It can be really difficult to keep up with the latest food trends these days, in truth fashions seem to change as often as the direction of the wind. But one thing seems to be certain at least, diners are becoming more and more adventurous when they choose where and what to eat. The fact is your loyal customers are likely looking to try something new and so are the people who haven't discovered you yet.
Adding new items to a menu can of course prove to be expensive and risky however, so a great way to dip your toe in the water with a new dish or side is with Limited Time Offers (LTO). LTOs are new product promotions which last for a predetermined amount of time (usually a few weeks or couple of months) and will tempt your customers into trying something new. Here are five reasons you should be considering doing something extra and different with an LTO.
Want to bring some seasonal cheer with a dish that only really makes sense at a certain time of year? Whether it's pigs in blankets at Christmas or a fresh light salad perfect for summer, you can adapt your menu to the time of year with an LTO. Choosing seasonal ingredients which are abundant and lower in price for your menu item can also help bring costs down too.
The excitement over #foodporn on Instagram is proof that when it comes to eating out no one can live with missing out, if your friend has tried an amazing new dish then you need to have it too! LTOs can add even more desire to try something before it expires, perhaps never to be seen again. For even more impact choose an item that you think will get your customers talking, whether it's super spicy, extra cheesy or just mad delicious.
A low price can bring in custom
It's a good idea to pitch your LTO at a price point that will get as many people as possible trying the item. This will make the offer even more tempting an option for your usual customers and could also help bring in new diners too. A time-limited low cost will also add to the fear of missing out, no one wants a great deal to pass them by, especially when purse strings are tight.
Test out new products
Perhaps you have been considering adding an item to your menu for a while but you're not sure it will work. Offering something totally new that none of your competitors do can a be great way to get ahead and using a LTO is the perfect way to test a new dish without so much risk. If it doesn't go down well you can remove it once the offer expires, but if it proves to be popular then you could bring it back sooner than expected or even add it to the permanent menu.
Even if your LTO is cheap and you won't make much money on the item itself, it's a great opportunity to get customers through the door so that they will hopefully order plenty of things which have a better profit margin. Be sure to try and upsell with something you know you can make money on, whether that's drinks, sides or dessert.
Examples of LTOs in Quick Serve Restaurants
KFC Double Down Burger
In 2010 KFC introduced an inside-out sandwich with fried chicken as the 'bread' and it has been offered periodically since then in different countries all over the world. This works really well as an LTO because it's not something you might normally order but customers feel like they have to try it at least once.
McDonalds Spicy Chicken Nuggets
McDonalds much-loved nuggets have been given a twist with the add of a touch of chilli and the option of a new hot sauce. As spicy food becomes ever more popular these have been a real crowd-pleaser and have sold out in many restaurants in the UK. Adding heat to one of your existing products is a great way to reinvent it and get your customers excited all over again.
Starbucks Tie Dye Frappaccino
Capturing the summer vibe, Starbucks psychedelic drink is obviously quite quirky but also extremely Instagrammable. This is a good example of a limited time offer that's sure to get customers buying the product primarily so they can share it on their social feed, making you money but also giving you free promotion.
Want to try a Limited Time Offer yourself?
We can help! Aviko have a fantastic range of delicious Street Food Sides which are perfect to get your customers excited as a limited offer - click here find out more.