Pressure from all directions is putting chefs in a difficult position. As the cost of goods has inflated, menu prices have been raised accordingly. However, as menu prices have risen, restaurant visits have decreased—data from Placer.ai cites this as an ongoing tension.
“Everyone’s trying to find that balance,” says Adam Moore, founder and chef at Flashpoint Innovation. “You want a price point where your margins remain intact while still making sure it doesn’t kill your foot traffic.”
Moore, corporate chef with Aussie Beef & Lamb, says there’s an opportunity to take well-known proteins like beef and lamb and solve multiple challenges at once. FSR and QSR recently sat down with Moore to learn more about what that might look like.
QSR/FSR: What are some red meat trends you’re seeing across the industry?
Moore: “Right now, a lot of chefs are exploring ways to use ‘outside the middle’ economic cuts. They’re looking for more inspiration and innovation surrounding those low, slow-braised cuts. So maybe that’s taking chuck round and sous-viding it for 72 hours to provide a short-rib-like experience.
Another thing we’re seeing is that diners want a well-balanced plate. I think some are figuring out plant-based diets aren’t actually healthier if there’s hundreds of ingredients and processing going into making that product. So chefs should be looking to create a balanced, healthy, colorful plate based on whole, real foods like fresh produce and red meat—the original complete protein.”
QSR/FSR: Where does Australian beef and lamb fit into this conversation? How can they help make a menu more appealing while keeping food costs in check?
Moore: “Beef is obviously very common on U.S. menus, but Australian grassfed beef and Australian lamb can both be a new dining experience for some diners.
When you look at lamb in particular, it’s on the list of experiences that diners may not have had before and one that can differentiate your concept. So maybe you create a unique application with a rack of lamb that piques their interest, or if you feel like your customers need a more approachable starting point, we always suggest trying a lamb burger on the menu and inviting guests to try lamb that way.
Grassfed beef is a leaner protein, making it a healthy option. Just like lamb, Australian grass-fed beef gives you an opportunity to increase pricing because guests know it’s an elevated item.
QSR/FSR: What else should our readership know about Aussie Beef & Lamb?
Moore: “We’ve recently launched the Aussie Meat Academy, a resource for foodservice professionals to find inspiration for their menus, consumer insights, and best practices for red meat sourcing and utilization. It’s a great place to get connected to our experts and Aussie meats for your operation. We’d love to help.”
For more information on Aussie Beef & Lamb, visit aussiebeefandlamb.com.