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Bag a deer at the drive thru: Arby’s is hoping venison sandwiches put them above the herd

Handout image of an Arby's restaurant. Special to Forum News Service

The common wisdom goes a little something like this: A herd is only as fast as its slowest members, which would be the first to get eaten if they’re chased by a predator.

It’s an easy comparison to make to the newest rollout of venison sandwiches by the meatmongers at Arby’s, where they appear to see their tagline – “We have the meats” – as a rallying cry in the chase for hungry customers.

The restaurant chain announced in a release Wednesday, Oct. 11 that it would be offering the “wildly popular” sandwiches in all of its 3,200+ U.S. locations beginning Saturday, Oct. 21. Arby’s introduced the sandwiches in five states last year and says they sold out within hours by “going where no restaurant chain had gone before.”

It’s not the only example of Arby’s looking to outliers in the meats game has a new offering for its customers. In the same release, the company said they will also introduce elk sandwiches on the same day, but only at single locations in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming.

The venison sandwich certainly sounds trophy-worthy: A venison steak, marinated in garlic, salt and pepper, is prepared sous-vide (vacuum sealed, then slow-cooked in water), then topped with crispy onions and a juniper berry steak sauce.

Arby’s new offerings might seem a bit tame compared to snarky tweets by Wendy’s or the recent botched rollout of a limited-release, “Rick & Morty”-inspired dipping sauce at McDonald’s locations across the country, but they’re all fight-or-flight responses to the wolf at their heels: lower sales. In July, 2016, Business Insider reported that quarterly sales growth in the fast-food sector had essentially flattened. They cite a number of reasons, among them the decreasing cost of food at the grocery store.

Kris Kerzman

Kris Kerzman is a digital content producer for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He's also a dad, a board game enthusiast, and a sucker for an Oxford comma. He can be reached at (701) 241-5466 or You can follow him on Twitter at @kriskerzman.

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