When it comes to beef, gone are the days when diners will settle for any plate of food—even quick-service brands have had to upscale their offerings to meet the demands of diners seeking higher-quality food.
What constitutes quality, and how to deliver it to diners, have become important questions for restaurant leaders across the industry, as quality can produce fan-favorite menu items and higher ticket prices. Chef Pete Geoghegan, culinary manager at Sterling Silver Premium Meats, says the ever-increasing consumer interest in where food is sourced from is a driving force in the quality movement. And today, many consumers feel that quality also derives from the treatment of a product before it ever arrives on a plate.
“Whether it’s a basil plant or a cow, more people are realizing it’s really important to think about how we treated that product before we put it into our bodies,” Geoghegan says. “We have learned over time that if you treat animals the right way it’s going to result in a better, more nourishing end-product.”
But from a chef’s perspective, what does high-quality beef look like?
“The biggest thing a chef should seek out is marbling, and consistency,” Geoghegan says. “If you don’t know what you’re going to get out of a cut of meat, you can’t prepare to serve your guests a consistent product. That’s why it’s important to go with a program like Sterling Silver Premium Meats, the chef is going to know what to expect, and so are the customers.”
The Sterling Silver meat program has a standard process that begins with the ranchers they partner with. Cattle that meet certain specifications are hand-selected, ensuring consistency that meets USDA guidelines for upper ⅔ choice beef.
“There is a science that has stood the test of time to deliver the best possible product,” Geoghegan says. “Because at the end of the day, a meat program’s success depends on its clients’ success.”
The promise of a mutually beneficial partnership is why some meat programs, like Sterling Silver, offer marketing support, staff training, and assistance in crafting menu items that suit a restaurant’s identity. With so many concerns in the kitchen, having a reliable vendor means a variable is taken out of the equation.
“We’ve learned over time that higher quality meat equates to a better overall dining experience for guests,” Geoghegan says. “That whole process—what the cow is eating, down to how a chef cooks it—it all works together, in harmony, to deliver an indulgent experience that keeps guests coming back time and time again.”
To learn more about how to achieve a higher quality beef selection at your restaurant, visit the Sterling Silver website.