A Lent-Special Comeback On These Popular Restaurant Menus
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The story of fish being sold on the Lent menus through fast food chains begins in the 1960s. It was when Lou Groen, a McDonald's franchisee in Cincinnati, faced a critical decision. He observed that his predominantly Catholic customer base would abstain from eating meat on Fridays every week, leaving him with minimal foot traffic and jeopardising his business.

Groen produced a battered version of a fish sandwich with tartar sauce to keep his store afloat. After which, fillet-o-fish was included as the main item for McDonald's. 

As everyone prepares for Easter, many enter the month of Lent, which is characterised by ritual fasting and refraining from the consumption of rich, indulgent meals–especially red meat, game meats and even poultry. Many people, however, only observe Lent on Fridays, avoiding meat only on those days. One can have fish, as it is allowed during Lent, so many people opt to consume fish-based recipes as a replacement. 

Many fast-food restaurants have noted this and introduced menu items with fish as the main entrée. While you can see Chick-fil-A has previously given fish alternatives during Lent at a few restaurants, the chain will not do so this year. 

However, there are plenty of possibilities to pick from. From the classic McDonald's Filet-O-Fish, a permanent menu item, to seasonal products like Popeyes' new fish sandwich, there are numerous ways to stay on track, even if you just have time for a drive-thru. 

Learn about Popeye's and Wendy's inspired menus. 

Wendy's is bringing back the Crispy Panko Fish Sandwich for a limited period in 2024. The sandwich has wild-caught Alaskan pollock fillet wrapped in panko breading, lettuce, American cheese, pickles, and tartar sauce. 

The Crispy Panko Fish Sandwich is available at participating restaurants countrywide. Customers can order in restaurants via Wendy's or third-party delivery apps such as DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, and Uber Eats. Prices vary by region, but the fast-food company estimates it will cost around $5.89. 

Popeyes also reintroduced the Flounder Fish Sandwich and Shrimp Tackle Box for a limited time. 

Despite the declining number of observant Christians in the United States, franchises have recently begun reintroducing menus for religious holidays as part of the industry's more extensive practice of tailoring menus to diverse consumers. Popeyes, too, took it into consideration. 

The number of people purchasing them is likewise not negligible. According to one estimate, 75 million of the 300 million Filet-O-Fish sandwiches served by McDonald's in a year were purchased during the Lenten season.

Popeyes is reintroducing their Flounder Fish Sandwich and $6 Shrimp Tackle Box to coincide with the Lent period this year. It begins on February 22, 2024, and ends on April 6, 2024.

The fish sandwich has a flounder fillet seasoned with Louisiana herbs and spices. Also, the shrimp box includes six battered shrimp, a choice of side, a biscuit and tartar sauce.

The chain claimed that the Flounder Fish Sandwich and Shrimp Tackle Box offers are popular menu items they want to revive during the Lenten season. 

Popeyes President Sami Siddiqui stated in a statement that they take great pride in the quality of their meals and are delighted to bring back our delicious seafood selections made with the same high-quality ingredients that guests love and expect from Popeyes. 

Which of the items would you like to taste this lent?