Foodservice Updates is designed to help foodservice operators keep on top of all the industry news and provides tips for keeping business running smooth. We endeavor to provide the latest tips and solutions to keep you in the know.
Give your loyal guests the LTOs they crave
The limited-time offers you provide can help you tempt guests who want to take advantage of the scarcity of a meal item that won’t last for long, test new ideas that might deserve to be on your menu for the long term, and reward the guests who have been your most loyal supporters. According to Technomic research, the most craveable LTOs tend to be comforting, indulgent foods. However, if you build offers that deliver on the specific feedback your most loyal guests provide, your LTO lineup has the best chance of strengthening – and becoming an extension of – your relationships with these guests. Every time they place an order with you, consider it an opportunity to learn about their preferences. What are their favorite menu items? What doesn’t work for them? What do they wish you would offer? How can you make them feel like their feedback matters to you – and that they are part of an exclusive club? For example, could you invite them to vote for their preferred LTO, have them sample the contenders, or provide them with early access to the one you decide to promote?
Reframe your snacks
As consumer work habits have shifted over the past few years, restaurant dayparts have blurred too, making it feel appropriate to eat meals at in-between times previously relegated to snacks and drinks. But while this shift has, in theory, created some opportunities for restaurants to appeal to guests between meals, other challenges – notably inflation – have made operations more difficult in recent months. Although signs point to the U.S. experiencing decreased inflation and (as of the timing of this writing) possibly avoiding recession, economic uncertainty has still affected how consumers are spending in restaurants. Guests’ desire for value has meant that when they go to a restaurant, they are more likely to do so for a meal than for a snack. But that doesn’t mean your snack menu is obsolete. In fact, it could actually help you upsell to your guests and increase perceived value if you change how you frame these items. For example, try offering snack-sized portions on your appetizer menu or position them as small plates that can help guests feel like they are maximizing the experience they are getting for their bill total. Or, as a recent Restaurant Business report advised, you can offer some of these items as add-ons or combo deals.
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