ISRAELIS AND BURGER KING
FROM KOSHER TODAY, MAY 24, 2010
US Food Chains Ignore Americans; Sources Say
Tel Aviv…The closure of the Burger King franchise in Israel left many Americans living in Israel wondering if the chain did its marketing homework. Burger King joined Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and Wendy’s as failed franchises in Israel. The reason given for the closure is almost always that Israelis did not take to the taste of the American foods. In the case of Burger King, the franchisee will rebrand its 52 Burger King stores as Burger Ranch, a more popular local chain. Eli and Yuval Orgad, the franchisees, have owned the Burger King stores since 2005 and bought the 55-unit Burger Ranch chain last year. Other restaurant franchises in Israel (not all of its branches kosher) include KFC, McDonald’s,Subway, Dominos and Pizza Hut. Idele Ross, KosherToday’s Israel Bureau Chief, reports that Omri Padan, McDonald’s-Israel CEO said the ‘revolution’ is a McDonald’s Israel strategy which will not change. The chain has 150 outlets in Israel, 30 of which are kosher. Seven new branches are expected to open by the end of 2010. One source told KosherToday, all Burger King “needed to do was obtain a good hechsher that would appeal to the near 500,000 Israelis of American origin in addition to as many as 500,000 tourists and businessmen.” Burger Ranch is a hamburger chain started by South African immigrants to Israel in the seventies and emphasizes the Israeli preference for local fare over imported American tastes.” All the research carried out over the past few months shows beyond a doubt that the taste of Burger Ranch is the preferred taste for most Israelis,” Orgad directors Eli and Yuval Orgad were quoted as saying in the Hebrew media.