Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwich Weight: Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth?

Get your money's worth at Arbys. #rip-off, #sandwich weight

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If you want to know how much an Arby’s Roast Beef sandwich is supposed to weigh, just read our story.

What would you do if you got 30% less than you paid for?

We got “ripped off,” but got it resolved quickly.

We had just completed a Once-A-Month cooking day (read more here) where Annette (with help from the rest of us) prepares between 10 and 17 dinner meals which we store in the freezer for use later in the month.

On our “Once-A-Month” cooking day, Annette gets the night off from preparing dinner (after preparing so many meals, she deserves a break . . . right), so we decided to get Arby’s Roast Beef sandwiches.

What we paid for our Arby’s Sandwiches

We always use a coupon, but even so, we’ve watched the price rise appreciably over the past few years. It used to be that we could be four sandwiches for $5, now it’s two for $4.44.  We bought eight sandwiches for $19.41 (that’s a lot for us to spend on dinner for us and our kids).

How Much Meat is Suppose to be on An Arby’s Sandwich?

When Steve brought the sandwiches home and distributed them his curiosity got the best of him and he opened his sandwich to weigh the roast beef. We keep a small scale in the kitchen for weighing ingredients and portions.

A regular Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwich is supposed to have 3 ounces of roast beef on it.

How Much Meat Was on Our Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwiches?

Steve put the bottom of the bun on the scale (to keep it clean) and zeroed out the scale. Then he carefully put the roast beef on the bun slice by slice. The scale moved slowly in half-ounce increments but stopped unexpectedly at only Two ounces (30 percent less than what is advertised).

Steve was amazed . . . incredulous even. He rechecked the scale and measured again. Two ounces again registered on the scale.

What Did The Rest of our Arby’s Sandwiches Weigh?

Arby's Roast Beef sandwich open face with no top bun.

He was now on a mission!

Our order contained 8 sandwiches, but two had been consumed, so Steve weighed the remaining six sandwiches.

Here’s what he found:

  1. 2 ounces
  2. 2.5 ounces
  3. 2.25 ounces
  4. 2 ounces
  5. 2.5 ounces
  6. 2.25 ounces

We Received 25 Percent Less Roast Beef!

The six sandwiches weighed a cumulative total of 13.5 ounces instead of 18 ounces of roast beef—25 percent less than what we paid for.

What To Do When You Get Less Than Promised

Steve called the manager at the local Arby’s and to her credit, she was very concerned that we had been shorted. She offered to either replace the entire order or refund our money.

Since we were tired from a long day of cooking and didn’t want to head out again (and waste gas), we opted for a refund, which we picked up two days later when we were driving by the restaurant.

Trust But Verify

We love Arby’s—and their customer service in the face of a poorly prepared order was stellar.

Other Arby’s restaurants we’ve visited across the country have been fantastic.

It’s not their policy to cheat people, our situation was probably the result of a young worker who was negligent. At least that’s what we choose to believe.

Be Aware When You’re Shopping – Get Your Money’s Worth

But the point of this blog entry is that we need to constantly be aware of what we are supposed to be receiving when we place an order.

We’re not just talking about fast food orders;

  • Grocery store: watch the checker so you don’t get double charged.
  • Grocery Store: check your receipt that the price advertised is the price charged
  • Online Order: Check the size, quantity, and condition
  • Thrift stores (check the clothes you’re buying—seams, zippers, buttons, etc).

Part of managing your money well is getting your money’s worth, so keep your eyes peeled . . . and your scale near your table.

What Ingredients are in Arby’s Roast Beef?

Many people wonder what Arby’s puts in their roast beef to make it taste so good. According to their website, the ingredients are pretty simple: (source: Arbys Nutritional info .pdf )

Roast Beef: Beef, Water, Salt, Sodium Phosphates.

The Sesame Seed Bun: Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Yeast, Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Wheat Gluten, Contains 2% or less of the following: Salt, Dried Malt, Dough Conditioners (contains one or more of the following: mono and diglycerides, ethoxylated mono and diglycerides, calcium peroxide, azodicarbonamide, calcium stearoyl lactylate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, DATEM, ascorbic acid, calcium iodate, soy lecithin, enzymes), Yeast Nutrients (contains one or more of the following: calcium carbonate, ammonium chloride, ammonium sulfate, calcium sulfate, monocalcium phosphate, carbamide), Dextrose, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Caramel Color, L-Cysteine, Propylene Glycol, Diammonium Phosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Wheat and/or Corn Starch, Corn Grits, Soy Flour, Potato Flour, Milk, Calcium Propionate and/or Potassium Sorbate (preservatives). Topped with Sesame Seeds.

Arby’s Nutritional Info

If you want the nutritional content of an Arbys Sandwich, this is what we found:

  • Calories: 360
  • Calories from Fat: 120
  • Cholesterol: 50mg
  • Sodium: 970 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 37g
    • Dietary Fiber: 2g
    • Added Sugars: 2.5g
    • Sugars 5g
  • Protein: 23g

A Mini-Documentary About Arby’s Meat Offerings

What Cut of Meat Does Arby’s Use?

Cos Callis on the website Cooking.StackExchange provided this opinion:

The “Arby’s we grew up on” was a Steamship Round. That is the entire “round primal” shown in the diagram. However, several years ago they went to a processed version in order to make production more uniform, I believe it is likely still ‘mostly’ round that has been pressed and shaped.

Cuts of meat from a cow diagram for arby's roast beef.

You are unlikely to find a steamship round on your grocer’s shelves, you will need to go to a butcher. The ‘whole round’ is usually only purchased for restaurants and caterers, it is the cut you are most likely to see in a ‘serving line’ (think Furr’s/Luby’s, etc.) as it is a very large piece.

Commercially the round is broken down into smaller cuts, tri-tip, rump roast, the eye of round, etc. for sale in the market. If you want to make it at home the closest you can probably get is an eye of round roast. You will definitely want to slow roast it in order to get it tender.

More Ways to Save on Fast Food

Check out these two pages:

Have you ever had to go back to a restaurant because you were shorted on your order?

How to get your money's worth at Arbys. #rip-off, #sandwich weight

16 thoughts on “Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwich Weight: Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth?

  1. Darlene

    Today, 2/19/2019 my husband questioned the manager at the local Arby’s where we eat quite often if they miss made it as it was flat and the beef looked like they forgot half of what should be on it. I have seen them weigh the meat on a scale but today I did not see if the sandwich maker did it or not because they were busy. I do know the sandwich did look like it was short of 3 oz. Manager said that’s the way it is, so it was take it and eat it or not. We are now wondering if we will be going back any time soon.

  2. donna j burham

    Love that Annette doesn’t cook dinner after a full day of cooking! You all must be just tired of he smell of food!, LOL! I get roast beef sandwiches from a couple of our local places, but use coupons in the value paks, etc. I also save by picking it up myself, saving any delivery charge or tip. Also, if we want sides, I make those at home, so we only buy the sandwich itself. I always get the smallest sandwich because I can only eat half. I know my son will finish my other half, so we have no food waste (my biggest pet peeve!). Best, and Happy Valentines Day to you both…

  3. Sharron Wells

    I have an issue with how they make your sandwich when they know it’s a coupon. I ordered a sandwich and when I got to the window I said oh I have a coupon she gave my sandwich back to the people in the cooking area and said, “oh it’s a coupon sandwich”
    Other than the code offers a different price why would they need to remake my sandwich just because I was using a coupon?
    That has always bothered me and they still do that

    1. Steve Economides Post author

      That’s not right! We’re wondering if that is the policy of the specific Arby’s you visited. Sorry that you had such a terrible experience. Have you checked other Arby’s in your area? If so, it is possible that they are owned by the same company that the franchise owner has a policy about coupon sandwiches. Either way, it wouldn’t hurt to talk with the store manager to find out the truth.

  4. Syd

    Hello, I currently am a manager at Arbys. In my opinion, it is the cleanest fast food restaurant. You do get rewarded for saving beef at the required percentage. Although, the percentage is not 100% its 93% so, they want you to get 3 ounces on every sandwich but many managers cut corners and short so if they make a classic roast beef and accidentally put it in the wrong bag or give it away it covers them. Which is a horrible way to go about it. I’m sorry you had this experience. With all this being said, they have 7% to fiddle with while giving every customer the correct amount of meat. Corporate and upper managment wants to be the correct amount you paid for they even have surprise customers come in and weigh what they receive. Hope it doesn’t happen again and that it was just a one time thing.

    1. Steve Economides Post author

      Oh Kevin, we beg to differ with you. Arby’s is one of THE BEST fast food meals out there. Tender beef, good flavor, sesame seed buns! And their Arby’s Sauce – tangy with a little kick. What could be better?
      And yes, we are happy to live in America where we have the freedom to go where we choose and write what we choose. And, if you happen to be one of those patriots who have worked and sacrificed to defend our freedoms – we’re grateful.

  5. Black E.

    fast food employees don’t care if your sandwich is off by an ounce they get paid minim wage and their job sucks. if you want perfect food don’t eat fast food. don’t piss off the people who handle your food. I worked fast food when i was a teenager and people who complained about stupid stuff got a little extra prize in there burger.

    1. Steve Economides Post author

      Woo hoo – sounds like you still holding a little bit of resentment from those early days. Hope you have a better day tomorrow.
      Helping kids who are working a minimum wage job learn to be careful, thorough and precise are skills that will serve them well in future jobs. Fast food jobs are a great training ground – provided managers are kind yet firm leaders. Tolerating crappy attitudes from employees who give customers “a little extra prize” in their burger is an indication of poor management supervision. It sounds like you’ve got a lot of issues to work through- hope you find help and peace.

  6. Dalton

    I worked there years ago. It is measured on a scale that steams as it weighs. They tell the employees to steam the meat as it is sliced to add weight from the water. It’s a problem with the company not the employees. They check the “efficiency” of the cook by how much they can save the company and reward them accordingly. This was one of the literally dozens of issues I learned about the company from the corporate level from being a low level employee.

    1. Steve Economides Post author

      Wow, Dalton – thanks for sharing your experience. It doesn’t surprise us that they would steam the meat or that they reward employees for keeping costs down. We just want Arby’s to be truthful about the amount of meat they put on the sandwiches.

  7. Exxodus

    I’ve had the very same problem. Just yesterday I purchased a RB 1/2 lb Meal (last time I checked a half-pound was 8 oz) when I got home, I felt that box the sandwich was in felt a bit light for a half-pound which after verifying the weight on accurate digital scales found the meat to weigh 5.5 oz. I hope they ditch that analog scale for a fast-response digital scale.

    1. Steve Economides Post author

      It’s amazing how careless employees can be. Glad you weighed your Arby’s sandwich. We’ve never had a half pound Arby’s meal – sounds good!

  8. Tina B.

    I NEVER thought to weigh my beef when I order from them… Being low carb Arbys is my go to for fast food because the beef and the cheese sauce there is minimal in carbs which allows me to get a meal on the go without messing up my sugars (I am a type 1 diabetic) but in the past before I went low carb orders from MANY MANY places have been wrong (our daughter has allergies so we have to order certain foods in a certain manner to be able to have her eat out) and they constantly are messing up her food… Even the places we freaquent for her “treat” days… But now that I know this can happen I think I will be picking up a small kitchen scale to keep in the car to check it when I eat at Arbys 🙂

    1. Steve Economides Post author

      Tina, Thanks for sharing your story! Love the idea of getting a scale . . . but keeping it in the car? Fun Idea!

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