Get on board Lenten season is upon us, and, as always, quick-service operators around the industry are gearing up with menu offerings to satisfy the demand. Pictured is Qdoba. Here are some highlights:
Qdoba Fire-Roasted Shrimp Back by popular demand, Qdoba Mexican Eats announced the return of fan favorite, Fire-Roasted Shrimp. Offering a zesty twist to Qdoba’s signature flavors, this protein is marinated in citrus and chile pepper flavors and is available as a create-your-own entrée option or can be enjoyed in a new dish: Fire-Roasted Shrimp and Guac Burrito—Wrapped in a warm flour tortilla, zesty Fire-Roasted Shrimp is served with cilantro lime rice, black beans, freshly made guacamole and pico de gallo. “When we first launched Fire-Roasted Shrimp last summer, our guests loved it,” says Jill Adams, vice president of marketing at Qdoba. “Now with its return to the menu, seafood lovers can recreate their favorite meal using an array of our fresh, house-made ingredients. Or, they can try our new Fire-Roasted Shrimp and Guac Burrito—The chile and lime flavors on the shrimp paired with the hand-smashed guacamole make it the ultimate flavor mashup.”
Jack in the Box Wild Caught Alaska Pollock Fish Sandwich The sandwich includes a crispy Alaska pollock white fish filet topped with shredded lettuce and tangy tartar sauce on a lightly toasted bun. It's featured in a combo along with small fries and a small drink. Prices for the combo may vary by location but usually sells for $4. “We are excited to bring back the Wild Caught Alaska Pollock Fish Sandwich combo to our menu this Lenten season,” says, Jen Kennedy, vice president of product marketing at Jack in the Box. “This item has been a fan favorite and provides a delicious alternative to our popular burger and chicken menu items, for those that are observing the tradition of eating more seafood during this time of year.”
Arby’s Nashville Hot Fish Sandwich Nashville Hot Fish is Arby’s twist on the Nashville hot chicken craze. The wild-caught Alaskan pollock fillet is fried and then coated with a spice blend of cayenne pepper, paprika, salt and garlic powder, then topped with dill pickles, shredded lettuce, and Parmesan Peppercorn Ranch on a sesame seed bun. Arby’s Nashville Hot Fish fillet is also available wrapped in a warm flatbread, or as the King’s Hawaiian Nashville Hot Fish Deluxe with cheddar, dill pickle, tomato and shredded lettuce on a sweet King’s Hawaiian bun.
White Castle White Castle Fish Slider White Castle’s offering is a flaky, lightly breaded Alaska Pollock topped with melted cheese (American, Jalapeno, or Smoked Cheddar) on its signature bun. The chain is also serving up White Castle Fish Nibblers, which are made with Alaska Pollock and feature savory breading.
Del Taco Beer Battered Fish Taco Del Taco’s item features Wild Caught Alaska Pollock fillet in a crispy beer batter, topped with crunchy cabbage, savory secret sauce, and handmade pico de gallo, wrapped in two warm corn tortillas and served with a fresh-cut lime wedge.
Captain D’s Flounder Feast Leading the Flounder Feast lineup is Captain D’s Southern-Style Flounder, which is hand-breaded in restaurants every day. It is served with a choice of two sides and the chain’s hush puppies for only $4.99. This premium quality flounder also is available grilled and served with a shrimp skewer on a bed of rice. Additionally, Captain D’s will add fried oysters to their menu. “This time of year, every [quick-service] brand is pushing square fish patties,” says Bob Kraut, CMO of Captain D’s. “At Captain D’s, we feel our guests shouldn’t have to settle for less, which is why we are proud to offer quality seafood options during the Lenten season and year-round.”
Taco Cabana Loaded Grilled Shrimp Tacos Taco Cabana’s Loaded Grilled Shrimp Tacos are available in three new flavor profiles—all featuring fresh shrimp seasoned with special fajita spice blends and wrapped in tasty flour tortillas. Guests can purchase their favorite for $2.99 or mix-and-match any three tacos for $7.99, for a limited time only: Piῆa—Seasoned shrimp in a fresh flour tortilla, topped with warm, sweet pineapple pico de gallo. Rancho—Seasoned shrimp in a fresh flour tortilla, topped with TC’s creamy jalapeño ranch, fresh lettuce and handmade pico de gallo. Diabla—Seasoned shrimp drizzled with a spicy chipotle diabla sauce in a fresh flour tortilla, topped with sweet and spicy jalapeño-pickled red onions, crumbled queso fresco and fresh chopped cilantro. “We wanted to offer flavorful seafood taco offerings to give our guests more options during Lent season,” says Taco Cabana president, Chuck Locke. “We’re also excited to add to the salsa bar our colorful, fresh Pineapple Pico de Gallo Salsa, to further complement the authentic Mexican dining experience.”
El Pollo Loco Baja Shrimp El Pollo Loco unveiled four new, hand-crafted menu items highlighting its popular Baja Shrimp. Available for a limited time at participating restaurants, the new offerings include shrimp marinated in chipotle chiles and garlic alongside El Pollo Loco’s signature Mexican-inspired ingredients and authentic flavors. New Baja Shrimp offerings include the following: Shrimp Avocado Plate: Two tacos with shrimp, avocado, baja sauce, cabbage, pico de gallo Shrimp Tostada: Shrimp, avocado, mango salsa, beans, rice, cheese. Shrimp Bowl: Shrimp, broccoli, rice, corn. Shrimp Wrap: Chicken, avocado, brown rice, sour cream, black beans.
Bojangles’ BojAngler Fish Sandwich This made-from-scratch item features a flaky, wild-caught Alaskan Pollock filet, dusted with Bojangles’ proprietary fry seasoning. The seasoned filet is paired with a slice of American cheese and tangy tartar sauce, all between a toasted, buttered bun. The BojAngler fish sandwich is available a la carte, as a combo, or as a limited-time special—two sandwiches for $5 at participating restaurants. Along with the sandwich, the chain is offering the Southern-inspired, seasoned BojAngler filet in a dinner platter. The platter includes two filets (one more than last year), two home-style fixin’s (sides), a made from scratch buttermilk biscuit, side of tartar sauce and a 22 oz. Legendary Iced Tea or other drink of your choice.
Long John Silver’s Changing the game Long John Silver’s prepares for seafood’s busiest season with a wave of developments. Many restaurants from the Louisville-based brand will begin the Lenten season with a new look, new menu items, and a new twist on a classic. The 48 year-old brand sold more than 2 million pounds of seafood during the 40-day Lenten season in 2017 and is anticipating a favorable reaction to the 2018 improvements. "We are moving into a new era for Long John Silver’s and enhancing the customer experience," CEO James O’Reilly says. "Since last year’s kick off we have started to transform restaurants across the country with our new branding, introduced the drive-thru of the future, answered the call for grilled items, and updated our website." This year Ash Wednesday, the company’s busiest day, falls on February 14. Long John Silver’s is showing customers a little extra love with a tongue-in-cheek promotion on February 15, the day after Valentine’s Day. The #PlentyFish campaign celebrates single hearts who survived the couple-centric holiday. Consumers are encouraged to share funny experiences on social media platforms revolving around fishing the dating pool and mishaps of coupledom. Customers can expect to see community tables in participating restaurants set for lively conversation and a free Deep Fried Twinkie as a token of affection.
Church’s Chicken New Seafood Options Four new seafood menu options joined Church’s Chicken’s hand-battered, double-breaded fried chicken for a limited time. Guests are invited to ‘Pick Your Platter,’ featuring three new Seafood Platter options: Shrimp ‘n’ Tenders, Butterfly Shrimp or Crispy Fish. Each Seafood Platter includes any two home-style Classic Sides, such as Fried Okra, Jalapeno Cheese Bombers, Baked Macaroni and Cheese, or Corn on the Cob, plus a scratch-made Honey-Butter Biscuit, all for just $5. In addition, a larger Family Fish Fry is available, providing a complete seafood meal for a family of four, including the tea, for only $20. Church’s seasonal seafood menu options include: Shrimp ‘n’ Tenders Platter—$5 4 Butterfly Shrimp, 2 Tender Strips, Any 2 Regular Sides & Honey-Butter Biscuit—Served with new Creamy Lemon Herb sauce for dipping Butterfly Shrimp Platter—$5 8 Butterfly Shrimp, Any 2 Regular Sides & Honey-Butter Biscuit Crispy Fish Platter—$5 2 Piece Crispy Fish, Any 2 Regular Sides & Honey-Butter Biscuit Family Fish Fry—$20 8 Piece Crispy Fish, 2 Large Sides, 4 Honey-Butter Biscuits, plus a Half-Gallon of Church’s Southern Sweet Tea
Subway The classics There are more than 12.5 million Lent-friendly combinations available at Subway. This season guests observing Lent can order Tuna (which is sustainably sourced), Veggie Delite, or Seafood Sensation (available in select markets) at restaurants across the U.S. and Canada. Mix it up with seven bread and salad options, more than 10 sauces, and over 17 different toppings to create more than 12.5 million Lent-friendly combinations.