5 Popular Meats for Your Deli

The meats that you serve at your deli are the heart and soul of your restaurant. Customers will expect to be offered the most popular meats and they must be fresh, thnly sliced, adorned with various toppings and served on fresh, firm bread in order to make the perfect deli sandwich. Here are the top five meats commonly served in delis. if you want to learn more about what goes into making the perfect deli sandwich, see our article, the elements of making the perfect deli sandwich. 

Roast Beef

Roast beef is considered to be one of the most5 Important Meats for Your Deli popular deli meats because of its rich flavor and palatable texture. High quality roast beef has a deep color and an appealing, cured aroma. It must be lean and tender, and slicely very thinly. This way you can serve it piled high on a sandwich to impress your customers.


Turkey is one of the healthiest meat options for your deli. Loaded with protein but low in fat, this flavorful meat can be smoked, roasted or grilled and should be sliced very thinly when used in a deli sandwich. 


Ham is a traditional deli meat that is served on club sandwiches and in some grilled cheese sandwiches. By using non-processed ham in your deli you can make winning, high protein, healfhful ham sandwiches. If you add toppings such as avocado or hummus, you can fill up your customers with great, lean ham sandwiches.

Spiced, Seasoned, or Cured Meats

Specialty meats that are spiced, seasoned, or cured are popular accent meats on deli sandwiches. For example, salami is rarely served as the only meat on a sandwich, but it is quite popular as an accent meat because of its unique texture and delicious flavor. Similarly, deli pepperoni, a type of Italian sausage that is much spicier than salami, is often added to the top of a deli sandwich to give the sandwich a little extra kick of flavor. Some cured meats, such as pastrami and corned beef, are used as the sole meat on a sandwich. Corned beef, paired with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing, form a traditional deli sandwich known as a Reuben sandwich. Adding these specialty meats to your deli lineup will allow you to please a wider base of customers.

Rotisserie or Grilled Meats

With the dramatic increase in diet-related consciousness, many customers are looking for deli sandwiches that will contribute to an overall healthier lifestyle. Eating traditional deli sandwiches, comprised of red meat and cheese may not contribute to overall health when eaten on a  regular basis, so it's important to have some healthier options available for your health conscious customers. Rotisserie or grilled meats, such as chicken or lamb, are great choices. Grilled chicken can be paired with vegetables for a delicious gourmet sandwich that won't feel like a health decision to a customer. Shaved rotisserie meats such as lamb, veal or turkey are also great low-fat options that work well in pita, bread and wraps.

By making sure that you have the most popular deli meats on your menu, customers will seek out your establishment for the filling deli sandwiches that you offer. Remember to use high quality, non-processed deli meats, thinly sliced, with filling and healthy toppings. The toppings and type of bread you choose will crown your sandwich with your very own signature style and before long your deli will become well-known for your great service and great meat. Don't be surprised if you have lines snaking around the block waiting for your fresh, delicious deli meat sandiwiches! 

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