January 21, 2019

Volatile Kosher Restaurant Scene Set to Continue in 2019, Experts Predict

New York - The volatile kosher restaurant scene which saw the opening of more than 100 new restaurants and some 60 closings in 2018 is likely to continue in 2019, according to Elan Kornblum, an expert of the kosher restaurant scene, and the publisher of the  Great Kosher Restaurants Magazine. The state of the kosher restaurant world is an important indicator of the strength of the kosher community.  While there has been a dramatic uptick in home cooking, thanks to social media, new cookbooks and magazine supplements, younger kosher consumers are frequenting kosher restaurants more often, both for business and social reasons. Foodservice continues to represent 40% of the overall kosher food market. Mr. Kornblum and others say that kosher restaurants face the same malaise as non-kosher restaurants in that longevity is not one of its virtues. Perhaps the biggest challenge to kosher restaurants is making up for the loss of some 50 weekends as well as Jewish holidays when non-kosher restaurants do a lion’s share of their business.  The formula for success, say the experts, continues to be good food, fair pricing, creative marketing, and good service. It is a combination that has alluded many failed kosher restaurants. Said one expert: “If Monday night is your worst night, do something about it, like offering an all you can eat buffet.” He said that passivity and lack of working capital by ownership often spells an early doom for restaurants that often invest a great deal of money just to get a restaurant of the ground.