Yehuda Ouzi: The Grill Master Behind the Ouzi Restaurant Chain
In 1970, Yehuda Ouzi opened a restaurant bearing his name in the Hatikva neighborhood of Tel Aviv. This restaurant, which primarily served meats and salads, quickly gained popularity. Approximately 20 years later, the restaurant and the rights to the name "Ouzi" were acquired by a group of entrepreneurs who transformed it into a restaurant chain.
Ouzi is a grill restaurant chain with 11 branches operating in Israel. In 2007, its revenues amounted to approximately 110 million Israeli shekels.
In 2001, the owners of the restaurant chain turned to the courts and asked them to order "Ouzi Hazahav" restaurant in Be'er Sheva (which had just opened) to cease using its name. They argued that the name "Ouzi" was a registered trademark and its use could potentially mislead customers.
Their claim was initially accepted by the District Court but was later rejected by the Supreme Court in 2006. The Supreme Court ruled that the restaurant chain was entitled to protect the name "Ouzi," but not the phonetic variation of the name.
However, it was allowed for "Ouzi Hazahav" to continue using the restaurant's name, provided that both words are emphasized equally and the diacritical mark (under the letter 'z') appears wherever the name is used.
The restaurant chain has a central kitchen and logistical center located in Yehud. Three of its branches are kosher.
Under its ownership, a fast-food subchain named "Ouzi TO GO" has been established, operating on a franchise basis.