Two popular Japanese shabu-shabu restaurants are finding success this fall by featuring U.S. beef for their hot pot promotions.

The prominent family style restaurant chain, operated by Sato Restaurant Systems, annually consumes more than 1.1 million lbs. of U.S. beef, and this month it started the American Beef Sato-shabu Premium Fair at its 196 outlets. During this single promotion, the chain expects to sell more than 100,000 meals using U.S. chuck eye roll.

"Sato Restaurant Systems is actively promoting U.S. beef, putting the 'We Care' logo on its TV commercials as well as menu books, posters and point-of-purchase materials," says Takemichi Yamashoji, senior marketing director for the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF)-Japan, which contracts to manage foreign marketing programs for the beef checkoff. USMEF is leveraging beef checkoff investments and the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) to help support the promotion.

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