Limited Time Offers (LTOs) are promotional offers that last for only a defined period of time. For restaurants, this could either be a discount promotion on a certain type of food item or special food item(s) being introduced. For special days of the year, such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, an effective way to incentivize guests is by using a LTO menu for that day or span of days around the holiday.
Some ideas to get started:
The Details- When completing your list of limited-time offers, think about what extras you could offer to upsell or make for a better experience. Some questions to ask yourself would be - what sauces or dips will be offered? Are there optional side orders with the meal? How will you package it for takeout?
Try This- A hand written note addressed to the guest, for example, wishing them a Happy Mothers Day and thanking them for dining with you. This is a thoughtful, special touch that won't go unnoticed.
LTOs are meant to be profitable, so don’t hesitate to price them at a slightly higher price point than the rest of your menu, especially if it is a unique concept. Build up the idea that the LTO menu items are worth splurging on because of the special occasion. Communicate the fact that the offer is only taking place for the certain day or period of time and that they shouldn't miss out.
Also, be sure to calculate the profit per plate on the LTO items. Individual plate costs make for more accurate profitable menu building. Be consistent with portion sizes and how much of each ingredient is used each time it's made. Have a standard ingredient list with ingredient quantities for each, as well as preparation steps for each dish. If calculations are made well in advance, you have the ability to tweak and adjust recipes to insure high profitability.
When it comes to special occasion menus, menu design is just as important as your standard one. Particular colors and fonts give off a more special occasion look, while still keeping your restaurant brand in mind. Also, consider placement of items, putting the more profitable items higher up or adding a pop of color or shape around them to draw attention to it at first glance.
Here's what you can do to market your menu effectively:
If you are not on social media, this is the time to join! Besides being completely free and easy to use, read our reasons to have an active presence on social media here. If you choose, there are options to create paid ads to target people in your area of a certain demographic on sites like Facebook and Instagram.
Basic ways to promote using social media:
Other considerations for when you plan to promote your menu: