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Limited Time Offers (LTOs) – Creating Traffic-driving offers to stimulate sales

By July 28, 2015 No Comments

limited time offer smoothie

Every customer counts and it’s now more important than ever before to offer unique, craveable menu items that both attract new guests and keep current ones coming back. One way operators can do this is by menuing daily specials and limited time offers (LTOs).

LTOs have long been used by savvy restaurateurs to boost sales. The limited availability of these items generates excitement and social media buzz to attract new customers. LTOs also give operators a chance to test new menu items without the full commitment or expenses of rolling them out as a regular menu item.

In recent research conducted by Los Angeles based Instantly, LTO’s have become a regular draw for one of every five consumers. The survey of 6,000 plus US consumers found that 20% purchase restaurant or supermarket LTOs often. The prime reason, cited by 60% of the LTO fans, was the opportunity to try new flavors.

Focusing on specific seasons or looking toward trends is the perfect way to create and offer an LTO. The healthy halo trend is alive and well and consumers are looking for more restaurants to offer food and beverages they can feel good about. What better way to capitalize on this trend than offering a healthy Organic or 100% Crushed LTO.

“In an online poll, 88 percent of consumers say they’re willing to pay a premium to some degree for foods with healthy attributes,” according to Nielsen’s online poll of 30,000 people in 60 countries.

In Technomic’s Beverage Consumer Trend Report, “More than two-fifths (44%) of consumers call for healthier beverages at restaurants.”

In an article provided by Restaurant Business on 5 mega (and minor) menu trends for 2015, one of the mega trends is Healthy.

“It’s been building for years, but the better-for-you movement finally gained enough steam last year to move past side dishes and take over the center of the plate.

For Organic and the more bankable gluten-free, a few states namely New York and California where they’re already a hit are driving the trend much more than others. But both terms are starting to catch on in other regions where there’ still room for growth on the menu.”

At the recent NAFEM show that just took place in February, here is one of the trends that drives menu innovation:  “Restaurants and other foodservice venues are keen on ramping up LTOs and seasonal changes. Suppliers are adapting their equipment to that demand.”
Source: Restaurant Business Daily, February 24, 2015

Providing new menu items that are seasonal or focused on healthier options, LTO’s will provide sales opportunities from a growing trend that operators can bank on and customers will love.