In San Diego we like to compare Mexican food outlets. To be honest, I usually can’t tell the difference. There are some higher quality Mexican food restaurants, but mostly it’s a matter of restaurant cleanliness, volume of food and location that makes the difference. So too in Israel, my teenage memories were of seeing one falafel fast food stand after another. At the central bus stations, it was possible to have 5-10 falafel stands on one block.
Israelis have always liked the cafe culture (as you can see at the Jerusalem Ben Yeduda street pedestrian mall), enjoyed sitting down with their food, chatting and watching the sights and sounds of the city streets.
Their passion for music is evident in the streets.
This time in Israel, I see that the fast food market is disappearing. Forget about falafel. Sure you can get it. But even Starbucks didn’t make it in Israel. They’ve had “more of the same” and they really look for something better, a surprising difference, a unique experience in each food outlet or restaurant. Throughout the country we’ve been finding many wonderful restaurants with a blend of French, Italian, Jewish (European and Middle Eastern) and Arabic cooking. The fusion of these cuisines is quite amazing. This delicious food I found in Rosh Pina, in the Upper Galilee.
They don’t just take a stab at the cooking. They have chefs that have been trained in France. You can tell. The cooking is better than most anything I can come across here in San Diego. I suspect that unlike the falafel stands that would have served the same exact food in 2010 as they would in 1970, these new and wonderful eateries in Israel would not be offering the same menu choices in 2012 as they do in 2010. They are business establishments that want to be on the leading edge with new and exciting offerings.
It seems that in the business of providing more of the same or creating a surprising difference in the food business, not just has the qualitative difference won out, but the provision of a unique service experience has also won out. I hope that my friends in the pest control field are thinking about business experiences they have in their home towns where they can extract lessons for their pest control business from outside the field and integrate it into their business.