As an operator, you know that limited-time offers (LTOs) can help provide a powerful temporary sales boost, especially for a slower season or an untapped day-part. But did you know that LTOs can also help your restaurant increase overall traffic and profits? A great way to develop the schedule and theme of a successful LTO program is by aligning it with hashtag holidays. Another way is by incorporating one of your most popular and profitable menu items—hot, crispy, delicious fries.
In this article, you will learn:
- How to increase profitability and check size with LTOs
- Why hashtag holidays are the perfect way to theme LTOs
- The power of the hashtag holiday "National French Fry Day"
Increasing check size and profitability with LTOs
LTOs are an approachable and creative way to help drive traffic, boost sales and maximize margins for your restaurant. In fact, the average LTO can help increase sales up to 20%1.
To help drive revenue growth, consider focusing on one of the three levers of LTO success:
- Building Purchase Frequency – Motivate additional visits by appealing to the loyal guests who already frequent your restaurant.
- Lifting Check Size – Raise your average check size with a premium (but profitable) LTO menu item.
- Attracting New Customers – Offer an incentive for new guests by creating a competitive promotion that stands out among other restaurants.
In determining the right ingredients for your LTO, consider using ingredients you already have on hand, including delicious Lamb Weston® fries. The Lamb Weston® sales and profitability tools can help you choose which fries are right for your promotion. Estimate the differences in cost by cut type based on operator sales volume by downloading the Do the Math tool. And price your LTO accurately to control food costs and maximize profits with the Recipe-to-Revenue Calculator.
Why participate in hashtag holidays?
For years now, the popularity of national hashtag holidays has been growing. Many of these fun-filled consumer-centric occasions have been created to celebrate foods. A quarter of consumers have previously participated in a nationally recognized food holiday2. By designing LTOs based upon food-themed hashtag holidays with large and active social conversations, your restaurant can take advantage of tremendous built-in exposure for free.
Here are a few food-centric hashtag holidays to participate in:
- National Tater Tot Day - February 2
- National Pizza Day - February 9
- National Hamburger Day - May 28
- National Cheese Day - June 4
- National French Fry Day - July 13
- National Potato Day - August 19
- National Bacon Day - September 4
- National Cheeseburger Day - September 18
The power of National French Fry Day
National French Fry Day is every year on July 13, and it's one of the more popular food hashtag holidays that occur each year. French fries were already the top side dish in 20203, and now we're seeing more orders at restaurants include fries than pre-pandemic4. Of the consumers who have heard of the hashtag holiday National French Fry Day, 56% would consider visiting a restaurant on that day2. Take advantage and consider running an LTO that makes the hot and crispy fries your guests love the star!
"Free Fries" is overwhelmingly the most appealing offer among consumers surveyed, followed by "Free Fries with a Burger or Sandwich Purchase" or "Buy One, Get One Free Fries"2. Consumers would also be willing to join a loyalty program and post on social media for free fries2, so in addition to motivating your guests to order fries, make sure your LTO also includes an incentive for them to take further action.
Looking for inspiration on how to get started developing an LTO for National French Fry Day? This year, Lamb Weston® is looking for top fry recipes from chefs around the country that represent their home state. Sign up and join the Lamb Weston® Fry Tour America to receive a free case rebate5, plus a Limited-Offer Activation Guide to help you create your own business-boosting National French Fry Day LTO.
Submit your recipe by National French Fry Day on July 13, and enter for a chance to win $3,0006. The top three state-inspired recipes will win!