Mardi Gras (or “Fat Tuesday”) was yesterday, and today marks the first day of Lent. The extravagant, southern Louisiana carnival celebrated by Christians and others alike places a significant emphasis on food.

If you didn’t already know, religious folks who observe Lent will typically give up meat (including beef, pork, chicken, ham, and lamb) for the 40-day duration. However, fish and other animal products (egg, milk, etc.) are okay for some groups and not others. Check out this site to learn more about Lent.

If your menu is lacking in options for Lent-observers, you may be missing out on some diners for a while. About one quarter of Americans observe Lent (Source), so that is potentially a large fraction of your customers!

But don’t worry, we’ve got four meal ideas for you hospitality professionals out there to check out. We hope these can serve as some inspiration for some Lent-friendly additions to your menu, which will keep your beloved customers coming back for the next 40-days. If you’re a home cook reading this, these also may come in handy for yourself or any Lent-observing friends.

1. Veggie Stir Fry

This dish is a quick and easy one with lots of potential for customization, so you can mix up the add-ons to suit your preferred style. And best of all, it’s easily fully vegetarian and animal byproduct-free.

Example Recipe Here

2. Portobello Stew

Perfect for the winter months, this warm stew is vegetarian, can be made without animal byproducts, and equally as customizable as the previous stir fry idea.

Example Recipe Here

3. Chickpea Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is always a fan-favorite, so here’s the perfect Lent alternative. It’s warm, cozy, and hearty, but without the chicken.

Example Recipe Here

4. Spinach and Artichoke Pizza

Who doesn’t love a good pizza? This from-scratch, delicious vegetarian pizza is a hit even outside of Lent. The pizza toppings and crust style are also easily modified to fit your restaurant’s style.

Example Recipe Here

5. Fish Sandwich

We could never forget the classic fried fish sandwich! It can be hard to compete with the local church fish fry, but this recipe will give it a run for its money!

Example Recipe Here

Need more inspo? Check out more Lent-friendly recipes here.

To recap, since around 25% of the US population observes Lent, incorporating a couple Lent-friendly is both good for business and great for fostering a welcoming environment for more guests.

However, there’s something else that would be good for business. Our web/mobile app, Hospitality Innovations, can help you take care of inventory, ordering, reporting, and team management all on one platform.

The product was developed by former and current hospitality professionals with the goal in mind to make hospitality management easier, so you can focus on the fun stuff, like the menu! If you're interested in learning more, check out our website here or schedule a no-stakes demo here to go over the product!

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