Photo: Assaf Levi
Photo: Assaf Levi

Coffeehouse chains go extra kosher

Coffeehouse chains target religious, ultra-Orthodox customers with mehadrin kosher branches

With Coffeehouse chains currently operating 442 branches all over Israel the apparent saturation of the market has led owners seeking new audiences. This has given birth to a new trend: Mehadrin (Extra) kosher branches which cater to the needs of religious and haredi patrons.


According to estimates the coffee shop market generates NIS 3.5 billion a year, after growing by 35% over the last four years.


One of the trend leaders is Café Café which is set to open a new chain of restaurants called 'Meat Bread'. The menu features some meat entrees, mostly meat filled pastries baked in-house. The first branch opened last week at the Tel Aviv port; the second one will open shortly in Rothschild Boulevard, a stronghold of Tel Avivian secularism. Café Café chain owner Ronen Nimni wants to open 10 branches all over Israel.


"Nowadays there's more room for mehadrin kosher restaurants," says Nimni who also operates 39 mehadrin kosher areas inside the 120 branches of Café Café. "We started this five years ago when one of our franchise operator's children became religious. Our kosher mehadrin branches are also frequented by secular patrons. I am happy with the interaction between the two crowds."


Nimni says the Tel aviv Port branch which is closed Friday nights and Saturdays is the chain's most popular branch even though most of the action in the port takes place on the weekends. Another highly popular branch which is also mehadrin kosher is Café Café in the Herzliya Marina.


The largest mehadrin kosher coffeehouse in Israel recently opened at the Malcha Mall in Jerusalem. It's owned by Greg Café. This chain operates 12 mehadrin kosher branches and is expected to open an additional four.


This is part of a rebranding move which includes opening 10 new branches, each one measuring 400-450 square meters compared to the 150 square meter average of today's branches. One third of the 76 exiting branches are also supposed to enlarge their space.


The rebranding includes adding Gluten free dishes to the menu and launching a menu designed for kids which comes as an illustrated book.


Greg Café will also operate special areas for kids within the coffeehouses and increase the number of items on the take away menu.


The chain will also launch Greg Brasserie, a coffee-bakery sub-chain with the first branch opening at Hasharonim mall.



פרסום ראשון: 07.27.12, 13:45
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