October 4, 2011

Pssst to SubwayÕs, NathanÕs, McDonaldÕs and Whoever: The Chosen People Need Choices

New York… It is perhaps an anomaly why some of the largest fast food chains have not taken advantage of the $12 billion kosher industry. While a recent Wall Street Journal article blamed price, cost of ingredients, and non-cooperation from corporate headquarters for the slow demise of many kosher Subway stores (reduced to 5 from its original 15), many kosher industry officials say that the WSJ and others are missing a key reason. Kosher consumers apparently are not satisfied by a limited pricey menu. Said one restaurateur: “You can’t make it in the kosher market with a large sandwich, soup and salad.” A Jewish community leader in Flatbush said that he enjoyed the sandwiches at Subway’s, but almost always bought “the rest of the meal from the nearby Kosher Delight,” which has an extensive menu of Chinese and American foods as well as Sushi. An attempt two decades earlier by Nathan’s, say the kosher experts, also failed because of “a fixed menu.” Located on Brooklyn’s Kings Highway, the restaurant offered set menus attached to numbers.  In many locales, say Jewish community leaders, a kosher Subway’s was a novelty but when it wore off, they went right back to their traditional eateries.”