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It's National Steakhouse Month!

It's National Steakhouse Month!

final-place-setting.jpg June is quickly flying by, and I can't believe I didn't know that this month was not only National Dairy Month, but it's also National Steakhouse Month! How could I have missed this? Don't worry; I've compiled a list of ways to celebrate the remaining days of this honorary month in today's blog!

The mission statement of this great occasion is this: "To celebrate the steakhouse, that uniquely American restaurant, and to recognize and promote the art of expert grilling. National Steakhouse Month is sponsored by Morton’s The Steakhouse, a well-known fine-dining restaurant brand.”

Whether it's grilling a steak at home or going out for a restaurant to a steak supper, beef lovers have a wide range of ways they can enjoy America's favorite protein, but are they willing to pay the price?

"The cattle industry can trace many of its woes to declining beef demand," says a Purdue University researcher. Beef demand is half what it was in 1980, and consumers continue to turn away from it despite some recovery in 2004, says James Mintert in a Feb. 2011 article in Western Producer titled, "Busy Lifestyles One Factor In Beef Demand Decline."

There's no doubt about it. If consumers aren't buying beef, producers won't make money. But, there are several ways we can focus on boosting beef demand this summer. Here are a few ideas:

1. Share your favorite beef recipes. The BEEF Daily community is a diverse mix of beef producers, retailers, athletes, college students, moms, photographers and even animal rights activists. I welcome the diversity, and likewise, would love to hear about your favorite cut of beef and how you like it prepared. So, let's get talking and share your best in the comments section below.

steak.jpg 2. Offer peer recommendations of best steakhouses in your area. Have you had a good steak lately at a restaurant? Whether it was a hot date or a family affair, take a photo of your plate and share it with friends and family on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. I recently stopped at a steakhouse on a road trip and tweeted this picture to share with the diverse group of followers I have on that outlet. This can inspire others to go out and grill up a sirloin of their own!

Here is a video on using online social networking tools to share your story.

3. Follow my lead and shoot your own beef video! It doesn't take special equipment. All it takes is a flip camera, a volunteer to shoot it and sharing your love of beef online. As Randy Blach, CattleFax CEO, says in my June column, Beef Consumers Must Promote To Consumers, "One of the best things we can do when we grill a steak is make a video of it and put it on YouTube. Every rancher has their favorite rubs or marinades, and consumers will place value on seeing a rancher prepare their own beef on the grill. If you don’t know how to put a video on YouTube or don’t think you have the time, get your kids to help you out."

4. Finally, stock up on Beef Bucks and pass them out! Beef Bucks are pre-paid checks that can be used to purchase beef or beef meals at fast-food restaurants, steak houses, retail meat markets, grocery stores and home delivery services. Over the course of time, thousands of pounds of beef have moved across the U.S. via Beef Bucks. Beef Bucks isn't just about selling the beef, it's an industry working together, believing in its products and wanting to share one of America's finest produced foods -- delicious beef! In the past, I have taken Beef Bucks with me and passed them out at steakhouses I have dined at to thank those who have ordered beef. It's a great way to connect with consumers and make a positive impression. For more information on Beef Bucks, link here.

So, tell us what’s your favorite cut of beef? How do you like it prepared? What’s the best restaurant gave you the best dining experience? What made the experience a great one? How can we boost beef demand and increase steak sales at restaurants this summer? Any and all ideas are welcome!