New research has suggested that 82 per cent of consumers would like to see lamb included on eating out menus more often.
The figures, provided by farming cooperative Alliance, also claim 85 per cent are looking for cuts of lamb that they wouldn't normally cook at home.
According to data also from the firm, which came from 750 consumers, lamb is one of the top three meat dishes to order out of home, and it is encouraging chefs to diversify the meat beyond the traditional Sunday roast.
Claire Bedouin, marketing manager – UK foodservice, Alliance, said there was a 'real disconnect' between what consumers want and what is being provided regarding this meat.
She said: "Lamb is an exciting and versatile meat, and yet we often see chops, shanks and racks on menus.
"65 per cent of consumers want to see more innovative lamb dishes and chefs mixing it up a little more. This opens up all sorts of possibilities for operators looking to do something different and stand out from the competition."
According to Claire, the 'beauty of lamb' is that it can be used in key trend dishes, such as BBQ, Asian, African and street food concepts.
She said: "Lamb's versatility means chefs have the flexibility to try different cuts and broaden their menu's appeal. Our research showed Loin and Saddle to be the cuts consumers would most like to try, so now's the time to swap your chops for something a little more exciting."
The survey also revealed taste and quality were important factors when ordering. But surprisingly provenance was only fourth in the list of priorities when eating out – at 23 per cent.
Claire continues: "A lot of operators put pressure on themselves to source prime British Spring lamb, but this can be difficult, especially during key calendar events such as Easter when it is in high demand. Chefs shouldn't fear looking further afield to ensure they get the best quality lamb for their dishes, all year."