Fans can buy cold cuts by the pound at select test locations.

By Mike Pomranz
September 08, 2020
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COVID-19 has completely upended the restaurant industry—with some establishments looking beyond standard takeout orders and even offering a “grocery store” model on the side. That idea of selling bulk goods to customers has included major chains, too. For instance, Subway started selling cold cuts. And by July, TGI Fridays was selling raw steaks and burgers that customers could cook at home. Now, the brand famous for saying “We have the meats” is also willing to sell you them directly: Arby’s has been testing selling packaged sliced meat.

Arby's

The trial meat-selling service quietly launched this past July at nine locations, according to CNN Business. Three types of cold cuts—roast turkey, ham, and corned beef—can be bought in half-pound and pound packages for $4.99 and $8.99 respectively. No need to get out of your car, either: These deli meats can be grabbed right at the drive-thru.

“It's not a gimmick. It's about meeting an unmet need,” Patrick Schwing, Arby's chief marketing officer, was quoted as saying. “We're not sure that everyone fully appreciates the quality and preparation of our products… That's why we’re showcasing the meat without the other accouterments.”

Arby's

An Arby’s spokesperson told me, “The initial test—which is currently focused in select locations in the Atlanta market—will end at the end of September, but Arby’s is using the test to determine if and when this program could be scaled to additional markets.” Schwing reportedly mentioned to CNN that could potentially mean more or different meats (roast beef would seem like a no-brainer) or even a nationwide expansion.

And though the idea may be intended for people to grab deli meats without an extra stop at the store, I’m envisioning another—more immediate—use. Who wouldn’t want an additional half-pound of roast beef to really stack up that Classic Beef ‘N Cheddar to unprecedented heights? Even if Arby’s decides not to keep selling the packaged stuff, why not just let anyone buy extra meat on the side? Yes, you have the meats, Arby’s, so stop hoarding them all to yourselves!