Kosher and Non-Kosher Same Names Create Confusion for Consumers


kosher-mcdonaldsShould a kashrus agency certify a kosher restaurant that also has a non-kosher restaurant by the same name?

For one would-be diner the answer is a clear no as he almost ate at the non-kosher eatery just because a kosher restaurant Web site took him to the site of the non-kosher eatery with only a minor mention buried in the copy that they also have a kosher restaurant. The mistake was ultimately corrected but many who were involved questioned whether the major kashrus organization certifying the restaurant should have given the certification in the first place.

A New York area Vaad’s refusal to certify a Dunkin Donuts franchise was criticized by some but the Vaad maintains that there is much that is not kosher in the franchise names that share space with the Dunkin Donuts. The growing role of the Internet as a major source for kosher restaurants is a new reason for tightening up oversight to avoid confusion, say several rabbis reached by KosherToday.

Said one: “I guess agencies and rabbis will now have to check Web sites and links to make sure that there is no confusion.”

In as far away places as Buenos Aires, the potential confusion has become an issue. A group of American tourists in Buenos Aires complained that the glatt kosher McDonald’s is in a mall that has several other McDonald’s restaurants despite the fact that the kosher McDonald’s has a large kosher sign in the middle of the logo. The Buenos Aires McDonald’s is the only glatt kosher eatery of the international food icon.

The potential for confusion, say kashrus sources, could be an issue with any brand that produces both kosher and non-kosher and even if the same is produced with different kashrus standards. While many were forgiving about the restaurant error, they were also hoping that kashrus certifiers would also take precautions so that such confusions do not occur.

{Kosher Today}

{ Newscenter}


  1. The Dunkin Douhnuts in 5 Towns is certified by the 5 Towns. The certification sign is up on Pesach and peolpe went in and ate there on Pesach thinking it was certiifed.

    The sign remained up the year after this occurred I saw it myself.

  2. I will just note that I believe there is a difference between a national chain, where it may be a smaller problem as everyone knows that all of the stores are treif and veiw it as a chiddush that one store is kosher. The story you refer to concerns a restaurant that has only two locations, both of which were treif. Subsequently, one recieved a hechsher from a national Kashrus agency. Initially the website for both restaurants (which are located 20-30 blocks away from each other) was the same. The potential for michshol with this type of arrangement is incredible and it is hard to understand why any reputable hechsher would give this hasgocha. Even today the website for the Kosher and non-kosher restaurant are exactly the same. A person could very easily order from the non-kosher restaurant (which deliver to the same area and have very similar menus), without realizing it at all. Is the hashgochah waiting for someone to order an entire party from the wrong place? Is this really worth it for them and their reputation?


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