KFC returns to Israel with Nazareth branch
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KFC returns to Israel with Nazareth branch

With opening of nonkosher restaurant, fried chicken purveyor takes 4th shot at the Israeli market

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

A Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet that opened in Nazareth on February 3, 2020 (Courtesy Kentucky Fried Chicken PR)
A Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet that opened in Nazareth on February 3, 2020 (Courtesy Kentucky Fried Chicken PR)

Kentucky Fried Chicken on Monday tried to crack the Israeli market for a fourth time with the opening of a restaurant in Nazareth.

KFC opened and closed in Israel in the 1980s and 90s, and then remained open between 2003 and 2012. In all three previous cases the brand was operated by local franchises rather than the parent company itself.

However, unlike previous iterations of the chain in Israel, the newest restaurant in Nazareth is not kosher.

In previous cases the famous fried chicken recipe was modified to hew to Jewish dietary laws, but these changes made the food more expensive and, according to some consumers, less tasty than the American original.

“We are excited to bring our delicious finger lickin’ good chicken, prepared the hard way, to Israel,” said Omer Zeidner, CEO of KFC in Israel. “Israelis have waited a long time for KFC’s freshly prepared Original Recipe fried chicken.”

Zeidner said they would soon open the KFC flagship restaurant in Tel Aviv. The restaurant in Nazareth is the first of dozens of KFC locations set to open across the country in the coming years.

The KFC menu in Israel offers the same options as in the rest of its 23,000 restaurants in more than 141 countries. It already has six outlets in three West Bank Palestinian cities.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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