New low-cost coffee chain Cofix is selling day-old sandwiches as fresh, according to a Channel 10 investigation that was due to air yesterday.
- Stung by Brash New Competitor, Israeli Cafe Chains Mull Lower Prices
- Israel's New Low-cost Coffee Chain to Offer NIS 5 Hanukkah Doughnuts
- Cheap Eats: Does Cofix Portend Rise of NIS 5 Menu?
Two reporters equipped with hidden cameras were hired at the chain’s new King George branch in Tel Aviv this week. The two reportedly were told not to throw out any sandwiches that remained at the end of the day, but rather to refrigerate them and present them as “fresh this morning” the following day.
Sandwiches can be kept for up to three days, a manager reportedly said.
Cofix shook up the local market when it launched last month, offering everything from coffee to fresh juice to sandwiches and baked goods for NIS 5 apiece. The chain’s launch even led to an investigation by the antitrust commissioner after TheMarker reported that competing chains reportedly discussed with each other plans to ignore Cofix’s launch.
Cofix founder Avi Katz told TheMarker that he knew someone would try to trip up his chain with negative coverage sooner or later. “I’m sure that we still have employees who are actually undercover for competing chains,” he said. “The coffee is fresh, the juice is squeezed on site and the cakes run out quickly, so they found a way to get us over the sandwiches,” he said.
“I feel like this is a small issue,” he said.
Cofix stated in response: “The pace of sales is so fast that most of the time we run out of sandwiches by the end of the day. The chain sells more than 800 sandwiches a day and no sandwich sits more than 24 hours in the fridge. Worst case, sandwiches supplied in the evening are sold early the following morning. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
Katz noted that his chain is forbidden from preparing its own food by the Health Ministry, and that the 3-day limit the manager cited is the manufacturer’s official directive.