Indian Fast Food: Origin And Growth

Fast Food as a concept originated in the west. The idea was to cater to a larger chunk of people in a shorter duration of time. It has been a very successful concept to date. The fast food industry has seen significant growth since the day it started. Fast food generally consists of pre-cooked meals that take mere seconds to assemble. Indian Fast food is not usually about all this. You can find fast food in top veg restaurants across the India

Western fast food has now been made synonymous with hamburger outlets like McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC and even in best night clubs. These kinds of foods are usually high in salt, fats and calories making them not very healthy. Indian fast food has a whole different equation altogether. The concept of fast foods might’ve originated in the west but India has always had an Indianized version of the concept in play. What India considers as her own fast food is absolutely separate from the western fast food culture that has its existence in India too. Fast food or the best street food has been a part of Indian culture as we all know that.

Indian Fast Food: Origin And Growth
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Indian fast food

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History of Indian Fast Food

Indian cuisine has always distinguished itself from any other cuisine in the entire world. The flavours are distinct and provide a special identity to the food. The Idea of Fast Food has always been there in India. We can find the sweet shops selling the little snacks that they do at any given point in Indian history. From ancient Indian history to this day, a certain kind of food has been a part of Indian households and the Indian food scenario. The kind of food that is served to guests. The samosas, kachoris and Dhoklas and the little sweet treats like Gulab Jamuns. This food is an integral part of Indian culture. Indian street food has been an integral part of the culture.

India is a country that has different flavours as you go from state to state. Fast Food in India varies from region to region. There’s a different kind of food in different parts of the country, south of India has its own South Indian fast food and North India has Its own.

Indian fast food can be historically traced back to the times of Kings with huge empires. The traditional markets these kings organised had a whole section dedicated to food. Traditional Indian fast foods like Chaat, Pakoras etc. can be found in all these scenarios.

Before these western companies came to India, there already were some original Indian fast food Chains.

Indian Fast Food existed before western.

Sometimes people tend to think that Indian Fast food chains started coming up after western ones came to India. That is not the case. There are some chains that have been existing for a long time.

Here are some examples:-

1]- Indian Coffee house was first established in Bombay around the year 1936 and now is very famous all across the country. It has over 400 outlets.

2]-Nirula’s a very well-known fast food chain in Delhi has over 70 outlets now. The first one came into being in 1934.

3]- Delhi’s kwality restaurant is also one of the prominent examples. From ice creams to chole bhature the restaurant serves it all. It was started in 1940.

Besides these, there are several small eateries that have passed their food on to the next generations. Some street food vendors have taken up their father’s job and carrying on with the family tradition.

Indian Fast Food: Origin And Growth
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Indian fast food chains

Advent to Western Fast Food in India.

Big Fast Food chains like Mc Donalds and Burger King entered the Indian Food scene around the years of 1990s. Indians did not have a lot of exposure to American Food before that. The first fast food chain that launched its outlet in India was Mc Donalds and Indians welcomed the food with open arms. Mc Donalds also Indianized its menu to suit the palate of Indian people. The addition of items like the Mc Aloo Tikki burger proved to be a huge success for the chain.

Taking inspiration from Mc Donalds many other food chains adjusted their menus and found their place in the Indian food market.

Now Indian food scenario incorporates many western fast food chains and more and more of these are entering as well. Domino’s 30-minute pizza delivery idea also gave added a lot to its success as Indians highly appreciated the idea.The recent addition of Tim Horton’s first Indian outlet is the perfect example of that.

Indian Fast Food: Origin And Growth
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Western fast food chains in India

The beginnings of Food Courts.

Another western thing that India incorporated was the food courts in malls. The reason for an increase in these is considered to be the growth of urban shopping hubs and the low rental cost of these kiosks. These food courts usually occupy one floor of the mall and sell way more amount of processes food than any other outlet does.

The popularity of food courts is pretty understandable because a lot of these offer a lot of options for different cuisines and bring the food cultures of India and the world under one roof.

Food courts of malls have given a boom to the growth of the fast food industry in India, There are options to suit everyone’s needs, from veg fast food to non-veg fast food, you can find anything in one place.

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food courts in india

Online food delivery apps.

With more and more urbanization and the rise in technology, like everything else food is also evolving. The food from the streets is going online and these food delivery apps and websites are making good money out of it. Indian fast food has become faster with these apps. You sit at your home and touch your screens, place the order and food arrive.

The rise of these apps has provided employment to many of these people employment and relieved a lot of busy people from cooking. These apps incorporate almost all of the best Indian fast food items. You just have to type it out what you want and it’ll show you all the options. You can most certainly choose from there and order whatever you wish.

The most famous of these apps that almost every urban Indian being has on their phone is Zomato and Swiggy. These two apps have contributes to the growth of Indian fast food while making life easier for working-class Indian people.

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food delivery apps in India


Indian culture has food as its prominent representative. Indians love their fast food as much as they love their amazing home-cooked meals. Usually, Indian fast foods are also referred to as desi fast foods. The culture of eating out is as integral as the festivities. At almost every festival there is one thing that Indians eat from outside their homes. Indians have sweet dishes for every occasion.

The history of Indian fast food is so precise yet rich and explorable. From the little sweet shops to the biggest fast food chains, Indian flavours speak for themselves. The range of Indian fast foods is unbelievable. There are new things coming every day and people love to explore these.

These big chains are giving constant competition to the roadside fast food sellers which is making quite a bit of them go out of business and the ones that are surviving are finding it hard. But the traditional Indian fast food can not end and it survives one way or the other as the culture is still alive and it will keep the food alive as well.

Frequently asked questions.

What are famous Indian Fast Food Items?

Indian fast food items vary from area to area, every part of India has its own culture and food.

What is the one famous paneer fast food of north?

The one very famous fast food containing paneer on the northern side is Paneer tikka.

What is the oldest fast food chain in India?

One of the oldest running fast food chains that is dearly loved is Indian coffee house with a no of outlets.

What is the one Indian fast food that serves north Indian as well as south Indian fast food?

Haldiram and bikanervala

What are some famous Street food items in India?

India loves its street food and some of the beloved fast food items are chat and desi Chinese.



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