Tempt your customers with special limited time offers
Your menu is a marketing tool
When it comes to food and dining, your menu is more than just a list of food: it’s the image-maker for your business. It’s just as important as your other marketing materials (if not more so), so make sure it grabs your audience’s attention.
Your menu is a living document that needs to be regularly curated. It can be tempting to just keep adding items to it forever, but your customers only have so much attention to spare; overwhelming them with information or choices is not going to lead to a great experience.
Most customers will quickly skim over the menu before ordering, so you only have a small window to present your specialty items in a compelling way. Promoting your Limited Time Offers (LTO’s) is an excellent way to entice new customers without turning off your regular visitors.
However, not all LTOs are created equal. There are clearly some that are far more popular with customers, depending on what foodservice space you operate in.
Some of the all-time greatest hits include:
- Seasonal flavours
- New and unique signature items
- Rare or hard-to-find products/ingredients
- Fresh and seasonal ingredients
- Fusions, tweaks or new twists on a familiar item
When promoting your LTOs, be loud and proud
Visibility is key if you want your LTOs to get noticed. Tempt your customers with attention-grabbing special offers that gleam on your menu board, and share the news on social media to keep patrons coming in.
The most buzzworthy LTOs are reasonably priced and grab attention with unique flavours, creative presentations (through packaging, plating or serving styles), or fresh twists on established favourites.
It’s best to keep LTOs available for at least a month but preferably longer. Having a bigger window gives time for word-of-mouth to spread and gives customers plenty of chances to try them out.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
Keep an eye on current trends to inspire your new creations. Put a creative spin on your traditional menu items; customers are more likely to try an experimental item based on something they’re familiar with. Burgers and pizzas are excellent items to play with as customers are more open to trying new variations on them. As our cities grow more multicultural, global flavours are also growing in popularity, with younger generations across the board more enthusiastic about new food items.
Don’t worry too much about the occasion – about 62% of consumers say any kind of food qualifies as a snack, with their snack orders proving that some menu items can be enjoyed throughout the day.
Pro tip: Consider creating snackable LTOs by offering breakfast items, sides or desserts. Not only do they have all-day appeal, but they also give you the chance to repurpose many of the fresh ingredients you’ll have in stock. About half of all snacks eaten away from home are traditional snack foods, so there are plenty of customers out there just waiting for you to dish out some clever LTOs!
Another smart idea is to pair your LTOs with a free drink offer to create a complete mini-meal. Using dispensed drinks for this will not only lower your costs, but will also help customers feel they’ve gotten the best value from their order.
If you’re looking for a great way to dispense cold drinks, take a look at our CoolPro commercial drinks dispenser. It’s internally refrigerated, can dispense four drinks per minute and has a compact benchtop design, so it’s perfect for businesses of all sizes.
The future belongs to the innovators, so don’t be afraid to experiment!
Statistics in this article are sourced from Datassential.