The Role of Meat in Restaurants: From Menu Appeal to Culture

Nick Mirev
Table of Contents
    Thank you! Please check your inbox now for your welcome email.
    There was an issue with the form. Please try again.

    Meat is among the most important ingredients used in restaurants all over the world. Even though there are various new meat trends like cultured meat or sustainable and protein-rich alternatives to meat, the majority of people order meat in restaurants and purchase meat products for their homes. That’s because it is an important source of protein and has been an essential part of our diet for millennia. The global meat market is constantly growing as people in developing countries increasingly consume more meat. That’s why, starting a company in the meat industry can be a profitable endeavor. Check out our post on how to start a meat business. In this article, we’ll share more about the role of meat in restaurants and how meat products can be used to increase profits and attract customers.

    Key takeaway: Meat dishes are among the most popular items on the menus of most restaurants. That’s why meat plays an important role in the restaurant industry.
    BlueCart ebooks and resources

    The Role of Meat in a Restaurant

    Meat is the cornerstone of many restaurant menus. Different meat products are used as main ingredients in various dishes. Furthermore, as the livestock agriculture sector in the US has developed and the supply of meat products has increased, a growing number of people can consume meat more regularly. That’s especially true for poultry. Allow us to share more about the role of meat in restaurants. 

    Menu Creation

    The majority of customers choose dishes with meat. That’s why it’s important to offer a variety of menu items with the most popular types of meat – chicken, beef, and pork. Whether it’s steak or burger, signature dishes in most restaurants also have meat as the main ingredient. 

    Profit Margins

    Restaurants partner with wholesale meat distributors who can offer a wide range of products, including various cold cuts. Meat dishes like steak often have higher profit margins compared to other meals as the demand for them is higher. Also, diners eat meat in restaurants more frequently compared to cooking it at home. As businesses purchase products at wholesale prices they have an incentive to promote dishes with meat more in comparison to dough-based dishes like pizza. There are also more ways to upsell meat in restaurants compared to other meals.

    Customer Experience

    A properly prepared meat dish can be the difference between a good meal and an exceptional one. Business owners in the restaurant industry understand that and often invest in quality meat products or interior solutions such as open grilling stations that add to the restaurant’s character.


    There are rising concerns about the role of meat in the context of climate change and environmental sustainability. That’s why restaurants that wish to reduce their ecological footprint should find suppliers who offer locally sourced wholesale meat.

    Inventory Management

    Meat is among the most highly perishable food groups. Furthermore, preservation techniques such as freezing can alter the texture and taste of meat dishes. That’s why proper inventory management for meat in restaurants is paramount. That’s true not only for raw meat but also for bulk deli meat. When searching for meat distribution companies, restaurants should consider working with businesses that specialize in B2B sales and have good processes in terms of traceability, sanitation, and wholesale sales of meat.


    Like with other food groups, there’s seasonality in meat consumption as well. For example, during the winter months, the consumption of red increases. On the other hand, during the hot summer days, chicken can become a more appealing option. Restaurant managers should consider that when creating their seasonal menus.

    demo request BlueCart

    Types of Restaurants that Focus on Meat Dishes

    Virtually all types of restaurants offer meat dishes. However, some food service establishments brand themselves as meat-oriented. They offer a wide variety of cuts and might also integrate other processes into their business like raising livestock or doing meat processing on their own. Some restaurant businesses that focus on premium meat also offer additional services like meat subscriptions. Here are examples of restaurants that focus on meat dishes.

    1. Steakhouse. They specialize in steaks and have a wide range of meat cuts. These restaurants might also import high-quality meat products like Wagyu or Kobe beef.
    2. Barbecue restaurant and smokehouses. These establishments offer products like briskets, ribs, pulled pork, and slow-cooked meats.
    3. Burger joint. As burgers are among the favorite dishes of many Americans, it’s no surprise that burger joints are quite popular in the US. Some of them focus on fast food while others offer more custom burger options.
    4. Butcher shop restaurant. These establishments often grow their own livestock and prepare their own meat cuts. They combine butcher shops with the restaurant experience and offer farm-to-table service. Some have high-end products that they offer through meat subscription boxes. They also sell meat online through eCommerce channels like their website.
    5. Mediterranean grill. They offer products like gyros or kebabs made of lamb, beef, or chicken meat.
    6. Other ethnic meat-focused restaurants. Meat is an integral part of many cultures. That’s why there are restaurants that focus on Korean barbecue or Japanese grilled meats. Brazilian churrascaria and Argentinian parrilla are other examples of such establishments.
    ordering software for restaurants

    Frequently Asked Questions about Meat in Restaurants

    BlueCart has assisted businesses in various niche markets with our reliable software solutions for wholesalers. Our team also offers valuable advice for entrepreneurs in different sectors of the economy. Below we’ve shared the answers to common questions about meat in restaurants.

    What Are the Most Popular Meat Dishes in Restaurants?

    Steak is among the most popular meat dishes in restaurants. Burgers, ribs, and different varieties of fried chicken are also very common meals ordered by Americans in food service establishments. Poultry is the most common meat in restaurants and households. Beef and pork come in second and third place in terms of popularity. Seafood dishes have also increased in popularity in recent years. They are rich in protein and nutritious. Some dishes, like surf and turf, combine seafood with red meat. Meat in restaurants is traditionally served with sides like vegetables, mashed potatoes, or risotto.

    Can a Vegan Restaurant Be Profitable?

    Yes. There’s an increased demand for vegan dishes and a restaurant that focuses on sustainable meals and vegan meat can be the right choice for many diners. The increased search for vegan options in the last decades has led to changes in restaurant menus. Food service establishments nowadays offer various vegan meal options. 

    Keep in mind that a vegan restaurant narrows its potential customers substantially. That’s why these businesses can also incorporate cultured meat into their menus. This will make them more appealing to individuals who enjoy meat dishes. The benefits of cultured meat products can also make them a viable option for vegans.

    Who Cooks Meat in Restaurants?

    Traditionally, meat in restaurants is prepared by a meat chef. They are responsible for choosing the right cuts and cooking the meat to the right level. Meat chefs need to know how to properly prepare the different types of meat

    In addition to meat chefs, there are also other types of cooks that are responsible for meat products. These are butcher, fry, and roast chefs. Butcher chefs keep an eye on the meat inventory and might choose to replace certain dishes from the menu with alternatives. They also inspect the quality of meat in restaurants. In many restaurants, the roles of several types of chefs are combined.

    Book a Demo
    Streamline order management, grow your bottom line, and get back hours of your time with BlueCart. Schedule a demo now:
    Thank you! Your submission has been received!
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.