In foodservice, the holidays are the busiest time of year. With people in the mood to celebrate, limited-time offers (LTOs) are one way to make the holidays happier for your guests. Planning your LTOs in advance also makes the season less hectic for you.
The holidays are weeks away, so why worry now? Because LTOs are a two-part process. First, you need to map out your plans, step by step. Second, you need to focus on the guest experience, gathering data to improve your efficiency, better understand customers and create excitement that drives repeat business.
Build excitement for after the holidays
LTOs give you the chance to test to test new flavor profiles or showcase items that might get added to the permanent menu. That makes your holiday LTOs the perfect opportunity to talk about what’s next.
Even though you’re focused on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, don’t forget to talk to your LTO audience about the upcoming months. Initiate the next experience by adding a notice inside the check holder, creating a placard near the host station or having servers talk it up.
It’s one way to make sure diners think of your operation first after the busy holiday season ends.
Benefits of LTOs
Done right, holiday promotions make money. But there’s more to gain:
Showcase creativity. LTOs are a chance to show regulars and occasional customers something they’ve never seen.
Build data. Tracking LTO success creates a baseline and sets expectations for future offerings.
Collect feedback. Comment cards or online reviews provide insight about what worked and what didn’t.
Test items. Items popular during the holidays may be worth adding to the main menu.
Boost sales. Incremental LTO sales on days with smaller crowds add revenue, plus they provide an experience that can increase weekend traffic.
Create awareness. Diners curious about holiday LTOs may be interested in your January, February and March plans.