Light Up Your Business with Limited-Time Offers (LTOs)

People toasting with a hot drink.

Stick to your brand, but dare to stretch a bit and make LTOs special.

When the holiday season arrives, people are ready to spend. Not all of that money goes toward gifts for others. People also enjoy treating themselves, and that’s where limited-time offers (LTOs) can work to your advantage.

LTOs Have Strong Money-Making AppealLTOs are your chance to serve something out of the ordinary while creating a sense of urgency. This plays into consumers’ desire to splurge. With people spending more in December—Mastercards’s 2017 annual SpendingPulse report shows restaurant purchases increased 3 percent in December year over year—LTOs entice diners to try an unusual drink or dessert before it’s gone.

Tips for Successful LTOs

Spread the word
People eat with their eyes, so invest in quality photography and make your LTOs known in-store and online with:

  • Table tents
  • Server recommendations
  • Social media

Price for profit
Because there’s no other offer like it, you can charge more than you think:

  • Price LTOs like menu stars, meaning higher than your core menu items
  • Build the perception that the LTO is worth splurging on

Make LTOs feel good
More and more, customers appreciate product transparency and sustainability:

  • Publicize any clean label attributes like non-GMO, gluten-free, locally-sourced, etc.
  • Donate part of each sale to a cause, if it makes sense

Three Creative Ideas for Menuing LTOs

Remember your audience
Guests don’t stop in looking just for a meal. Make the LTO meaningful to your customer base. Also keep in mind that in tourist areas, LTOs may sell well for a long time.

There are lots of reasons to utilize an LTO, from testing new flavor profiles to showcasing items that might get added to the permanent menu. In a season of special occasions, the LTO customers can get only at your operation can drive sales, profits and return visits.