The Lenten season comes early this year, its start coinciding with Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14. That means operators are launching seafood LTOs in tandem with romantic dinner deals. But Lent lasts another six weeks, ending on Mar. 29, so there’s plenty of time to capitalize on those promotions. Here are some of the limited-time offers restaurants are cooking up for Lent—many of which star shrimp as the featured seafood.
1. A seaworthy trio
Church’s Chicken is turning its attention to the sea with three new seafood platters. Options include Butterfly Shrimp and Crispy Fish, both of which come with two sides and a biscuit. For customers not giving up meat for Lent, there’s also Shrimp ‘n’ Tenders, a combo platter of four butterfly shrimp and two chicken tender strips. And groups of diners can opt for the larger Family Fish Fry, with sides, biscuits and iced tea.
2. Something to cluck about
El Pollo Loco is another chicken-focused concept going fishing for Lent. The chain is launching four new LTOs based around its signature Baja shrimp—a preparation that reflects the chain’s Mexican flavor profiles. The shrimp are marinated in chipotle chilies and garlic, grilled and offered in a wrap, bowl, tostada shell or tacos.
3. Spicing up Lent
Fried shrimp coated with cookie crumbs and shot with a bit of heat make up the Lenten special at Popeyes. The chain’s Sweet Heat Butterfly Shrimp are marinated in Louisiana-inspired spices and breaded with a buttery shortbread. They’re available as part of a $5 Tackle Box meal deal, which includes eight shrimp, a side, a biscuit and hot honey sauce for dipping.
4. Tacos take three
Loaded Grilled Shrimp Tacos are coming to Taco Cabana’s menu for Lent, available in three flavor variations: Pina (sweet pineapple pico de gallo), Rancho (jalapeno ranch) and Diabla (spicy chipotle sauce and jalapeno pickled onions). Customers can purchase a single taco for $2.99 or mix and match three for $7.99.
5. Into the fire
Fire-roasted shrimp are returning to Qdoba for a limited time, appearing in a new Fire-Roasted Shrimp and Guac Burrito. The shrimp are soaked in a citrus and chili pepper marinade, then cooked and rolled in a flour tortilla with cilantro lime rice, black beans, guacamole and pico de gallo. Customers can also order the shrimp as part of Qdoba’s make-your-own-entree option.
6. Angling for a catch
Bojangles’ is hooking finfish for its menu, bringing back two pollock items for Lent. The BojAngler sandwich is a build of fry-seasoned Alaskan pollock, American cheese and tartar sauce on a toasted buttered bun. The same prep is featured on the BojAngler dinner platter, which includes two pollock fillets, two sides, a buttermilk biscuit and large beverage.
7. Looking for love
Ash Wednesday—Long John Silver’s highest traffic day, according to a news release—falls on Valentine’s Day this year. So the QSR says “it’s giving up Valentine’s Day for Lent,” rolling the holiday into a promotion with the hashtag #PlentyFish. On Feb. 15, customers who state “#GoingFishing” with an order will get a free deep-fried Twinkie. Long John Silver’s is also setting up communal tables for singles, encouraging customers to mingle and post photos with the two hashtags.