Spicy Chorizo Hashbrown Bowl

Seasonal LTOs to Boost your Bottom Line
Limited time offers (LTO) menu items and specials keep your menu fresh and your customers coming back for more. Learn more about how the success of LTOs popularity, profit building tips and how seasonal flavor trends can drive traffic to your operation.

Current Season: FALL/WINTER
LTOs Breaking Ground

Limited time offer introductions have exploded. Today, LTOs account for 76% of menu activity at major chains.1

LTOs breaking ground

The Power of Effective Menuing with LTOs

Restaurant-goers want to try something new when they dine out with 75% stating that LTOs give them the chance to try new menu items and ingredients. And, nearly 50% of consumers say they ordered an LTO menu item within the past month.2 This means that menuing LTOs is a significant opportunity that can offer tremendous rewards for your overall business.

You’ll benefit from offering LTOs by:
  • Shifting consumers to higher margin items
  • Driving incremental sales
  • Capitalizing on flavor trends to keep the menu fresh
  • Creating consumer buzz/increased traffic

With the rising popularity of LTOs among consumers, it is no wonder why operators are looking to integrate new and exciting items to their menu. Now, the next phase is to take LTOs a step further and incorporate a seasonal twist.

Consumers Crave LTOs—Now, Make it Seasonal

With consumers growing wary of “here today, gone tomorrow” offers, seasonality has proven to resonate more positively among restaurant-goers and can enhance your menu’s appeal.

Coq au Vin with potato pancakes

Coq Au Vin with Potato Cakes

Add Seasonal Flavors to Keep Your LTO Fresh

Seasonality is becoming more and more popular on restaurant menus: 10% increase of menus mentioning the term, “seasonal,” between 2011 through 2013.3 Furthermore, 66% of patrons have indicated that they are more likely to order an LTO if it contains a seasonal flavor and 68% of consumers say that LTOs featuring seasonal ingredients are of interest.4

Top 5 Fall/Winter Seasonal Flavors

One-third of consumers report that their flavor preferences change with the seasons. In the fall/winter season, consumers want comfort foods like mashed potatoes with a little something special – This is the time to integrate fresh, seasonal ingredients for a unique twist on a familiar dish. Add these fall/winter flavors to recipes using Basic American Foods products:

  1. HORSERADISH: 35% of new items and LTOs released during the fall season include horseradish, and it is commonly found on 40% of fine dining menus.11
  2. APPLE: Mentions of apple on the menu are up 4.5% since 2014, and apple incidence at restaurants is up 12% since 2002.2
  3. CAULIFLOWER: 10.6% increase of cauliflower in appetizers/starters over the past two years, and vegetable soup menu incidence is up by 11.6% during fall/winter since 2013.2
  4. SWEET POTATOES: Menu incidence of sweet potatoes is up 2.1% during fall/winter since 2013, and there have been 3.7% more sweet potato menu offerings over the last two years.2

Horseradish hashbrowns

Horseradish Hashbrowns

82% of Americans indicated that they are open to trying new flavors.7 Showcasing seasonal ingredients on your menu will entice consumers to try LTO items because they incorporate something fresh and different and are only available for a limited amount of time.

Consumers are yearning for a change when they dine out. That’s why the most effective menus highlight LTOs using seasonal ingredients. We’ll show you exactly how to do it.

Potatoes and Beans are the Perfect Seasonal Fit for Your LTO

Seasonal LTOs provide the framework for menu items that will intrigue your customers, but what will convince them to actually try a new item is to bring it into their comfort zone. Combining the unique concept of Seasonal LTOs with familiar side favorites like potatoes and beans will surely convince your customers to take that leap and try something new. We have the research to prove that potatoes and beans are the perfect seasonal fit for your LTO!


Promote Seasonal Specials with Ease
Seasonal Specials and LTOs stand out from the crowd, so promoting them on the menu is our #1 Recommendation. Here’s how:

Whether marketing Seasonal Specials on the menu or online, you can rest assured knowing that Seasonal LTOs with Basic American Foods potatoes and beans will increase consumer traffic and drive incremental sales for your operation.

1 Datassential/IFMA: Consumer Planning Program 2015
2 Technomic, MenuMonitor 2015
3 MenuMonitor 2014
4 Datassential/IFMA: Consumer Planning Program 2013
5 Datassential MenuTrends, 2013
6 Mintel, 2013
7 Mintel, Innovation on the Menu Flavor Trends, 2014
8 Mintel, Breakfast Trends, 2014
9 Technomic Side Dish Study, 2013
10 Technomic, Volumetric Analysis
11 Datassential MenuTrends, 2014
12 eMarketer, 2012
13 CSPnet, 2014