Today is Monday, Leap Year Day and Arby’s, the unabashedly meat-centric chain that prides itself on its beef-crammed buns, is launching a one-day promotion of a variety of vegetarian options for its line of sandwiches.
According to Rob Lynch, chief marketing officer and brand president of Arby’s Restaurant Group, this decision is based on giving vegetarians a reason to visit the chain on Leap Day by offering a one-day menu designed specifically for them. “If it goes well, we’ll likely bring back the vegetarian menu on Feb. 29 each year.”
Friends of the Meatless Monday movement wonder if Arby’s choice of promoting its vegetarian options on a Monday signals the chain’s acknowledgement that highlighting veggies on a Monday is a nod to the popular global movement of going meatless on the first day of each week. If that’s the case, then Arby’s does not need to wait until the next leap year four years from now. The chain simply has to highlight their veggie options every Monday to draw not only vegetarians, but also omnivores and carnivores who look to Mondays as the one day a week to get the beef of their buns — for their health and the health of our planet.
Arby’s veggie promotion on a Monday is not the first to shake up the line-up in fast-food meataramas: in 2012, Burger King also ran a one-time Meatless Monday promotion to boost sales of its veggie burger. And, other big chains such as McDonald’s and Wendy’s continue to expand their everyday offerings to include more vegetarian options such as salads and veggie-based wraps.
No one can say for sure whether Arby’s veggie promotion will continue, but for at least one day this year, Meatless Monday adherents from New York to Los Angeles can get their veggie fix in the most unlikely of places: at a corner booth at Arby’s.
Meatless Monday is a nonprofit public health initiative of The Monday Campaigns. Sid Lerner, the organization’s chairman, founded the Meatless Monday movement in 2003, with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The campaign seeks to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer, and conserve valuable environmental resources by encouraging the public to cut back on meat consumption one day a week. The campaign is founded on research that demonstrates that Monday is the day we are most primed to start and sustain a healthy new behavior. Since its launch 13 years ago, Meatless Monday has become an international movement with support from celebrities, restaurants, schools and organizations around the world.
Free Resources to Start a Meatless Monday Promotion
Download free toolkits, posters, infographics and more: http://www.meatlessmonday.com/start-a-campaign/