The Australian classic, the steak sandwich, has taken centre stage as a result of a partnership between Meat & Livestock Australia and national cafe chain The Coffee Club.
The Coffee Club launched three new steak sandwiches in nearly 300 restaurants across the country the week after Easter, with promotion including MLA’s domestic marketing branding ‘Australian Beef the Greatest’.
The partnership began in late 2017 with MLA working with The Coffee Club’s parent company, Minor International to hero Australian red meat on the menu.
MLA Food Service business manager and corporate chef Sam Burke, together with Meat Standards Australia retail training facilitator Kelly Payne, worked with Minor Group chefs as part of a red meat immersion and butchery course to create new recipes.
MLA also worked with The Coffee Club on its existing steak sandwich, revamping the beef cut used – opting for a 100-day grainfed rump steak which suited the kitchen equipment – replacing the bread with toasted sourdough and improving the flavour profile.
The 100-day grainfed steak will be a permanent addition to all steak dishes at The Coffee Club.
Mr Burke said developing new dishes requires collaboration and a deep understanding of the specific food service business.
“While red meat is often seen as a dinner meal, MLA and The Coffee Club worked together to position beef as a lunchtime favourite,” Mr Burke said.
“The process was about developing a partnership between MLA and The Coffee Club to create a tailored solution that met their commercial requirements.”
Minor Group Culinary Manager Kenneth Bryce said the wealth of experience and knowledge brought by MLA to the partnership, particularly on different cuts, was invaluable.
“This knowledge helped us explain to suppliers what our business required to create products that were suitable in our kitchens and exceed the expectations of all stakeholders,” Mr Bryce said.
“The Coffee Club’s most recent promotion celebrates the brand’s Australian heritage through showcasing Aussie farmers and their produce.
“We recognise the importance of supporting local farmers and providing the freshest, quality ingredients for our customers.”
Mr Burke said the Australian food service sector generated $45 billion in 2016, accounting for 50 million meals a week making it crucial to the ongoing success of the red meat and livestock industry.
“Food service operators have a strong influence on consumer meal decisions, and MLA works throughout the sector to support new product development and menu innovation and to also educate chefs and staff about Australian red meat,” Mr Burke said.