Trends & Insights

5 ways to beef up menus

Monday, January 30, 2017

Consumers of all generations are fans of steak. Beef dishes are a favorite among baby boomers, with 62% calling them a preferred food, according to Technomic’s 2016 Generational Consumer Trend Report.

Similarly, millennials are increasingly choosing beef on the menu, up from 40% in 2014 to 45% in 2016, the report found.

And operators are responding: Menu mentions of sliced steak are up 4.9% year over year, according to Technomic’s MenuMonitor data.

For operators, sliced steak products provide an easy way to upgrade menu offerings. They’re versatile, and—especially when using pre-cooked varieties—they’re labor-saving and food-safety compliant. Use sliced steak in craveable, creative menu items and capitalize on the popularity of this easy-to-use protein.

Here are some ideas for menuing sliced steak:

  1. Updated comfort foods

Baby boomers over-index on beef dishes largely because they’re looking for retro, comfort-food appeal. Cater to consumers seeking indulgence with a signature Philly Cheesesteak handheld—an on-trend option making waves on menus. Wayback Burgers recently launched a Philly Cheesecake LTO, and Dairy Queen rolled out an Artisan-Style Philly Sandwich with sliced steak, Monterey Jack cheese, bell peppers and onions on a toasted basil-cheese focaccia roll.

Sliced steak can also be featured in a variety of other comforts foods, from loaded fries, nachos and potato tots to grilled cheese sandwiches.

  1. Perk up pizza

Younger consumers especially enjoy novel twists on familiar menu items. Menu mentions of sliced steak on pizza are up 3.8% year over year, according to Technomic’s MenuMonitor data. Antonio’s Pizza in Avon, Ohio, for example, offers an Italian Cheese Steak pizza with alfredo sauce, caramelized onions, sliced steak, red peppers and provolone.

  1. Customizable offerings

Attract Gen Zers with customizable dishes. Sliced steak is well-suited to this application because it’s ready-to-serve. Menu sliced steak in build-your-own Asian bowls, salad concepts or wrap and sandwich offerings.

  1. Breakfast

Growing interest in all-day breakfast means new opportunities for sliced steak. The Bay Ridge Diner in Brooklyn, New York, for example, offers the New York Benedict with poached eggs, sliced steak and Hollandaise on an English muffin. Or, menu a sliced steak breakfast skillet with potatoes, scrambled eggs, vegetables and cheese. Sliced steak hash topped with a sunny side-up egg is another on-trend option.

  1. Ethnic dishes

Millennials like to experiment with novel menu items. Plus, 46% of them say they’re willing to spend more on a meal that features new or unique flavors, according to Technomic’s 2015 Flavor Consumer Trend Report. Sliced steak can be used as a familiar ingredient in a wide range of globally inspired dishes. Try a grilled steak quesadilla. Or, use it in Indian Beef Vindaloo with a rich curry sauce, ramen-based soups or Middle Eastern shawarma.

AdvancePierre’s line of pre-cooked and raw sliced steak products are a versatile and labor-saving addition to any menu. 

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