While Supplies Last! 6 Reasons to Offer LTO Restaurant Promotions Create Customer Cravings and Get Them In the Door of your Restaurant, Bar or Coffee Shop
LTO Restaurant Promotions Spark Demand by Limiting Supply
Restaurant chains are on a spending spree when it comes to advertising. In fact, as the economy began to recover from The Great Recession, spending on restaurant advertising rose as much as 5x faster than total U.S. ad spending. In part, this was an effort by chain restaurants to steal market share from competitors using limited-time-only offers. You probably can’t outspend your competitors, but LTO promotions (limited time offers) could help you spark demand among local patrons.
Why do big restaurant chains and coffee shops offer customer favorites like rib-filled sandwiches and pumpkin spice lattes only for a few months every year? Because it works!
And if LTO restaurant promotions work for big restaurants and coffee chains, it can work for your restaurant too. We came up with six ways to create customer cravings that can only be satisfied in your restaurant.
How LTO Restaurant Promotions and Time-Limited Offers Work to Increase Revenue
1. Signature* menu items create new fans and build customer loyalty.
Creating signature menu items – in and of itself – provide you with unique opportunities to promote your restaurant to new market segments. When someone becomes a fan of something they can only get at your restaurant, coffee house or bar, they have to come back to get it.
*Just what is a signature menu item? Just like a person’s handwritten signature, signature restaurant menu items should be unique to your restaurant and outside of the norm of what is available from competitors in your area. It should be something that your establishment can become known for (and none of your competitors can offer, or match).
2. LTO (limited time only) signature menu items create demand.
When your unique menu items are offered only for a limited time, it gives you the ability to boost demand among your loyal customer base as well as individuals who are fans of that signature menu item with a sense of urgency, because that menu item will be going away in the near future. In fact, seasonal menu items may well bring in customers more often than they normally return, and even create a subconscious habit of returning more often to your restaurant, bar or coffee shop in the process.
3. LTO restaurant promotions with signature menu items ignite consumer interest.
- Customers will be looking for – and reading – your digital and offline communications with greater interest as they hope to see that their favorite signature menu item is coming back (or which one is coming next)
- “Foodies” in your area are always on the lookout for something new to try, time-limited menu options help to satisfy their cravings and give your own customers a reason to try something new
- Word of mouth and buzz marketing occurs as customers spread the word to family, friends, co-workers and social networks that they simply “must try” your LTO before it goes away again
- LTOs have many of the characteristics of a “publicity stunt,” all on their own, providing you with many opportunities for PR, events and other press-worthy activities
4. LTO signature menu items can help you steal market share.
The word of mouth, publicity and intrigue that accompany your time-limited menu options can bring in new customers – not just regulars – and give you an opportunity to expand the ranks of your repeat customer base by providing them with an exceptional experience.
5. LTO signature menu items can help you make up ground during slow seasons.
We help many restaurants maintain cash flow during slow months or seasonal lulls with restaurant cash advance financing. Offering signature menu items during your slower months or slow season can boost demand and build restaurant traffic, helping to offset periods when you historically experience a slowdown in traffic and lower profits and revenues.
6. LTO restaurant promotions help you guide customer demand and become more profitable.
Guiding customer demand with time-limited options may improve your ability to forecast demand overall, allowing you to better control costs and even save money at the same time you are increasing revenues – making your restaurant more profitable.
We offer restaurant business loans, advances and equipment financing solutions. Find out more how to use our restaurant cash flow and working capital financing tools to grow your business by requesting a free, no-obligation quote.