Jewish Restaurants and the Sabbath

If a Sabbath-keeping Jew owns a restraunt, how do they handle the Sabbath? Do they keep their restraunt closed from sundown Friday night to sundown Saturday night, and thus loose a good portion of their business? Or do they find a loophole that allows the business to stay open without “breaking” the Sabbath? Or is it handled some other way?

A Jew is allowed to hire a gentile to run his business on the sabbath, I believe.

I do know of a number of Jewish-owned businesses that close on the sabbath, though. (I’m looking at you, B&H Photo, which is never open when I get out of work early on Friday. Grrrrr.)

Its not possible for a resteraunt to be ‘kosher’ and keep open on saturdays.

My uncle owns a kosher deli and closes at 4:30 on Friday and reopens on Sunday morning. For a period of time he used to have non-Jewish employees and stay open; however, a good majority of his clientele was observant of Sabbath and didn’t come at those times anyhow, so it wasn’t worth staying open. (It is in a primarily Jewish neighborhood, and a small bagel sandwich type shop.)

Another uncle owns a convenience store up the street, and it’s all family members working there with the exception of Friday evenings and Saturdays.

But is a Jewish-owned restaurant required to be kosher?


Most of them will simply close on the Sabbath; they’re really not losing that much business. It’s not like customers who are hungry for their food on, say, a Wednesday will suddenly say “I’d rather patronize a place that opens on Saturday.”

There are a few exceptions. For example, there are a few kosher Dunkin’ Donuts shops scattered around the country, and my understanding is that the franchising agreement with DD is that the shop must be open seven days a week. In those cases, the owner keeps a gentile partner and in the partnership agreement it’s stipulated that all Sabbath profits belong to the gentile.


Not necessarily, although there are certain categories of non-kosher that a Jewish-owned restaurant would not be allowed to serve, such as milk with meat or leavened food on Passover. Those categories are forbidden to Jews in any benefit, not merely in eating.

But if a Jew wanted to open up a shellfish-and-pork take-out place, there’s nothing in Jewish law that says he can’t.

Katz’s never kloses, but all the food is kosher. Katz’s Delis in Texas IMHO Turkey ham is actually better than real ham.

Sorry to disagree with LF, but it is possible. For example, there’s a great kosher restaurant in the ghetto of Venice that opens its doors every Shabbat to all comers.

You can’t cook on the sabbath (rules are too long to burden this site with), you can’t conduct any business on sabbath, so the restaurant in Venice is free, the food all pre-prepared, and the workers are volunteers, but it’s open, and a great place to eat.

Um, not really. I just perused the menu, and I can see problems already. For example, meat and cheese together on a sandwich is a big no-no.

Clams in the clam chowder? Another big no-no.

Not kosher at all, no sir. ;j

Just to provide a personal example…

Back in 1993, I was on a summer trip to Israel. We had a half-week in Tel Aviv. A group of us went to the beach on Shabbat (we walked), and on our way back stopped in an ice cream shop. I presume the ice cream was kosher, and yet the shop was doing business on Shabbat. (And so were we, bad us. Salach lanu.)