Mark D. Roberts

Mark D. Roberts


The Commercialization of Lent?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

luby's lentWell, I never thought I’d see it. But, sure enough, somebody has figured out how to commercialize Lent. Amazing.
Luby’s Cafeteria, founded in San Antonio, now based in Houston, is making a run at a Lenten promotion. As I was driving by their restaurant in Kerrville, their sign caught my attention. In fact, I wasn’t sure if I read it correctly, so I doubled back to check. Sure enough. There it was in bold letters: TRY OUR LENT PROMO – LEMON BASIL TILAPIA – CHICKEN CORDON BLEU.
luby's lent signFor those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Tilapia is a light fish. I can imagine a Lemon Basil Tilapia that actually tastes rather Lenten: simple, basic, healthy. I’m a little less convinced about the Chicken Cordon Bleu, however. This is a rather rich dish that combines chicken, ham, and cheese. If you’re looking for a Lenten lunch at Luby’s, I’d stick with the Tilapia.
And, that is exactly what I did. I took my colleague Steven to Luby’s yesterday for a bit of Lenten cuisine. He tried the Chicken Cordon Bleu; I went with the Tilapia. It was tasty, but not too tasty for Lent.
I did a bit of Googling and was surprised to find that Luby’s Lenten promotion seems to be working. An article on investing highlighted Luby’s, noting that:

In addition, Luby’s has enjoyed 10 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth, an unusual distinction among restaurant chains at the moment. This success could stem partly from Luby’s clever promotions, such as fish during Lent; . . .

So, there you go.
I don’t know how much potential there is for Lenten marketing. Let’s face it, the commercial possibilities of Lent are limited. How do you sell your product in a season that emphasizes renunciation? I suppose one could sell purple clothing, since purple is the liturgical color for Lent. I expect there’s a small market for Lenten devotionals. Still, Lent is a tough sell. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if some people give up shopping for Lent (shopping for inessentials, that is).
I must confess that I’m not terribly thrilled about the commercializaiton of Lent. But let me also confess that I’m impressed with Luby’s unusual creativity. It takes American ingenuity to find a way to make a few extra bucks in Lent, a season that encourages the opposite of consumption and materialism. Go figure!



Advertisement
Comments read comments(11)
post a comment
ChrisB

posted February 21, 2008 at 10:51 am


I never really thought about it being commercialization so much as just filling a need (though, I acknowledge the difference is slight). Most restaurants seem to increase their fish offerings during Lent. I don’t observe Lent, but I look forward to it for that reason.



report abuse
 

Mark Roberts

posted February 21, 2008 at 2:57 pm


Chris: I was struck by the promotion part, and just the irony of a sign that mentioned “Lent Promo.”



report abuse
 

Bill Goff

posted February 21, 2008 at 7:08 pm


This is indeed an alarming development. Next thing you know somebody will commercialize Christmas!



report abuse
 

Mark D. Roberts

posted February 21, 2008 at 8:07 pm


Bill: Touché.



report abuse
 

Joshua

posted February 21, 2008 at 8:10 pm


Hmmm….I wonder if there is a way to commercialize fasting? Oh….that’s right: Jenny Craig.



report abuse
 

In the Blogosphere ? Kingdom People

posted February 22, 2008 at 4:13 am

Nan

posted February 22, 2008 at 7:35 am


I live in the Chicago area which is heavily Catholic and for many years, many restaurants have offered egg and pepper sandwiches on Fridays. This includes many fast food restaurants.



report abuse
 

Mark Goodyear

posted February 22, 2008 at 8:24 am


“It was tasty, but not too tasty for Lent.” That made me laugh.
Regarding Bill’s comment: after the excesses of Christmas, giving up shopping for Lent seems completely natural to me. But then, I’m a guy.



report abuse
 

Rob Bullock

posted February 22, 2008 at 9:14 am


I’m just encouraged that enough people still celebrate lent that restaurants still take notice.



report abuse
 

Ted Olsen

posted February 22, 2008 at 3:49 pm


Not really new, though, is it? Taco Bell has been promoting itself as the Lenten alternative (“Great Taste During Lent!”) for years, and last year KFC tried to get the Pope to bless its “Fish Snacker” sandwich for lent. Now THAT’S brazen.



report abuse
 

Another Lenten Special | www.markdroberts.com

posted March 8, 2008 at 1:01 am

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Mark D. Roberts. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 2:09:11pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? Conclusions
In this series on the death of Jesus, I have presented four different perspectives on why Jesus had to die: Roman, Jewish, Jesus’, and Early Christian. I believe that each of these points of view has merit, and that we cannot fully understand the necessity of Jesus’ death without taking them all

posted 2:47:39am Apr. 11, 2011 | read full post »

Sunday Inspiration from the High Calling
Can We Find God in the City? Psalm 48:1-14 Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem. Walk around and count the many towers. Take note of the fortified walls, and tour all the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations. For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever,

posted 2:05:51am Apr. 10, 2011 | read full post »

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? The Perspective of the First Christians, Part 3
An Act and Symbol of Love Perhaps one of the most startling of the early Christian interpretations of the cross was that it was all about love. It’s easy in our day, when crosses are religious symbols, attractive ornaments, and trendy jewelry to associate the cross with love. But, in the first

posted 2:41:47am Apr. 08, 2011 | read full post »

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? The Perspective of the First Christians, Part 2
The Means of Reconciliation In my last post, I examined one of the very earliest Christian statements of the purpose of Jesus’ death. According to the tradition encapsulated in 1 Corinthians 15, Jesus died “for our sins in accordance with the scriptures” (15:3). Yet this text doesn’t expl

posted 2:30:03am Apr. 07, 2011 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.