Omaha Steaks

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Omaha Steaks
TypePrivately held family business
IndustryMail order
Retail
Gourmet food
Founded1917
HeadquartersOmaha, Nebraska
ProductsFood
Revenue$450 million[1]
Number of employees
1,500 (2009)
Websiteomahasteaks.com

Omaha Steaks International, Inc., known as Omaha Steaks, is a food retailer.[2][3][4] The company is named after the city it was founded in, and its headquarters location, Omaha, Nebraska.

History[edit]

The company was founded in 1917 as a butcher shop in Omaha, Nebraska. It is a fifth-generation, privately held, family business that became one of America's largest marketers of beef.[2]

Omaha butcher shop[edit]

J.J. Simon and his son, B.A., came to America to escape antisemitism.[5] Passing through Ellis Island in 1898, they settled in Omaha because of the farmland's similarity to their homeland, Riga, Latvia. They worked for nearly 20 years as butchers for other people.[5] In 1917, the family founded Omaha Steaks as a cattle carcass operation at 17th and Douglas streets.[2]

Table Supply Meat Co.[edit]

The Simon family bought a carpentry store, Table Supply Co., as the site for their meat-cutting business. To save money, B.A. moved the two letters "Co" to the right, inserted the word "Meat" and called their new company Table Supply Meat Co.[2] By 1924, the business moved to a larger building at 1211 Howard Street, in the Old Market neighborhood, from which J.J. and B.A. began selling cuts of meat to local supermarkets, national grocery chains, hotel restaurants, and institutional customers.[1]

B.A.'s son, Lester Simon, is credited with introducing Omaha Steaks across the United States, when he brokered a deal with the Union Pacific Railroad to begin serving Omaha Steaks in the dining cars of their transcontinental trains in the 1940s.[5][6] Lester Simon hand-selected the meat for the Union Pacific passenger trains that traveled between Omaha and Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.[2] Train passengers who ordered Omaha Steaks in Union Pacific's dining cars prompted the company to launch its first mail order ventures – magazine ads and direct mail flyers – in 1952.[5] Lester Simon also began shifting Table Supply's focus from a butcher operation to the marketing of fine cuts of meat.[2]

Mail Order[edit]

In 1952, the first mail order operation was launched. The meat was shipped in wax-lined cartons filled with dry ice. It was not until the early 1960s that insulated shipping containers made of polystyrene and vacuum packaging became available.[5] In 1961, Nebraska Governor Frank B. Morrison sent steaks from Table Supply to President John F. Kennedy and all of the governors in the United States. In that same year, Table Supply was involved in the Culinary Olympics held in Frankfurt, Germany, at which the United States team won the Grand Gold Prize with a dish that featured aged prime ribs of beef provided by Table Supply, thereby earning an international reputation for the company.[5]

Omaha Steaks International[edit]

Omaha Steaks Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon

In 1966, when the company moved into a southwest Omaha headquarters at 4400 S. 96th Street, the Simon family changed the name from Table Supply Meat Co. to Omaha Steaks International. The company plant is still at that site. The corporate offices are now at 10909 John Galt Boulevard.[2] In the 1970s, Omaha Steaks added inbound and outbound call centers and a mail order industry-first toll-free customer service line. An automated order entry system was installed in 1987.[2][5]

Retail Stores[edit]

Omaha Steaks opened its first retail store in Omaha in 1976. Before then, buying a product from the company was limited to eating at certain restaurants that offered their products or ordering meats from its mail-order catalog.[2] Omaha Steaks underwent another expansion phase in the 1980s and 1990s, consolidating administration and marketing in two new buildings.[7]

In 1985, the company expanded beyond Nebraska, opening a retail store in Houston.[5] Omaha Steaks now has more than 85 retail stores in 29 states.[2] Another area where Omaha Steaks focused on growing was its corporate sales unit, which it expanded upon in the mid-1990s. Omaha Steaks created a separate corporate catalog that was intended to serve the corporate buyers who were already customers. The effort soon began to pay off for Omaha Steaks. In two years, the company grew its sales by 50 percent.[5]

In 2004, Omaha Steaks began selling pet food.[8]

Operations[edit]

Omaha Steaks products are shipped in coolers with dry ice.[9] The company also operates retail stores, which carry the same products offered through mail order.[2] The company uses a variety of marketing techniques, including mail order, retail sales and Internet-based sales.[4]

Bruce Simon was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Omaha Steaks until his death in 2021. Todd Simon, Bruce's cousin, assumed the roles of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Nate Rempe will continue in his roles as President and Chief Operating Officer. [10]

Omaha Steaks is the 22nd largest employer in the city of Omaha.[11] The company hires 2,500 seasonal employees, some of whom are hired to add to company's permanent work force of about 1,800.[1] Omaha Steaks is the largest small parcel direct shipper of gourmet foods in the US. Its 400-item product line generates revenue of about $450 million in annual sales[1]– a total of about 4 million packages a year.

Marketing[edit]

Omaha Steaks logo, typically seen on boxes steaks are shipped in

Internet marketing[edit]

Omaha Steaks was an early adopter of internet marketing since the 1990s, using CompuServe for online sales.[12] Omahasteaks.com, launched in 1995, is the company's fastest growing business segment.[7] The company became part of the Microsoft Network in 1998.[5] In 2011, Omaha Steaks launched a website for mobile devices[13] and released the Steak Time applications for iPhone and iPad.[14] Steak Time features how-to videos, tips, and recipes.

Tailgating trademark[edit]

In 2010, Omaha Steaks was granted a trademark for the phrase "The Official Sponsor of Tailgating."[15]

NFL Rookie of the Year (2010) Ndamukong Suh, a defensive tackle with the Detroit Lions, was named as a spokesman of tailgating for the official sponsor of tailgating, Omaha Steaks, in 2010.[16][17]

In popular culture[edit]

In 2011, Omaha Steaks was featured on season 11 of Celebrity Apprentice.[18] The episode featured Bruce and Todd Simon as judges.[19][20]

Philanthropy[edit]

The Simon family has supported cultural arts organizations including Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts,[21] Film Streams,[22] Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha Performing Arts Society, American Midwest Ballet, the Omaha Summer Arts Festival, Omaha Symphony Orchestra, Omaha Theatre Company for Young People, Opera Omaha, and the Santa Fe Opera.[23] Omaha Steaks supports American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Feeding America, and local food banks.[6]

Works or publications[edit]

Television[edit]

Cookbooks[edit]

  • Simon, Frederick J, John Harrisson, and Mark Kiffin. The Steaklover's Companion: 170 Savory Recipes from America's Greatest Chefs. New York: HarperCollins, 1997. ISBN 978-0-0601-8781-1
    • Cookbook adapts dishes from recipes developed by James Beard, who had been an Omaha Steaks consultant for many years
  • Simon, Frederick J, and John Harrisson. A year of beef recipes : beef for all seasons. New York: HarperCollins, 1999. ISBN 978-0-0601-9382-9
  • Harrisson, John, and Frederick J. Simon. Omaha Steaks: Let's Grill. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2001. ISBN 978-0-6096-0776-3
  • Harrisson, John, and Frederick J. Simon. Omaha Steaks Meat. New York, N.Y: C. Potter, 2001. ISBN 978-0-6096-0777-0
  • The Great American Grilling Book. New York: Time, Inc. Home Entertainment, 2008. ISBN 978-1-6032-0020-2

Free publications[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Waters, Pat (October 14, 2010). "Omaha Steaks seeks seasonal hires". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Alexander, Deborah (May 16, 2006). "5 Generations Have Kept the Sizzle in Omaha Steaks". RedOrbit.com. Omaha World-Herald, Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. Archived from the original on 2015-02-14. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
  3. ^ Wartowski, David (June 22, 1994). "Prime Time: Omaha Steaks Says Its Meat Is A Cut Above In S. Florida". Sun-Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale). Tribune News. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Company Overview of Omaha Steaks International, Inc". Business Week. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Omaha Steaks International Inc. - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Omaha Steaks International Inc". Reference for Business - Company History Index. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  6. ^ a b "The Omaha Steaks Story (Heritage Brochure)" (PDF). Omaha Steaks. 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  7. ^ a b Biga, Leo Adam (June 15, 2010). "This Version of Simon Says Positions Omaha Steaks as a Food Service Juggernaut". The Jewish Press. Leo Adam Biga Blog. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  8. ^ Mott, Maryann (November 14, 2004). "Catering to the Consumers With Animal Appetites". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  9. ^ Drickhamer, David (December 12, 2006). "Peak Seasoning at Omaha Steaks". MH&L: Material Handling & Logistics. Archived from the original on 2015-06-06. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
  10. ^ Biga, Leo Adam (June 21, 2012). "Cousins Bruce and Todd Simon Continue the Omaha Steaks Tradition". B2B Magazine. Leo Adam Biga Blog. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  11. ^ "Top 100 Largest Employer List" (PDF). Select Greater Omaha. Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership. April 8, 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 December 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  12. ^ Lewis, Peter H. (December 25, 1993). "Cyberspace Is Looking a Lot Like Christmas". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  13. ^ Butcher, Dan (April 5, 2011). "Omaha Steaks debuts mobile site to drive sales among wider audience". Mobile Commerce Daily. Napean LLC. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  14. ^ Ruddock, David (July 24, 2011). "[New App] Omaha Steak Time For Android: Tender, Juicy, And Delicious (It Really is Awesome)". AndroidPolice.com. Rebellion Media Technology. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  15. ^ "Official Sponsor of Tailgating". Trademarkia.com. November 27, 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  16. ^ "Ndamukong Suh becomes spokesman for Omaha Steaks". Lincoln Journal-Star. September 15, 2010. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  17. ^ "Ndamukong Suh, the new spokesperson for Omaha Steaks". Sports Business Digest. September 15, 2010. Archived from the original on 2016-03-23. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
  18. ^ King, Laura (April 18, 2011). "What we are...talking about: Omaha Steaks on "The Celebrity Apprentice"". Omaha World-Herald. Archived from the original on 2011-04-21. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
  19. ^ "Omaha Steaks Debuts on The Celebrity Apprentice". Premier Guide Media. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  20. ^ Madden, Tracy (April 14, 2011). "Omaha Steaks Featured On Celebrity Apprentice". WOWT NBC Omaha (Channel 6). Archived from the original on 2013-12-30. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
  21. ^ "Board & Staff: Todd Simon, Vice President". Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. Archived from the original on 2012-03-27. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
  22. ^ Konigsberg, Eric. "When Omaha Met Cinema". March 16, 2008. The New York Times. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  23. ^ "2013 Santa Fe Opera Board Members". The Santa Fe Opera. Retrieved 29 December 2013.

External links[edit]