The steaks are high

Cut costs by changing the cut.

It’s a challenging time to operate a steakhouse. At Peacock Alley in Bismarck, N.D., owner Dale Zimmerman says beef prices are up about 12 percent in 2014. For classic cuts, such as ribeye or filet, food costs run 34 percent, cutting into profits. “Our filet mignon now sells for $42,” says Zimmerman. Instead of putting menu prices out of reach, he recently added a less expensive, more profitable cut called teres major. “It’s not available in the supermarket, so I’m menuing it as a boutique steak,” he says. “It’s very tender and flavorful and can be prepared much like the filet.” The steak is sliced into medallions and served as both a shareable appetizer ($19) and entree ($27 to $30). “We’ve sold a tremendous amount,” says Zimmerman. “It’s been so successful, I put the appetizer version on the menu of my new restaurant, 40 Steak and Seafood.”

Teres Major Medallions

The tender, boneless teres major is cut from the seldom-used  shoulder. With food costs of 24 percent, it yields higher margins. A specialty butcher trims and slices the cut into three-ounce medallions for Peacock Alley. They are then grilled and presented three to a plate—a nine-ounce serving of beef, which customers perceive as high value. 

Smart Swaps

Instead of…Try this…
Filet mignonTeres major 
Single piece of beef Thinly sliced medallions
Unadorned steakMonthly changing garnishes


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