In the spirit of Ray‘s, Famous Ray’s, Original Ray’s, and the like…
From Sunday’s New York Times Magazine…the Ethicist!
While negotiating the sale of his share of a small shawarma restaurant to a friend of his, my husband learned that a famous shawarma chain is opening a branch near the restaurant. He fears that if he tells the friend, he will back out of the deal. It feels wrong to withhold this information. Must he tell? — Wendy Schor-Haim, Tel Aviv
Famous shawarma chain??? Huh? Yeah, because any Israeli can recite on command the top 10 famous shawarma places. That’s like saying “Tel Aviv’s famous stray cat.” These places aren’t exactly known for their differentiation.
Without further ado…Israel’s top 10 famous shawarma places!!!
10) The one on the corner with this poster
5) The one with the Baba Sali on the wall
4) The one where the guy behind the counter is extremely proficient not only at cramming as many tosefot (additions) into the pita as possible, but doing so only seconds after finishing his cigarette. Ech omrim “wash your hands, Shmulik”?
Ok, that’s enough…
So what did the Ethicist say?
Each party in the sale of a company is expected to exercise due diligence on his own behalf, availing himself of public information like that surrounding a famous chain’s expansion plan. Seller and buyer must respect the law and fair business practices, but because each party wants to maximize its benefit at the other’s expense, both must also heed the rule of caveat emptor.
Fair business practices? Dude, have you been here before? I have to threaten civil litigation to convince the taxi driver to use the meter! “No, I will not pay 50 shekels to get from Ben-Yehudah to the shuk! I can see it from here!”
So how did the story end? Happily, as the shawarma rumor turned out to be just that…a rumor. A national pizza chain came in its place. Mmm…pizza.
For another Israel-related Ethicist question…
(Thanks, Larry and Nadine.)