January 17, 2011

IsraelÕs Thriving Restaurant Industry Expands Rapidly

 Jerusalem… KT Israel Bureau Chief…Some 498 new restaurants opened in Israel in 2010 showing a seven percent increase over 2009. The survey was carried out by the internet website www.2-eat.co.il which found that turnover for the year was five percent higher as well, totaling three billion dollars. According to the site, more people are eating lunch in restaurants than ever before taking advantage of the business menus which have become popular in Israel, especially in the main cities.
One of those new restaurants is Mc David's which is reopening in Israel. This marks a comeback for a chain which was first opened in Tel Aviv in the seventies and grew to include some 28 branches by the late eighties. The new Mc David's comes on the heels of the recent takeover of Burger King by Burger Ranch. Mc David's CEO Yosef Askar, is also owner of the Big Zol discount supermarkets. He said that they are hoping to be the third kosher burger chain in Israel. The first outlet, in Upper Nazareth is located inside a Big Zol supermarket. The company aims to open additional outlets in the north of the country. Fast food chain McDonald's is also on the ball – the falafel ball that is. The Israeli chain has begun selling falafel in pita in addition to its burger and chicken menus. McDonald's Israel CEO told Ynet news that the “McFalafel is another one of the products which has been adjusted to the Israeli taste.” McFalafel joins the McKebab and comes inside a pita with tahini and chopped salad. Padan also noted that the Israeli chain now includes 36 kosher outlets and 124 nonkosher ones. "In the first quarter of this year, we are planning to open three more kosher restaurants. By 2015, Israel will have 200 McDonald's restaurants, 30 percent of which will be kosher."