Winners of the National Beef Backer Award, which recognizes chain and independent restaurant operators who excel in menuing and marketing beef, were announced this week. This year’s national winners include: Cattlemens Restaurants (Santa Rosa, CA) in the “Independent” category, Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse (Mountainside, NJ) in the “Chain” category and Merriman’s Restaurants (Kamuela, HA) as the “Innovator of the Year.”

  • Cattlemens Restaurants is a regional chain with eight locations in Northern California. Founded in 1968 by ranchers Pete Gillham Sr., and Pete Gillham Jr., it features the best cuts of beef, served simply and in generous portions in a charming Western ambiance. John Frenzel, marketing director for Cattlemens Restaurants, says, “With a mouthwatering menu, innovative beef promotions and a dedication to satisfying guests, Cattlemens Restaurants has remained a place where tradition has outlasted the trendy.” All steaks are hand-cut on premise the same day they’re served, then grilled to perfection, Frenzel says.
  • Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse has been committed to serving beef selections at an incredible value for 40 years. In addition to traditional prime rib and steak cuts, the firm features newer beef cuts such as the Ranch and Flat Iron steaks as a way to continue offering their patrons a delicious steak at an affordable price,” says Tom Law, executive chef.
  • Merriman’s Restaurants’ chef and owner, Peter Merriman, says beef is a central part of the upcountry Hawaii lifestyle, and its regional menu. “Our partnership with local ranchers guarantees us high-quality, great tasting beef products and an authentic dining experience,” Merriman says.