Deer meat will enter the quick-service supply chain next week when Arby’s introduces a venison sandwich at 17 locations in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Georgia, in communities where deer hunting is popular.
All locations serving the venison sandwiches are company owned.
The sandwich’s description sounds more like something from a fine-dining restaurant than a quick-service chain. It will be made with thick-cut venison that has been marinated in garlic, salt and pepper, and then cooked for three hours. The venison is served on a toasted roll with fried onions and a Cabernet steak sauce infused with juniper berries.
A spokeswoman for Arby's said the venison is from free-range, grass-fed, farmed deer. The sandwich is priced at $5.
“Hunters hunt the meats, and we have the meats, so it makes sense for us to connect with them and offer a sandwich that they can’t get at any other restaurant chain,” Arby’s chief marketing officer Rob Lynch said in a press release. “We’re a brand that’s not afraid to take risks, and while the venison sandwich is probably the biggest stretch for us yet, it’s incredibly delicious, and we can’t wait to get it in the hands of our guests. You won’t leave a hunt empty-handed after stopping by Arby’s."
The sandwich will debut on Oct. 31, at a Nashville, Tenn., location, where it will be available through Nov. 3. It will next be available from Nov. 4-6, at locations in Superior, Wis.; St. Louis Park, Minn.; Cloquet, Minn.; St. Cloud, Minn., and Atlanta.
From Nov. 12-15, the sandwich will be offered in the Michigan towns of Clio, Cedar Springs, Plainwell and Birch Run. And from Nov 25-28, it will be served in the Pennsylvania communities of Bethel Park, Bellevue, Leechburg and three locations in New Castle.
The introduction coincides with Arby’s “It’s Meats Season” campaign, which celebrates the start of hunting season and reinforces the Atlanta-based chain’s meat-forward message and slogan, “We have the meats.”
Arby's has more than 3,200 locations nationwide.