US burger chain Shake Shack to make foray into Israel in 2024
New York-based chain partners with Israeli retailer Fox-Wizel and restaurant operator Yarzin Sella to open 15-plus branches serving burgers and crinkle-cut fries across country
Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.
US burger chain Shake Shack is set to launch in Israel next year, with plans to open at least 15 branches across the country over the next decade.
The New York-based chain has signed an agreement with Harel Wizel, CEO of Israeli fashion and retail store chain group Fox Ltd., and restaurant group operator Yarzin Sella to establish and operate the burger restaurants in Israel.
Shake Shack plans an entry into the Israeli market in 2024, starting with the opening of its first location in Tel Aviv. By 2033, the burger chain together with partners Fox and Sella target the launch of more than 15 Shack branches throughout Israel.
The fast-food chain’s foray into Israel comes as British coffee and sandwich chain Pret A Manger announced plans in December open at least 40 cafes in the country over the next couple of years through a franchise agreement with Fox and Sella.
Shake Shack said it will “create one-of-a-kind Shack experience unique for the Israeli community,” by collaborating with local purveyors and producers. The menu will feature signature Shake Shack servings, including the shack burger and crinkle-cut fries, as well as beer wine and frozen custard ice cream. The Shake Shack partners did not disclose whether the Israeli branches will meet kosher dietary requirements.
“We have long admired the rich and diverse food culture of Israel,” said Shake Shack’s chief global licensing officer Michael Kark. “From the very first moment Harel Wizel and Yarzin Sella Group approached us, we were blown away by their incredible passion for Shake Shack and their expertise in operating global brands.”
Shake Shack, which serves angus beef burgers, crispy chicken, and hand-spun milkshakes, opened its first fast-food restaurant in 2004 in New York City’s Madison Square Park. The burger chain has more than 450 locations globally, including 295 in the US and over 155 in other locations across London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Mexico City, Istanbul, Dubai, and Tokyo. In March, the chain announced that it will enter the Canadian market in 2024 and open 35 branches in the country by 2035.
“We’re thrilled to bring the iconic Shake Shack experience to Israel and share our passion for high-quality ingredients, hospitality, and community,” said Wizel. “We will secure access to the best locations all around the country, ensuring that we can bring the Shake Shack experience to as many people as possible.”
Fox, a family-owned business known for its inexpensive T-shirts and sweatshirts emblazoned with the all-capital FOX name brand, has become Israel’s largest fashion group, bringing an assortment of international brands to the Israeli shopper. Listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, the retailer operates over 1,000 stores in Israel, Europe, and Canada, including the Israeli franchise for Nike and Foot Locker (through its subsidiary Retailers) for other brands such as American Eagle, Billabong, and Mango.
Founded in 1988 by Ari and Yoram Yarzin alongside Yuval Sella, the group has a portfolio of 15 restaurants in Israel, including Magazzino, Café Italia, Zozobra, Taqueria, and Tony Vespa pizzerias. In recent years, the culinary group has also focused on designing and managing corporate in-house cafes, wellness bars and micro-kitchens, and other events for companies such as Meta, Google, and Samsung.