Shake Shack, the American burger-and-milkshakes chain, is heading to Tel Aviv and plans to open 15 locations across Israel.
“We have long admired the rich and diverse food culture of Israel,” says Michael Kark, chief global licensing officer of Shake Shack. “We couldn’t be more excited to arrive in Tel Aviv and reach 15 Shacks across Israel by 2033.”
In keeping with its international strategy — Shake Shack has 120 international locations, in addition to its 240 in the United States — the company says it will “collaborate with local purveyors and producers to create a one-of-a-kind Shack experience unique for the Israeli community.” Shake Shack’s Dubai restaurants offer up a ‘Falafel Shack’ patty, for example. Its franchises in South Korea and Japan, meanwhile, have red bean and cherry blossom-flavored shakes.
Shake Shack launched in 2001 as a cart in New York City’s Madison Square Park, as a fast casual concept from the high-dining impresario Danny Meyer, who is Jewish and has connected his philanthropic ventures to Jewish values. Several years ago, when he opened Shake Shack’s first location in his native St Louis, he said he had no plans to open in Israel, which he had just visited for the first time.
Meyer told the St Louis Jewish Light that he had spotted a kiosk that “looked an awful lot like Shake Shack” while walking Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, where the median is dotted with tiny cafes.
“As it turned out, it was opened by a guy who worked for me many years ago,” he said. “And on a rainy day, they were packed.”
Shake Shack is the latest in a series of chains to open its doors in Israel. The convenience store chain 7-Eleven opened its first franchise in Israel this year, in Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Center mall. And the partners who brought Shake Shack to Israel also recently struck an initial deal to bring the global cafe franchise Pret A Manger to the country.
Past openings of major international food and drink franchises in Israel have had a mixed record. McDonald’s did not open any Israeli outposts until 1993 due to boycotts from the Arab world; now, it offers some kosher outposts but does not operate in Israeli West Bank settlements. In 2021, Ben & Jerry’s, the US ice-cream chain, announced that it would not sell in what it termed “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” sparking a court battle that ended with the pints still on grocery shelves in Israeli settlements.
And after a brief experiment in Israel, Starbucks closed down its operations there two decades ago, due to what analysts attributed to competition from more established local cafes.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.