McDonald’s outlets in Delhi by Thursday evening to examine and collect samples of the packaging/cartons in which products are being sold.
Asked if the company has conducted the quality check, a McDonald’s India spokesperson said, “The suit to enforce the termination of our franchise agreements with CPRL is sub judice before the Delhi high court. We have no additional comments to share outside of the court.”
On 21 August, McDonald’s India had terminated its franchise agreement with CPRL, citing non-payment of royalties as the primary reason. As a result, CPRL was supposed to cease using the McDonald’s system (which includes proprietary rights in McDonald’s names, trademarks, designs, branding, operational and marketing practice and policies, and food recipes and specifications) and its associated intellectual property from 6 September 2017.
However, Bakshi continued to operate the restaurants. Following the termination, certain McDonald’s suppliers had discontinued their services to CPRL including its logistics and packaging partners. At present, Bakshi is using generic packaging without the signature yellow “M” of McDonald’s at all outlets (from the original packaging supplier) and had recently partnered with a new logistics supplier to keep the restaurants up and running.
“We are yet to receive the court order but what is surprising is that McDonald’s needed a court order to check the packaging; our products and packagin are open to public,” said Bakshi.