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Food and Drink

Subway opens 200th restaurant in India to heat up fast-food competiton

In the race for fast-food world domination, Subway is spicing up the competition with its aggressive expansion in India.

According to online trade magazine Nation's Restaurant News, the sandwich chain recently broke the 200 mark and opened its 202nd restaurant in India. Subway also garnered headlines in February for surpassing McDonald's to become the largest fast-food chain in the world, in terms of restaurant locations.

The last number available for the Golden Arches' presence in India, stands at 160.

To localize their menu according to the Indian diet, meanwhile, Subway chains have taken beef out of their restaurants and offer mainly vegetarian and chicken sandwiches.

"Local flavors" include Chicken Tikka, Chicken Seekh, Chicken Tandoori and Chicken Achari.

The traditional Subway Club also replaces roast beef slices with roast lamb, while ham is likewise substituted by chicken ham.

McDonald's, meanwhile, opened its first restaurant in India 12 years ago - two years earlier than Subway - and also serves localized, customized sandwiches.

India was the first country in the world where McDonald's set up a beefless and porkless restaurant. Restaurants are also set up so that vegetable products are prepared separately with dedicated utensils, and fries are cooked in vegetable oil.

In what's been described as a social media experiment, McDonald's in India also turned to Facebook - which had just opened their first office there in September of last year - and YouTube to promote their new Spicy Delights menu, a series of spicy paneer and chicken sandwiches.

The fast food giant - which still pulls in a higher annual revenue than Subway - isn't far behind its sandwich rival, with plans to open another 30 stores in South and West India this year - the highest opening in the last 15 years. McDonald's India opened 33 restaurants in the country in 2010.