Ex-McD partner backs burger chain

NEW DELHI : Former McDonald’s India partner Vikram Bakshi has invested in New Delhi-based gourmet burger chain AKU’S—The Burger Co., via his family office.

“Our investment and my knowledge is aimed at helping expand the brand pan India. This is evidenced by the recent opening of AKU’s flagship restaurant at the Priya complex at Basant Lok in Vasant Vihar on 14 May. Two more AKU’S outlets are planned to be opened very soon and we aim to be available across Delhi NCR this year,” Bakshi said in response to queries regarding his investment in the brand that started out in Delhi in 2018. Bakshi did not disclose the amount invested.

AKU’S is owned by sister-brother duo Akriti and Ankit Malhotra. Chef Akriti is an alumnus of the Culinary Institute of America, New York.

Taking to social-media platform Instagram last week, the burger chain announced the name of Bakshi as an investor.

“Super thrilled and ecstatic to announce that we raised funding from Vikram Bakshi, the pioneer who brought the burger culture to India.”

The chain has three dine-in outlets in Delhi-NCR.

Gourmet burgers caught the attention of several chefs and restaurant owners in India who have launched their own burger brands, especially post-covid. “I strongly believe that the time is ripe to upgrade the burger culture in India….and no one yet has mastered fresh handcrafted burgers like AKU’S. Their motto of “real ingredients taste better” connects with my thinking and the present demand of the millennials and Gen-Z. I want to make the product available to a much larger audience,” he added. Bakshi helped drive the American burger chain McDonald’s entry and business in India, since the mid-90s as its local partner for north and east markets. However, a bitter legal battle ensued in 2013 with the burger chain ousting Bakshi as its managing director. This led to a multi-year legal dispute between the two.

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