Popeyes, Wendy's, McDonald's Offer Fish Sandwich For Lent

Besides being Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14 was also Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. 

Between Ash Wednesday and Easter, Christians are encouraged to give up indulgences. The 40-day religious period is an observance of the time Jesus Christ spent fasting in the desert. Catholics in particular generally abstain from eating meat on Lenten Fridays.

Popeyes and Wendy’s hope to attract some of those customers by bringing back its fish sandwich offerings, and Popeyes is also offering a shrimp box. 

First introduced back in 2021, Wendy’s crispy panko fish sandwich rejoined the menu on Monday, according toPeople. Meanwhile, Popeyes brought back two limited-time fish dishes: the flounder fish sandwich and the shrimp tackle box.



“While you may expect Chick-fil-A, the most outwardly religious of all the major fast-food chains, would offer its customers a fish sandwich during this time, it states in its FAQ that it isn’t ‘offering a seasonal fish entrée this year’ but has vegetarian-friendly meal options including biscuits, salad and desserts,” according to Today. 

Burger King, White Castle, Bojangles and Arby’s also have fish options. And Taco Bell and the other Mexican fast food restaurants have many vegetarian entrees.

Practically all of Long John Silver’s menu is fish, and the restaurant is offering deals, according toUSA Today. Subway is also offering deals on its veggie and tuna options. Church's Texas Chicken told USA Today it is adding multiple fish and shrimp choices starting this month for a limited time. And Red Lobster is bringing back Lobsterfest just in time for Lent, according toMarketing Daily. 

McDonald’s, which keeps its Filet-O-Fish on the menu year-round, is offering a deal during the Lent season. Customers will be able to get a second fish sandwich for $1, with purchase of a Filet-O-Fish, according to cleveland.com.

According to another USA Today story, McDonald’s sold about 300 million Filet-o-Fish annually, as of 2023. Of those 300 million, about 25%, or around 75 million sandwiches, are sold during the 40-day period of Lent. That's over 1.8 million sandwiches per day.

It was actually an older tradition practiced by Catholics and other Christians not to eat meat on Friday year-round that inspired the invention of the sandwich. 

“McDonald's only sold burgers and fries at that time, so business was suffering once a week, especially in areas with a high Catholic population,” according to Chowhoud. "That’s what inspired one McDonald's franchise owner to create a sandwich that could draw in religious customers.”

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