Chefs can use meat and still cater for punters looking to reduce consumption, according to fresh produce specialist Bidfresh.
The business is launching a new national butchers brand, Countrywide Butchers, and is keen to use the launch to help pub chefs promote the positive aspects of meat.
Laurence Tottingham, the development chef for Oliver Kay Produce, sister company of Countrywide Butchers, explained: "The trend towards consumers eating less meat, especially amongst the younger demographic, has been well publicised and we know from conversations with our customers that many chefs in hotels, restaurants and pubs are looking at ways to address this issue.
"For consumers taking a 'flexitarian' approach to their diet, meat becomes more of a treat, and so we can help chefs emphasise the premium quality of the meat on their menu.
"Sustainability and animal welfare are issues for many consumers. We work with trusted, approved suppliers to source a variety of local, UK, EU and Red Tractor approved ranges of meats, as well as being members of the Ethical Trading Initiative."
Advice for pubs includes:
- Make meat a treat: highlighting premium products on menus and specials boards
- Buy the best quality meat you can. Countrywide Butchers has in-house dry ageing facilities at each of their local sites, for example.
- Use the whole animal – nose to tail. Specialist butchers can prepare the animal, advising customers how to utilise all parts effectively on the menu;
- Cuts pre-prepared by specialist butchers add value for customers, minimise food waste, and add profit to meat dishes.
The company will use National Butchers Week, which runs from 11-17 March, to launch the new brand and promote its message.
Laurence will also be hosting a class at Henson Meats in London to coincide with National Butchers Week, as well as classes spotlighting sous vide cookery techniques in London on February 20 and Bolton on March 13.
"Whether it's meat, vegan or other specialist menu areas such as seafood or a premium cheeseboard, hospitality operators are having to work harder than ever to attract customers in the challenging eating out market, and as a premium food supplier we're working closely with our customers to help them keep their menus competitive," he said.
Countrywide Butchers incorporates four regional butchers including Campbell Brothers, Henson Meats, Knight Meats and Williams of Flint. Services include preparation of meat to customer specs, cooking information, menu consultancy and additional support.