Fast Food

KFC Could Be Set to Open a Vegetarian Location in India’s Holy City of Ayodhya

Officials in the Indian city of Ayodhya have said they are prepared to grant KFC permission to open a fully vegetarian location.

Ayodhya is considered a holy city, with ties to religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Consequently, the sale of meat and alcohol is banned within the city’s Panch Kosi Parikrama (a 15-kilometre pilgrimage route), in line with religious beliefs. This means that KFC has been prevented from opening a location in the area to date.

However, tourism is on the increase in Ayodhya following the opening of the new Ram Mandir temple last month. As a result, officials are welcoming major fast food chains into the city — as long as they serve fully vegetarian menus. Discussions with several chains are reportedly underway, with KFC said to be a contender.

This would not be without precedent — chains such as Subway, Pizza Hut, and Domino’s have previously catered to those with religious beliefs by opening vegetarian locations in the Indian city of Ahmedabad. An Ayodhya official told Moneycontrol that the city was “ready to provide even KFC a space if it decides to sell only vegetarian items”.

Plant-Based Fried Chicken Sandwich
Image supplied by Quorn

Meat-free at KFC

KFC previously opened a temporary vegetarian location in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in 2020. The restaurant was opened in celebration of the country’s National Week Without Meat, offering meat-free buckets, burgers, wraps, and more.

The chain also offers plant-based options at its regular stores worldwide, permanently adding a vegan burger to its UK menu in 2022. The same year, it was reported that KFC would begin offering meat-free options across Europe in partnership with Quorn. Additionally, the chain has launched meatless options in the US, Canada, and Australia.

“…restaurants […] would do well to follow Burger King’s impressive lead”

Fast food peer, Burger King, has become known for opening meat-free popup restaurants worldwide — 15 to date, in locations such as Puerto Rico, Sweden, and Portugal. The chain has also pledged to make its menu 50% plant-based by 2030.

“If restaurants want to be part of the sustainable food system consumers are demanding, they would do well to follow Burger King’s impressive lead and place plant-based meat at the heart of their menus,” said Carlotte Lucas, corporate engagement manager at the Good Food Institute Europe.

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