I heard of the expression "meat and potatoes business", and when I was explained what it means, I was told is that it referred to a business with no fancy products, just simple products for simple clientèle. Is this a fair description of "meat and potatoes" as an activity?

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    It's not so much a business selling "simple" things - rather, a business that concentrates on the core products for its market sector (though in most cases it comes down to the same thing). – FumbleFingers Apr 1 '12 at 20:26
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    I'd always use 'bread and butter business', but it probably comes to the same thing. – Tim Lymington supports Monica Apr 1 '12 at 20:38

Meat and potatoes is an informal idiom for basic, or unpretentious. Here's an entry from an on-line dictionary, and an on-line thesaurus.


Yes. It means that your target group are people whose needs you are able to identify and satisfy, in a way as simple and effective as a dish of meat and potatoes. The latter satisfies your hunger completely, so you don't need anything else.


Merriam Webster defines "meat-and-potatoes" as "fundamental, basic. I would say a "meat and potatoes" business concentrates on producing a basic product that is a proven seller to a wide segment of the market. Such a business would not be one to take risks on an untried product or cater to fringe or specialty markets.

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