Rent for restaurants, cafes and shops in central locations has recently been cut in many places - and in the middle of the contract - by up to 30 percent.
Property owners agree to cut the rent because they are afraid the security situation plus the economic recession could leave them without any revenue at all. Businesses have explicitly threatened several chains that unless they cut rents, the tenants will break their lease contracts and clos shop. Many fast-food chains, cafes and shops sign long-term leases of 5 to 25 years.
Domino's Pizza will be demanding a 30 percent discount on the rent after Burger Ranch managed to get its rent cut by up to 30 percent for several of its restaurants. Hamashbir Lazarchan pays quarterly rather than monthly; Sbarro may be seeking to reduce the rent for the restaurant in Jerusalem, and Bounjour pays rent at an exchange rate of 4.3 shekels to the dollar. The rent paid by Nando's for the restaurant in Neve Sha'anan in Haifa was cut by 10 percent, Ha'aretz has learned.
Eli Gidor, the CEO of Omni Food Brands, the franchisee for Domino's Pizza in Israel, told Ha'aretz that because of the sharp fall in business, negotiations are now being held with all the landlords for substantial rent discounts. Industry sources say the chain, which has 30 restaurants, will demand a 30 percent discount for most of its branches. The average rent is $35 per square meter.
The owners of the property in which central Domino's restaurants are located, such as the one near the Seafood Market restaurant in Tel Aviv, the one at Atzmaut Square in Netanya and the one in French Hill in Jerusalem, have all agreed to work with a 4.3 shekels to the dollar exchange rate. "Landlords that will not be willing to compromise will be shooting themselves in the foot, because many chains will not be able to bear these expenses," Gidor said.
The CEO of Burger Ranch, Yossi Lubaton, said in the last few months some of their landlords have agreed to temporarily cut the rent by about 30 percent.
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