Turns out, venison is just what the customers want in Music City, U.S.A. On Nov. 1, a Nashville, Tennessee Arby's sold out of venison sandwiches in the first hours of the first day of a three-day promotion. Just how many sandwiches? About 250 in five hours, and 100 of those sold in the first 15 minutes.
The Nashville location, located on Rosa Parks Blvd., was to be the first of 17 franchises to carry the special venison sandwich, before the promotion continued on to Atlanta, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
"We stuck a nerve, in a good way, with hunters," said Luke DeRouen, Arby's senior director of brand communication. "Some people drove from an hour away to try it."
The release of the venison sandwich is tied to Arby's recent "We Have the Meats" ad campaign, blending it with "It's meat season," an appeal to the restaurant's hunting, Heartland base. Along those lines, the Nashville store also got a camouflage makeover.
-- Tyler Farr (@tylerfarr) November 1, 2016
Where does the venison come from? Well, not here at home. Since the USDA doesn't allow restaurants to serve wild-raised game, Arby's venison steaks come all the way from New Zealand.
While many were expecting a sandwich piled high with thin-shaved meat, a la Arby's other offerings, the company took a different tack: 5.5-ounce cuts of top and bottom round. They're par cooked, then shipped to stores where they're reheated and served topped with crispy fried onions and a sauce made with Cabernet and juniper berries.
Where can you get your hands on one? Well, if you live in Michigan or Pennsylvania, you may be in luck. Below is a schedule for the remainder of the campaign:
Available Nov. 12-15
4229 W. Vienna Rd., Clio, Mich. 48420
4040 17 Mile Rd. NE, Cedar Springs, Mich. 49319
1215 M 89, Plainwell, Mich. 49080
8685 Birch Run Rd., Birch Run, Mich. 48415
Available Nov. 25-28
5205 Library Road, Bethel Park, Penn. 15102
4260 Ohio River Blvd., Bellevue, Penn. 15202
16 Towne Center Drive, Leechburg, Penn. 15656
2539 W State St., New Castle, Penn. 16101
2648 Ellwood Rd., New Castle, Penn. 16101
3224 Wilmington Rd., New Castle, Penn.16105