Dinner Table

Menu Concepts & Diner Insights

Explore ideas for building exciting menus around beef.

beef in the spotlight

Get cutting-edge intel on menu planning, customer preferences, operations and more.

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STEAK: WHAT CONSUMERS KNOW AND WANT

Steaks are top of mind for consumers, in fact, 48% of consumers eat a steak on a weekly basis, according to research recently conducted by National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff. The research determined how consumers define a quality steak, what factors are most important to them, and what cuts, cook, toppings, and more, consumers prefer most to help drive consumer steak satisfaction in your operation.  

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HINDSIGHT 2020: BEEF’S MARKET TRENDS THROUGH THE PANDEMIC

The pandemic highlighted interesting strengths in the beef industry. Even with inflated prices, consumers still choose beef as their protein of choice. Beef continues to remain the protein of choice for consumers and has proven to be a staple in consumers’ diets.

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Inspiring Ideas: Beef Makes Every Menu Better

There’s no shortage of options for getting more beef on your menu, from appetizers to mains to seasonal specialties.

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beef and alcohol menu pairing

Looking for ways to maximize both beef and alcohol sales? Check out these creative menu applications that are likely to resonate with your customer base.

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Bao Beef Bun

Asian beef trends

Flavors from Korea, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines are influencing beef dishes across the country. These cuisines can stand on their own or be fused together, evidenced by the French-Vietnamese, Pacific-Rim and Pan-Asian fare trending on menus today.

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Beef Ribeye Cap Po' Boy

ribeye cap menu inspiration

Removed from the outside of the Ribeye, the Ribeye Cap — aka Spinalis — offers a tender, flavorful cut of beef which can be used in a variety of menu applications. Introduce your diners to a meal they won’t soon forget.

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tender steak tannato

SHOULDER PETITE TENDER MENU INSPIRATION

Don’t let this little cut from the Chuck primal fool you — the Shoulder Petite Tender is loaded with flavor and makes a great addition to any menu and is well suited to a variety of applications, from appetizers to entrees.

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Corned Beef Preparation

corned beef menu inspiration

While most consider Corned Beef synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day, this versatile cut of Beef Brisket offers a variety of unique and delicious menu inspirations that can be featured year-round. 

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Seoul Steak and Eggs

sirloin bavette Menu Inspiration

This boneless cut comes from the Sirloin primal and is similar to Skirt and Flank Steaks. While commonly used as fajita strips, the Sirloin Bavette provides chefs with a canvas for creative and innovative menu ideas.

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diner and operator data

See what’s cooking — and selling well — at dining establishments across the country.

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2020: CONSUMER’S HOLIDAY MINDSET AMID A PANDEMIC

The holiday season is in the not so distant future. This time of year, shopping begins to ramp up and gatherings are top of mind, but with a year like no other, how will COVID-19 impact the holiday spirit? In an effort to understand this better the National Cattleman’s Beef Association, on behalf of the Beef Checkoff, launched a consumer survey with over 1,000 consumers to better understand how the 2020 holiday season may be different than any other year.  

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Double Date Dining

there's no substitute for beef

Meat and poultry consumption is expected to hit record highs this year. But that good news has been overshadowed by recent headlines about plant-based meat substitutes. While some of the companies behind plant-based meat substitutes aim to replace animal proteins, market research indicates consumers are willing to pay more for animal proteins in restaurants than for plant-based substitutes.

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Classic Beef Cheeseburgers

THE BEEF BURGER: HOW TO DESCRIBE THIS MENU STAPLE

There are many kinds of crave worthy foods. From foods that are sweet and salty to savory, there is one crave-able item that sure gets consumers talking. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, recently conducted research on consumer preferences for burgers when dining out. Consumers’ own words highlight just how enticing burgers are for them.

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DELIVERING DINNER: ONLINE MEAL ORDERING

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic increase in online meal ordering, just like it has changed consumer behavior in online grocery. In fact, currently 86% of consumers are ordering meals online. With more consumers cooking and dining at home, foodservice operators have quickly adopted this strategy or even started implementing their own infrastructure for online ordering and meal delivery to remain competitive. 

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IT’S NOT JUST MILLENNIALS: HOW BEEF. IT’S WHAT’S FOR DINNER. SEGMENTS CONSUMERS

Beef caters to a wide variety of consumers. From young to old, East Coast to West Coast, beef is something almost everyone enjoys. But not all consumers approach how they eat in the same way. For example, consumers can have differing views when it comes to their protein choices, where their food comes from, and what’s important during mealtime. Unsurprisingly, factors such as age, marital status, or whether someone has kids can affect how they think about and eat beef. To understand more about these differences, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, on behalf of the Beef Checkoff, sought to learn more about consumers when it comes their behaviors that influence how they shop, eat, and dine. 

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CONSUMERS CONSIDER BEEF A TOP PROTEIN 

Though there are a variety of potential threats to the industry, consumers are still eating a lot of beef. Since 2015, beef consumption has increased over 3 pounds per capita annually, to a projected total of almost 58 pounds by the end of 2019.

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Grilled rib-eye steak of marble beef closeup with spices on a wooden Board. Juicy steak medium sliced and ready to eat. With copy space

LOVE BEEF TENDER: HOW AGING AFFECTS BEEF’S TENDERNESS

Tenderness is one of the biggest influencers of consumer approval of beef. Since most consumers can differentiate between tough and tender beef, improving tenderness is a high priority for the beef industry. One of the best methods to do this is by aging beef.

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BQA - Cow Calf

SUSTAINABILITY AND YOUR BOTTOM LINE: HOW BEEF PLAYS A ROLE

Restaurant foodservice operators know sustainability is more than just a buzz word… it impacts an operation’s bottom line and restaurants’ sustainability efforts factor into about half of diners’ decisions on where to dine.

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BEEF QUALITY ASSURANCE: RAISING BEEF THE RIGHT WAY

While your diners/shoppers may not be able to see a “label” that says BQA certified, both you and your customers can feel good knowing that 85% of beef in the U.S. comes from a BQA certified farmer or rancher. 

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Double Date Dining

UNDERSTANDING HOW MILLENNIALS DEFINE “HIGH-QUALITY” BEEF WHEN DINING OUT

Survey research, conducted by the Beef Checkoff, revealed how Millennial consumers define “high-quality” beef and how foodservice operators can appeal to this segment through their beef offerings and their menu descriptors. In this survey, Millennial consumers were asked a variety of questions which explored their associations and preferred descriptors for high-quality beef, as well as which preparation methods and cuts they feel best indicate quality.

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Classic Beef Cheeseburgers

It’s no surprise that burgers are among millennials’ top choices when choosing to eat at a quick service establishment. For some, it even brings back sentimental childhood memories.

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PROMOTING BEEF ON POSTMATES

To gauge effective strategies for reaching consumers, we partnered with Postmates to determine which common beef-related keywords would affect consumer behavior when boosted within the platform’s search feature.

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Beef Sirloin Flap Dry Pot

BEEF REMAINS A FOODSERVICE MAINSTAY

To better understand beef trends in foodservice, we executed an annual foodservice volumetric study to measure operator purchases and distributor sales of beef and other proteins across all foodservice operator segments.

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