Connaught Plaza Restaurants to hire 2,000 people from underprivileged communities in next 3 yrs: MD

New Delhi: Connaught Plaza Restaurants, the licensee of McDonald’s restaurants for North and East India, plans to hire up to 2,000 people from underprivileged communities in the next three years, according to company’s Managing Director Rajeev Ranjan.

This will be part of the company’s plan to hire 5,000 people in the next three years as it aims to double store count from 170 outlets at present and enhance presence, especially in the East and North East India.

“In the next three years, we’ll be doubling our stores and that will mean we’ll be requiring about 5,000 people hiring at the entry level for running our stores. Out of that, we are working towards about 1,500 to 2,000 people to be hired from underprivileged communities through an NGO we are working with,” Ranjan told PTI in an interaction.

On the rationale behind the initiative, he said, ”Our purpose is that not everybody has the same start in life. We want to give an equal opportunity for employment to people who have not had that advantage.” Under the ‘McDonald’s for youth’ programme, the company recruits people by actively reaching out to the communities and train them with various aspects of business, including soft and hard skills, food safety, quality, hygiene, service, communication, presentation and hospitality, among others to enable them to grow further in their careers, he added.

”We genuinely want to be a player which is close to the community and then seen as a neighbour next door,” Ranjan said.

On the expansion plans, he said, ”We have 170 stores, and we are working towards doubling the number of stores in three years’ time.” The company has opened outlets in Bhubaneswar, Kolkata and Guwahati as part of its expansion programme.

”So we are making inroads into the eastern part of India and that remains our focus area, we are also working towards making our supply chain there,” he said.

When asked about the current market situation, he said, recently there has been a slowness due to high inflation, job cuts and bleak global economic outlook with consumers becoming hesitant to spend and not going ”all out”.

Ranjan, however, asserted that this blip is in the short term, and ”it is not going to be there for long”.

”In the medium term, I think in the next couple of months, it will be back to normal. India’s growth story is pretty intact. There is not so much of an impact in India compared to other developed parts of the world. Our reading is that things will be back to normal very, very soon. The QSR industry in general will be thriving again,” he asserted.

McDonald’s is present in India through two master franchisees – Sanjeev Agrawal-led MMG group for north and east India and Westlife Group led by B L Jatia for west and south.