When you order a steak at Earls Lethbridge it now comes with a miniature Canadian flag placed on top, showing customers Canadian beef is back.
In April, Earls announced it would be serving Certified Humane Beef at 59 Canadian restaurants, free of hormones, antibiotics and steroids, and sourced out of the United States, a decision that didn’t sit well with many customers or beef producers.
“There’s a million cattle on feed in Alberta, 500,000 are within a 30 mile radius of this restaurant. I’ve spoken with feedlot owners representing 300,000 of that, so yeah, we’ve gotten some flak,” Richard Daley, owner of Earls Lethbridge, said.
“We’ve seen a 30 per cent drop in sales that’s effected our ability to remain profitable and stay open. We’ve had to lay staff off, we’ve had to cut hours.”
The Lethbridge location is one of seven Alberta Earls restaurants to have Canadian beef back on the menu as of Wednesday.
“We are a local business that has been here for 28 years, we have supported the community, the community has supported us, and I guess our message today is for those who have boycotted us, you won. You wanted Canadian beef, we brought it back. It is here,” Daley said.
Daley is doing a mail campaign to draw back customers. It has a $25 gift card and a letter inside, signed by management and a long time server. It says: “The Alberta community was greatly offended by this decision, as were we here at Earls Lethbridge.”
“We’ve made the commitment, the Canadian cattle industry has made the commitment back to us, and we are on strong working terms and we will move forward,” Daley added.
The beef is sourced by Aspen Ridge, a northern Alberta company that has the same guidelines as certified humane beef.
Customers like Monica Mark say the new product satisfied her appetite.
“Lovely. That’s what I ordered, I ordered a steak, I was so hungry for a good steak and it was very good.”