Come on sheeple, why don't we eat more fast-food lamb?

Illustration for article titled Come on sheeple, why don't we eat more fast-food lamb?
Photo: bhofack2 (Getty Images)

Americans like fast-food beef burgers, fried chicken, bacon breakfast tacos, even fish-filet sandwiches. So why not add lamb to the list? Bloomberg has an interesting look at how chain restaurants and fast-food joints are slowly introducing more lamb to the menu, warily watching consumers to see how the meat will sell. Arby’s will soon move its lamb gyro from limited-time special to year-round option, and other chains including Potbelly, Yard House, and Zoe’s Kitchen are also dishing up new lamb burgers, meatballs, and gyros.


But Americans aren’t traditionally stoked on lamb. Bloomberg reports only half of Americans say they’ve tried it, and only 20 percent of all U.S. restaurants serve it. Why? Perceptions of “gaminess” as well as the fact that lamb, like its cousin veal, is a baby animal—lamb must come from a sheep less than 14 months old. Maybe we all watched too much Lambchop as kids. Per capita, Americans eat just 0.9 pounds of lamb annually.

But citing adventurous millennial palates and more media coverage of global food and cooking, fast-food and restaurant group executives think now could be the time for lamb’s moment in the spotlight, or at least its tiptoe onto some menus. Read more abbaaaaaa-out lamb over at Bloomberg. (And you thought you were going to make it all the way through without that pun? Come on now.)

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.



I love lamb, I eat it whenever it’s available. I’d be down to get in on some mutton, too, but I’ve never seen it anywhere. Goat is also pretty fantastic but usually reserved for Mexican (goat birria) or Indian (goat curry).