By Mark Brandau
|Jack in the Box’s fish sandwich|
(Feb. 16, 2010) At the beginning of Lent, the 40-day, pre-Easter season for Christians, many U.S. customers will be giving up meat on Fridays or personal vices starting today on Ash Wednesday. Restaurants, however, are not willing to give up anything, especially sales.
Not only do savvy independent restaurateurs ready their Friday night fish fry promotions and upsell seafood entrées during Lent, but several quick-service chains have deployed their marketing and research and development dollars into seafood items for customers observing the tradition.
Fish sandwiches are being driven at McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Jack in the Box, for example. Wendy’s began to feature its Premium Fish Fillet Sandwich last year in commercials from the “It’s Waaay Better” campaign, which dealt with product quality rather than just value. The fish sandwich, made from North Pacific cod and served with lettuce and tartar sauce, also fits in with Wendy’s current quality-focused ad campaign, “You Know When It’s Real.”
Jack in the Box is offering a discount on its Fish Sandwich for the limited-time price of $1.49 at its more than 2,200 restaurants in the United States. The chain also will sell its Fish Pita Snack and Fish & Chips at regular menu prices.
“Our Fish Sandwich is a great value for guests looking for an alternative to burgers and chicken,” said Tammy Bailey, Jack in the Box’s division vice president of menu marketing and promotions. “For just $1.49, guests receive two crispy fish fillets, lettuce and tartar sauce on a warm sesame seed bun.”
The industry has more Lenten specials than the fish sandwich, especially at seafood specialty chains. Long John Silver’s, a division of Yum! Brands Inc., is offering a coupon on its website for a free Crispy Breaded Fish item. The offer is part of the chain’s Spin & Win Fish Fry contest, in which guests can enter to win $20,000 by playing an online game.
Captain D’s Seafood Kitchen also has released a Lenten limited-time offer, built upon shrimp rather than a fish fillet. Its 15-piece Butterfly Shrimp Dippers entrée is being featured for Lent, and it’s served with two sides and hush puppies.
Shrimp also is the basis for Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen’s annual Lent offering, its Butterfly Shrimp Tackle Box. The $4.99 limited-time item includes eight fried shrimp, served over a bed of Cajun Fries with a buttermilk biscuit. While supplies last, guests also will receive a free Mardi Gras Key, containing a special offer, with every Tackle Box.
Contact Mark Brandau at firstname.lastname@example.org.