newsIsrael at War

Israeli burger chains go strictly kosher to support soldiers, war effort

The initiative includes some branches of McDonald's, Burger Ranch and BurgerIM, as well as Domino's.

Customers at the Burger Ranch fast-food chain in Israel. Photo by Moshe Shai/Flash90.
Customers at the Burger Ranch fast-food chain in Israel. Photo by Moshe Shai/Flash90.

Some branches of Israel’s largest hamburger fast-food chains—McDonald’s, Burger Ranch and BurgerIM—will start enforcing the higher kosher standards to support Israel Defense Force soldiers who only eat mehadrin-certified meat, local media reported on Thursday.

The move, an initiative of the Israel Defense Forces rabbinate in cooperation with global kashrut organizations, seeks to ensure that Jewish soldiers of different religious backgrounds can all enjoy food donated by Israeli civilians who seek to support the war effort.

Also on Thursday, Domino’s Pizza Israel opened strictly kosher branches in Tel Aviv Port and the nearby suburb of Givatayim. The chain intends to open two additional mehadrin branches in central Israel’s Sharon district.

Late last year, a Druze restaurant in the Western Galilee village of Julis made its kitchen kosher in an act of solidarity with soldiers stationed in northern Israel. The Noor restaurant also decided to reserve one day a week to exclusively prepare meals for IDF troops.

The IDF is working to eradicate Hamas after the terrorist organization’s bloody rampage across the northwestern Negev on Oct. 7, in which 1,200 were murdered, thousands more wounded and 253 taken captive.

The Israel-Hamas war hurt McDonald’s global fourth-quarter 2023 sales as anti-Israel activists targeted the fast-food giant over perceived corporate support for the Jewish state.

Global same-store sales increased by 3.4% in the three months ending Dec. 31, 2023, well below the 4.7% rise expected by analysts polled by FactSet. Revenue at U.S. outlets grew in line with expectations, but at Middle Eastern franchises the growth was 0.7%.

The company drew anger from the anti-Israel BDS movement and Middle Eastern customers when the Israel franchise announced in October that it was providing free meals to soldiers.

Starbucks has also faced a backlash in the Middle East for its perceived support for Israel.

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