Another Great Amazing Guest Post this week from National Kosher Supervision – Executive Rabbinic Director, Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman click the button to read the article
THINK BOLD. THINK KOSHER.
In my close to twenty years of experience in the food industry – a cutthroat, ruthless, wafer-thin margined business if there ever was one, I never cease to marvel at the bold thinkers and industry leaders who intuitively – and at times presciently – grasp current market demands and foresee future interest (or create one!) in providing a particular product to a wider customer audience and marketplace.
One shining example is Dunkin’ Donuts. I am proud to have played a small role in facilitating the explosion of kosher Dunkin’ Donut franchises throughout New York and beyond. There are over 8,500 Dunkin’ Donuts franchises in the United States and around 50 are exclusively kosher.
This didn’t come easy.
What people don’t realize is the arduous work involved in obtaining permission from the parent franchise – an extremely difficult task – to lose half their menu selections and it’s more profitable, higher average ticket sales, including a large selection of deli meats, soups, pizza, flatbreads, wraps, and biscuits.
Local demographics must be analyzed, pedestrian counts are absolutely required and the franchisee must demonstrate beyond any doubt a location’s strong demand and higher volume of kosher consumers. Monthly sales are constantly being compared to non-kosher stores in similar markets and an owner runs the risk of losing his unique kosher edge.
My good acquaintance and Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee John Dutra of Long Island is one such bold leader. Close to forty years ago, John observed the nascent growth of the Jewish community in Far Rockaway and Long Island and saw a decidedly profitable future. He transformed his average sales non-kosher shop into the first kosher Dunkin’ Donuts outside of New England.
John told me that in the early days, many truckers and non-kosher customers demanded their deli meat sandwiches and were outraged at his “sell out” and kosher transformation. He even received death threats. But John stubbornly persevered and his two kosher Dunkin’ Donut stores are outstanding financial successes.
Theodore and Peter Mavromihalis are brothers and quick learners. These astute young businessmen of Greek heritage recognized the explosive growth of young Jewish families in Brooklyn and the enormous opportunity for multiple kosher Dunkin’ Donuts strategically located throughout the borough. They (wisely) approached me for guidance and mentorship to guide them through the transformative kosher process and to obtain community wide approval.
Ted and Peter got to work and are now the proud owners of fourteen kosher Dunkin’ franchises with plans for more in the future. Their sales have eclipsed some of the busiest Dunkin’ Donut shops in the country and the parent franchise proudly uses them as examples of bold leadership and unconventional thinking, highlighting their expertise in business demographic adaption and focused strategic planning.
Ted and Peter couldn’t be happier and are sworn believers in the strength of the powerful kosher marketplace. They’ve admitted to me that they’re contemplating eating only kosher!
Don’t delay getting ahead in business. Move strategically forward to expand your customer base and offer your goods and services to the widest possible audience. The kosher process is easier than you think. Do not listen to the naysayers, cynics or skeptics or submit to the fear of the unknown.
A nimble, fast moving company (mine) that specializes in shepherding hip, creative, wholesome, delicious new restaurants and delectable products to the dynamic kosher marketplace is your ticket to increased profitability and heightened name awareness. We have the staff, expertise and community wide recognition to help your company surge.
Cookie DO NYC is the hottest food trend in New York with lines outside their store in Greenwich Village (a block from NYU) up to three hours long. DO does not have to be kosher. They are already a runaway success story with a very bright future (Instagram @cookiedonyc).
Regardless, owner Kristen Tomlan immediately contacted me to make her store strictly kosher and appeal to the widest possible audience, to attract every single potential customer in New York City! Nothing stood in her way to make this happen. Kristen shrewdly and intuitively knew the value kosher will bestow upon her store today and the rewards it will bring in the future.
National Kosher Supervision stands ready to help you. Are you ready to help yourself?
Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman
Executive Rabbinic Director,
National Kosher Supervision