Israelis line up for Shake Shack launch in Tel Aviv

The American fast food eatery makes first foray into the Israeli market with hopes of opening 15 additional branches country-wide in the next decade, but how's the menu?

Customers line up to try the country's 1st Shake Shack
(Video: Ryan Preuss)

American fast food chain Shake Shack officially opened its first branch in Israel’s Tel Aviv on Tuesday. Long lines were seen in front of the eatery even before the official opening. Fox CEO Harel Vizel, who brought the chain to the country, plans to open 15 additional branches in Israel by 2033.
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The chain has 430 branches worldwide: 285 branches in 32 states in the United States, and over 150 international locations in London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Mexico City, Istanbul, Dubai, Tokyo and Seoul.
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שייק שאק דיזנגוף סנטר
שייק שאק דיזנגוף סנטר
Shake Shack branch in Tel Aviv
(Photo: Meirav Crystal)
Shake Shack is one of the fastest-growing new hamburger chains in the United States. It competes with established chains like In-N-Out and Five Guys, considered to be fast-food chains, but is known for higher-priced and higher-quality burgers than McDonald's and Burger King.
It was founded in 2001 as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in New York, then as a kiosk selling both burgers and locally made milkshakes. Shake Shack's expectations were so low at the time that the business didn't have its own kitchen and used the kitchen of the upscale Eleven Madison Park restaurant.
The restaurant was also owned by Shake Shack's Jewish founder, Danny Meyer, who initially dealt in the high-end restaurant business. Meyer and Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti turned it into a successful chain, born out of the surprising enthusiasm and loyalty its customers held for it.
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התור בפתיחת שייק שאק בתל אביב
התור בפתיחת שייק שאק בתל אביב
Long line at Shake Shack's opening in Tel Aviv
(Photo: Raiyan Frois)
Shake Shack specializes in hamburgers made from Angus beef and split hot dog sandwiches, and sells beer and wine alongside milkshakes made at the branch, homemade lemonades, and frozen treats like ice creams. It also makes certain to sell locally sourced items and aims to excel in quality as a fast-food chain. As a result, its prices aren’t low, despite its designation as a fast-food restaurant.
The chain’s menu in Israel is more limited compared to the United States. There are no chicken options (such as schnitzel or nuggets) at all on the menu, unlike in the U.S. and the UK. There isn’t a vegan burger option (but a vegetarian option is available) and there are no gluten-free options. The chain has stated that such items will be added later.
Additionally, the menu has no special limited-time items currently found on menus in the U.S., such as the Korean burger, smoked burger, avocado burger, tiramisu shake, and dreamsicle shake. There’s no bacon in the hamburgers offered in Israel and no option to purchase it on the side.
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