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Arby’s wants to give us “The Meats”—by the pound

Left: Arby’s. Right: The Meats.
Left: Arby’s. Right: The Meats.
Photo: JIM WATSON (Getty Images), fcafotodigital (Getty Images)

Have you ever dreamed of eating a pile of Arby’s meat with your bare hands in the comfort of your own home? Well if you’re in the Atlanta area, those dreams can finally come true, because for the first time in its history Arby’s is selling stacks of succulent sliced meat without any of the frills.

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This pilot program for bun-less meat was inspired by, of course, coronavirus. Speaking to CNN Business, Arby’s Chief Marketing Officer Patrick Schwing said customers have been requesting meat-to-go for years, but the company had not seriously considered the idea until the pandemic upended the entire restaurant industry. Now that the bulk of its business coming through the drive-thru, the company noticed an increasing number of customers purchasing extra-large orders that could feed a family, or keep a person swimming in Arby’s for days while in quarantine.

“It’s not a gimmick. It’s about meeting an unmet need,” said Schwing. “We never felt compelled to do it until now because we know we can deliver a high-quality product with a great convenience versus going into a deli or grocery store.”

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The chain is now selling sliced ham, turkey, and corned beef at nine restaurants in the Atlanta area, available in half-pound and one-pound packages. A customer survey showed that, ironically, people were not interested in Arby’s famous roast beef, nor any other meats that are best served warm. This is slightly disappointing, as being handed a sack of hot meat at a drive-thru is, I’m assuming, one of life’s greatest pleasures. I don’t know if driving home with a bunch of cold ham in your lap is quite as magical, but I do know it’s a lot better than driving around with no lap ham at all.

If the rollout is successful, Arby’s is considering expanding it to offer more types of meat, and, hopefully, making this menu option available nationwide. Schwing told CNN Business that the company doesn’t want to “scale something that isn’t mission critical,” which means that we must all look to the good citizens of Atlanta to convince the company that every American deserves “The Meats.” Pray that they don’t let us down like the 2016 Falcons.

Allison Robicelli is The Takeout staff writer, a former professional chef, author of three books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Questions about recipes/need cooking advice? Tweet @Robicellis.

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DISCUSSION

DaddyRoundRound
DaddyRoundRound

I’m not gonna shit on Arby’s meats, I’m generally indifferent to it. But their mozzarella sticks are amazing, and I will occasionally go there solely because I want those.