New Jersey Subway Successfully Goes Halal

May 9, 2006

Source: Beliefnet

On May 9, 2006 Beliefnet reported, "There's just one place in North America where an observant Muslim can follow Jared's diet -- the two-sandwich-a-day plan that helped Subway pitchman Jared Fogel lose 245 pounds.

The Subway restaurant that adheres to Islamic restrictions is off Route 27 here, and it is indiscernible from other Subways, except for a neon green sign in the window spelling out 'Halal,' the Islamic equivalent of kosher.

In two years she has served halal food at her Subway, Ruhila Khan has built a following from all over the tri-state area. The success can be seen in the Sales Volume awards on the wall behind the register.

'I don't have enough space to hang up all of them,' Khan said, smiling. 'I did something for Allah, and he has blessed us.'

In a state with one of the largest Muslim populations in the country, restaurant owners and community members say it makes business sense for mainstream restaurants to cater to Muslims.

'It's symbolic of our acceptance in the fabric that is America,' said Irfan Rydhan, founder of, a Web site that lists halal restaurants across the U.S. 'Especially if you grew up here. Your home cuisine is American cuisine.'.. [I]n the U.S., [halal] choices for Muslims have been limited to restaurants offering traditional ethnic fare, Rydhan said. Independent Muslim-run fast food joints started appearing in the 1990s in urban centers that have sizable Muslim populations, such as Jersey City.

Now, a younger, suburban Muslim consumer wants the same fast-food brands as other Americans, he said... There is no official count on the number of restaurants in America serving halal food, but Rydhan said he has seen an increase.

'I started in 1999 with 20 restaurants in the Bay Area,' he said. 'Now on average, I'm getting 20 new additions to the list every day.'"