To fuel foodservice sales, there’s nothing quite like a limited-time offer (LTO), a you-snooze-you-lose item that features creative and/or seasonal ingredients and flavors. If you offer foodservice, LTOs should be an integral part of your marketing strategy.
Just about everybody suffers from some degree of FOMO (fear of missing out), so if you add a new, exciting and, especially, limited item to your menu, customers will want to try it before it goes away.
An LTO doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can be as simple as putting barbecued chicken on a pizza or a different condiment on a sandwich.
Make the introduction of an LTO an event. Promote it through signage in the stores and at the pumps, on your website, in your ads and on bag stuffer flyers. Sample the item in the stores.
Offer LTOs regularly, at least quarterly, so customers can anticipate their arrival on the menu.
Give the LTO time to gain traction, but not such a long run that it becomes old news (unless customers love it so much that it should earn a place on your regular menu). For most items four weeks is a good amount of time to offer the LTO.
Forty-eight percent of consumers reported trying an LTO item every month. Over 30% of consumers ages 18 to 44 said they tried LTOs every week, according to a survey by Modern Restaurant Management magazine.
Make LTOs items your customers can’t get anywhere else in the area. Be creative and partner with local purveyors of produce, meat, cheese, breads and condiments to come up with innovative sandwiches, salads, pizza toppings and other fare. Or look through your existing inventory and use ingredients already in your inventory to come up with original combinations.
Offer the LTO at a value price. Or you could put together an LTO bundle with other complementary items in the store such as chips, soda and cookies and place signage promoting the deal in in those areas.