Summertime means endless opportunities to bring in business and make more money– especially if you run a restaurant. Families on vacation or heading out for a day on the town together stop in for meals more frequently than when the kiddos are in school; rowdy college kids are looking for something to do to kill time and keep them entertained; everybody wants to have fun when it’s time to go out.
Restaurants are the ideal spot for summertime enthusiasts; but how can you leverage increased foot traffic and actually drive measurable sales over the course of the season? The answer is more straightforward than you may think: menu innovation.
Getting creative with your menu is a great way to entice new customers, keep walk-ins hooked, and give regulars a reason to come back. Implementing limited-time-offerings (or LTOs) incentivizes visitors to return to your business time and time again, even as the months wear on. It’s one of the oldest restaurant marketing tactics in the book– and we’re here to offer up a few great ideas on how you can use LTOs to improve your summer profits.
Using LTOs to Improve Summer Profits:
Try going meatless
Meatless alternatives to classic favorites like hamburgers and hotdogs are all the rage right now. If you can get your hands on some top-quality meatless alternatives, you may just be able to create a hype that’s impossible to dampen. In fact, they’re so popular that many restaurants are scrambling to keep them in stock. Offering these products as summer menu LTOs ensures you can avoid the fallout traditionally associated with limited stock.
Opt for seasonal and/or local produce
More and more of today’s consumers want to feel good about the food they’re eating. The easiest way to achieve that? Help them understand where their food is coming from! It doesn’t hurt that seasonal flavors have been shown to foster emotional connections in consumers, either.
Offering dishes made with seasonal ingredients helps keep your food tasting great. Sourcing close to home offers that same benefit, too. Your food will be top-quality if you’re buying in season and your food doesn’t have to travel far. As a bonus, your customers will feel more connected to their community and more excited about what you have to offer.
Take cues from millennials and gen x
Hop on over to Instagram’s front page and check out what’s trending. You’ll probably see a lot of huge, messy, over-the-top food that looks absolutely mind-blowing (if not a little tough to eat).
If you want to snag the attention of the younger crowd, you’ll need to get on the ground level and bring their trends into your restaurant. Already offer milkshakes? Go the extra mile and offer up an LTO that looks like the lovechild of a shake, a pan of hot gooey brownies, and artisan-made sprinkles. It’s not all about going big or going home; take a look around and see what the kids are into these days. You may be able to use it to your advantage more easily than you suspect.
Partnering with Dining Alliance
Restaurant marketing isn’t easy. With so much competition and so little space for error, it can feel daunting when it comes time to determine how you want to advertise your business. Sprucing up your menu with a rotating handful of LTOs this summer could prove to be far more than just a quick fix– it can kickstart business, increase customer loyalty, and even help spread your brand’s name throughout your community.
Looking for new ways to make the most of your menu? Explore our restaurant technology partners that can help. You can also get in touch with our friendly, knowledgeable team to schedule a consultation. One of our expert staff members will be glad to speak with you about how to save money and boost profits in your restaurant. At Dining Alliance, we’re committed to delivering savings, quality, and simplicity to your restaurant.