What is in this article?:
- Restaurant Lent offerings go beyond typical fish
- Chains highlight seafood sourcing
- McAlister's, Marie Callender's roll out Lenten menus
- Festive, but not fried, at CKE brands
This year several chains are finding new ways to market fish items typically promoted during Lent, which began on Feb. 13.
Every year restaurant chains focus their menu development and marketing to make sure they are not giving up traffic and sales between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, a 40-day period when Christians observing Lent abstain from certain vices or habits.
For most foodservice brands that means stepping up seafood and fish offerings for the season when Christians typically stop eating meat on Fridays.
This year several chains, including McDonald's, Carl’s Jr. and Wendy's, are finding new ways to market fish items typically promoted during Lent, which began on Feb. 13. Some chains are even thinking beyond the typical fried fish sandwich.
Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Chicago-based Technomic Inc., said most restaurant chains should consider at a bare minimum having some kind of fish or non-meat option for people observing Lent, at least to prevent the loss of traffic.
“There is the potential for losing business if you don’t accommodate Lent,” he said, “and if you do, you can even steal some business, and that’s the marketplace we’re in. You’re still going to get growth from stealing share.”
Take a look at what several chains are doing to try and hook customers with their Lenten promotions.
McDonald’s hatches the seafood snack
McDonald’s introduced Fish McBites this year, an aquatic variant on last year’s popular the Dollar Menu as well: A $1 snack-size portion of Fish McBites was approved late last year as a way to bolster the value menu in the chain’s 14,000-plus-unit domestic system.McBites limited-time offer, as part of a campaign around its fish offerings in time for Lent. The item not only made news for the regular menu, but for
McDonald’s has also upgraded its Filet-O-Fish sandwich this year, announcing last month that the fish in that sandwich and in McBites was certified by the Marine Stewardship Council as 100-percent sustainable. Packaging for both items carries the blue “eco-label” the council bestows upon restaurants that source their product from fisheries that meet stringent sustainability standards.