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Why Meat is Quite Expensive, or Is It Really Expensive?


For meat lovers, this question is quite common. Because compared to other food, meats are pretty expensive. Well, how expensive is the meat on your plate right now? Take a look at what other ingredients and kind of meat are involved in that dish. But first, answer this question: “If a restaurant buys 10 cattle at a market, how many do you think it could sell?”

What could be the percentage of the live animals that will be left to the restaurant to sell after the slaughtering, trimming, fabrication, and boning is complete?

Maybe, you’ll be surprised at the result. But before you go to that explanation, you must first examine the process and methods of events with regards to buying a live cattle and selling a steak at the restaurant.

Buying an Animal from the Market or Farm

Here is the process of how the chain of events before you eat them into steaks:

  • The butcher and the seller will agree on a deal and money changes on hands, that’s the first expense
  • The animals will be transported to an abattoir for slaughter, that’s the second expense
  • When the animal is slaughtered, it’ll add up again on the third expense
  • The meat will be refrigerated before the transport, making it the fourth expense
  • The next one is the compulsory Department of Agriculture inspection, which includes the fifth expense
  • In other countries, they will charge for additional feed by the Food Board, making it the sixth expense
  • Also, any waste from the animal should be disposed of in a registered vehicle approved by the Department of Agriculture, that’s the seventh expense
  • A document book should need to purchase making it the eighth expense
  • When the animal is being transported to a butcher boning hall, which adds up as a ninth expense
  • A butcher needs to breaks down the carcass making it the tenth expense
  • The butcher will now vacuum packs the meat cuts after the boning, making it the eleventh expense
  • The premium cuts will go to a butcher shop which makes the twelfth expense
  • The meat needs to be refrigerated making it the thirteenth expense
  • Butchers need to cute the meat into a steak or retail portions, which add ups to the restaurant’s fourteenth expense.

Also, the following expenses should need to be factored when it comes to the overall final price of the dish:

  • Rent and rates
  • Depreciation of equipment
  • Waster packaging refuse collection
  • Electricity, power, refrigeration
  • Employee costs
  • Legal fees
  • Bone and fat trim
  • Advertising
  • Drip loss
  • Marketing
  • Insurance to fire, flood, and employees
  • Community contributions and local fundraising
  • HACCP maintenance and training for employees
  • Packaging, skewers, twine, and so on
  • Water, gas, and phone
  • Trade association membership.

When the beef arrives in the butcher’s store, it has to be aged a minimum of 14 days. This is charged for a drip loss of 2% for the carcass weight. If the butcher picks to dry age the meat and varies depending on how it was aged, the damage can accumulate up to 25%.

Now, butchers will set the prices according to the cuts of meat-based on the following metrics:

  • How much of each different cuts are available
  • The demand for each cut
  • The economic make-up of the customers
  • The amount that the competition is charging
  • The amount they have paid for the meat

Moreover, a butcher goal for a gross margin is up to 30% of the SRP.

Do You Think Meats are Really Expensive?

With the information listed above, do you still think that the meat you eat at the restaurant of Meatworksco restaurant in Melbourne expensive?

Probably not, you can say that the price is worth the value. So, all you need to do is enjoy your meat and savor the money that you have paid for it.

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