If Arby’s is known for anything, it’s meat. Founded in 1964, the restaurant exclusively sold roast beef sandwiches, chips, and drinks for years out of its original Boardman, Ohio location. In 2015, Arby’s finally added a beef brisket option to its menu, marking the restaurant chain’s first new item in some 24 months.
With that in mind, it comes as a pretty huge surprise that the roast beef king’s latest addition will be a “100 percent deer meat” venison sandwich. According to USA Today, the item features a “thick-cut venison steak” made from the hindquarter of a deer. The premium cut top and bottom round steaks are then sprinkled with crispy onions, slathered with berry sauce, and sandwiched on a toasted roll.
Part of the company’s aptly titled “It's Meats Season” campaign—dedicated to all things hunting—the fast-food chain will reportedly begin testing the item at 17 select locations by the end of the month. The locations are in states like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Georgia, where deer-hunting is more common.
"Bringing venison to our menu also allows us to continue to set ourselves apart from the competition when it comes to proteins," Rob Lynch, Arby’s brand president and chief marketing officer, told USA Today. "You simply can’t find this at other restaurant chains."
Well, at least he’s got one thing right.
While a venison steak from Arby’s might not sound that appealing to non-hunting customers, the item does use grass-fed, free-range deer for its meat. Still, it sounds like Lynch knows who his core audience is with this new product.
“Deer hunters are going to love this sandwich,” he said.