Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. has signed a deal to open its first franchised restaurant in India, according to news reports overseas.
One report said the Mexican-themed fast food chain plans 25 locations in the next 18 to 24 months, with a mix of franchised and company-owned.
Taco Bell already has six locations in the country—three each in Bangalore and Mumbai—that are company-owned.
The first franchised restaurant under the new deal is slated to open next week in a mall in New Delhi, the report said.
The agreement is with Burman Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. The Burman family has business interests in India in several areas, including insurance, financial services, consumer goods, and a private equity firm called Elephant Capital.
Burman family members are involved in franchising Subway sandwich shops in India, one report said.
Taco Bell's Louisville, Ky.-based parent, Yum Restaurants Inc. operates about 800 of its Pizza Hut and KFC units in India.
It added Taco Bell in India in 2010 with reported plans to open 100 units in the country by this year.
Taco Bell operates more than 6,000 restaurants, with about 5,800 of them in the U.S. Yum said in December it wants to add 1,300 Taco Bell restaurants and $2 billion in sales overseas.
On April 21 it opened its first franchised unit in Japan outside of U.S. military bases there.