Not many people have more red meat supply chain experience than Frank Correnti, executive chef at Brisbane’s renowned Norman Hotel.
Frank has been a chef, restaurateur, boutique butcher, wholesaler, trader and exporter. For the past 18 years, he’s relied on MSA to underpin eating quality of his product.
“I’ve used MSA from the start. From a customer perspective, it provides satisfaction and security that what the consumer is buying is going to be great eating quality,” he said.
The hotel’s Steakhouse, proudly billed as ‘Brisbane’s worst vegetarian restaurant’, serves more than 3,000 customers a week and, at any one time, has up to 18 cuts of MSA-graded meat in its famous butcher shop-style window.
“Product quality expectations have really changed since I started in the business,” Frank said.
“Once it was almost pot luck what you got in a box from a wholesaler. Now, there’s far more emphasis on branding, there are more cuts to choose from and the market is tougher.
“With more public education, palates have become more discerning and people won’t settle for second best.”
Looking to the future of MSA, Frank believes clearer messaging could be developed around MSA’s eating quality predictions, helping to remove potential consumer confusion as to the differences between cuts, particularly once cooked.
“When you say ‘tenderness’, people expect the best. We know an eye fillet will be more tender than rump because rump is a working muscle – but people don’t always understand the differences in eating quality or the best way to cook a particular cut,” he said.
“However, a growing number of Steakhouse patrons are recognising MSA as an eating quality standard and, while it’s not a brand in itself, it has an inbuilt reputation for quality.”