Fish on Friday a Thing of the Past? Not According to Latest Survey

Feb 19, 2002, 00:00 ET from Shoney's

    NASHVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The timeworn tradition of fish
 on Fridays during the season of Lent still has a significant place in American
 culture, according to a national survey conducted by Harris Interactive(SM) on
 behalf of Shoney's restaurants.
     Of those who responded(1), nearly half (48%) of those who observe Lent
 give up red meat either on Fridays or for the entire season as part of their
 personal sacrifice, and seafood usually takes its place.
     "In the restaurant business we always talk about focusing on fish during
 Lent, so Shoney's commissioned the poll to find out if that actually matches
 up with people's real eating habits during that time," says Denise Horne,
 senior director of marketing at Shoney's.  "It turns out that it does."  Among
 those who give up red meat during Lent, 51 percent say that they replace it
 primarily with seafood.
     Lent began on February 13, or what is traditionally known as Ash
 Wednesday, and lasts until Holy Saturday, which falls on March 30 this year.
     Over the next six weeks, Shoney's estimates it will dish out the following
 amounts of seafood, condiments and dessert:
     * 90,000 pounds of cod
     * 90,000 pounds of catfish
     * 90,000 pounds of shrimp
     * 50,000 pounds of oysters
     * 5,500 gallons of cocktail sauce
     * 5,500 gallons of tartar sauce
     * 80,000 slices of cheesecake
     Of course fish isn't the only food Lenten observers choose.  The survey
 shows 13 percent of them primarily substitute chicken for red meat.  "I'm not
 sure how many chicken sandwiches and chicken tenders we'll serve over the next
 six weeks, but I guarantee you, we'll have plenty for everybody," says Horne.
     Founded in 1947, Shoney's now has more than 400 restaurants located in
 24 states, most of them in the Southeast.
     NOTE TO MEDIA: For a complete copy of survey results, please contact
 Nicole Barnum @ (502) 815-3334.
     (1) This Harris Interactive QuickQuery(SM) survey was conducted online
 within the United States from January 25-29, 2002, among a nationwide cross
 section of 2,348 adults.  Figures for age, sex, race, education, region, and
 income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual
 proportions in the population.
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SOURCE Shoney's