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You can't argue with success, they say, which is presumably why McDonald's has chosen this of all times to introduce its McCafe chain to the Holy Land.

"When McDonald's started selling breakfasts, they comprised 2% of the chain's sales. Today they're 30%," says Omri Padan, who owns and runs McDonald's Israel, at the inauguration of a local McCafe outlet. He did admit that it might take a few years until people got used to the idea of drinking coffee at McDonald's and declined to predict what kind of turnover the Israeli McCafes might make.

So far McDonald's has opened McCafes at the Ayalon Mall and in its branch on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard. The next is slated to open at Rishon Letzion's Kanyon Hazahav mall. All McDonald's McCafes will operate inside branches of the burger chain, not as independent branches.

McDonald's Israel plans to open McCafes in about a quarter of its 150 local branches, at a pace of ten a year. The McCafes feature wooden tables. Unlike the self-serve hamburger counters, they have waiters to deliver the food, which includes breakfasts, quiches, sandwiches and baked goods imported (frozen) from France and baked locally.