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This year several chains are finding new ways to market fish items typically promoted during Lent, which began on Feb. 13.
McAlister's, Marie Callender's roll out Lenten menus
Still more brands have decided not to stop at one sandwich or fish entrée for Lenten season but rather to offer small Lenten menus through March.
Marie Callender’s, the casual-dining chain of approximately 80 units, is promoting Cajun Salmon & Jumbo Shrimp for $16.99, Grilled Mahi Mahi Cabo Tacos for $10.99 and a Crispy Jumbo Shrimp Dinner for $11.99.
Fast-casual chain McAlister’s Deli also has a new seafood option available at its more than 310 locations in 23 states, a Cajun Shrimp lineup that includes the Cajun Shrimp Caesar Salad, Po Boy and Caesar Wrap.
In-store messaging also will highlight all the Lent-friendly items on McAlister’s menu, including garden salads, vegetarian chili, nachos and a tuna salad sandwich.
“We want our guests to know that they can still enjoy many of their McAlister’s favorites during Lent,” chief executive Frank Paci said in a statement. “We’ve made it easy to enjoy delicious options, and our new Cajun Shrimp items are the perfect addition for this season.”
Technomic’s Tristano said customers likely give restaurants credit for accommodating Lent, regardless if the menus’ items are seasonal limited-time offers or existing products that meet their needs during Lent.
“What’s important to the consumer who observes Lent is that the restaurant promotes it,” Tristano said. “It shows that the restaurant recognizes the holiday and ties it to the customer and provides an alternative that’s good, whether it’s a permanent menu item or limited-time offer.”