Last month’s chain LTOs with the greatest purchase intent ranged from pizza and burgers to sweet beverages. Chicken-based dishes were quite popular, making up four of the 10 items on this list, while cheesy and buttery indulgences lurked close behind. Also piquing consumers’ interest in July were smoky flavors, which likely got a boost thanks to barbecue season.
Click ahead to see the 10 most appealing limited-time chain items in July, ranked from 10th to first, as indicated by Technomic’s MenuSurf survey. The canvass of 500 consumers on purchase intent for 100 or more LTOs shows which items are the most likely to be ordered on the basis of name and description.
10. Pizza Hut’s Cheesy Bites Pizza
Well over half of consumers say they’d be likely to order this pepperoni pizza encircled with 28 pull-away mozzarella-filled bites, served with marinara dipping sauce. The pizza comes in a box designed with the Spider Man logo, as Pizza Hut enrolled the offer in a promotional partnership with the new film, "Spider Man: Homecoming."
9. Ninety Nine Restaurants’ Frozen Lemonades
Over 55% of consumers say they’d be likely to purchase these beverages featured on Ninety Nine's Father’s Day menu. This 100% all-natural nonalcoholic beverage line, which the chain refers to as “a sip of summer,” comes in three flavors: Raspberry Splash, Strawberry Splash and Classic Lemonade. Ninety Nine’s other Father’s Day beverage LTOs included a Woodford Bourbon Sour Smash, Fresh Watermelon Margarita and Horseshoe Ale.
8. El Pollo Loco’s Chicken Cheddar Bacon Overstuffed Quesadilla
More than 55% of consumers show intent to order El Pollo Loco’s Chicken Cheddar Bacon Overstuffed Quesadilla, which sells for just over $6 and is made with chicken, bacon, caramelized onions, cheddar and pico de gallo. The Mexican chain specializing in grilled chicken also launched Overstuffed Quesadillas in three additional flavors: Southwest Chicken Avocado, Chicken Nacho and Chicken Fajita Avocado.
7. Max & Erma’s Bourbon BBQ Chicken
Nearly 57% of consumers say they’d order the Bourbon BBQ Chicken featured on Max & Erma’s Summer Spread LTO menu. Priced at $13.50, the dish comprises charbroiled chicken breasts glazed with bourbon barbecue sauce; topped with melted Jack and cheddar cheeses, brown sugar bacon and crispy onion strings; and served with a choice of two sides. The Summer Spread menu is available at participating units until Aug. 31.
6. Church’s Chicken’s Smokehouse Half Chicken
Over 57% of consumers show intent on spending $3.99 for this LTO, which Church’s first introduced for a limited time last year. Prepared naked (aka free of any breading or batter), the half chicken is seasoned with hickory smoke-flavored dry rub and served with a honey-butter biscuit. Of all the chicken dishes on this list, this is the only one that's deep-fried.
5. White Castle’s Bacon and Smoked Cheddar Chicken Slider
Slightly more consumers would order this chicken slider than the half-chicken item from the previous slide, though both feature chicken and hickory smoke flavors. Described as “smoky comfort” by White Castle, the slider features crispy or grilled chicken topped with hickory-smoked bacon and smoky cheddar. The QSR simultaneously launched a Hot Chicken Slider, which scored slightly lower with consumers—some 42.4% say they would purchase that variety.
4. Perkins Restaurant & Bakery’s Smokehouse Duo
Almost three-fifths of consumers say they would order this LTO, which—like the previous three items—features smoky flavors. This combo plate contains smoked sausage and applewood-smoked bacon with two eggs, three buttermilk pancakes and a choice of hash browns, breakfast potatoes, tots or fruit.
3. Checkers and Rally’s Garlic Buttery Steak Burger
Over three-fifths of consumers say they would buy this item, which Checkers and Rally’s claim has “the most flavor we’ve ever jam-packed into a burger.” The burger features shaved steak, butter, garlic, onion tanglers, mayonnaise, Swiss cheese and a beef patty on a toasted bun. But it’s not the only item from Checkers and Rally’s on this list.
2. Jack in the Box’s Jumbo Breakfast Platter
More than three in five consumers say they would be likely to purchase this returning breakfast platter, which features scrambled eggs, hash browns, eight mini pancakes and a choice of country grilled sausage or three slices of bacon. This year, the chain rolled out this LTO with a new value price of $2.99. The quick-service burger chain first introduced the platter in 2011 at that price point, but it had crept up to around $4.49 in recent years.
1. Checkers and Rally’s Original Buttery Steak Burger
Over 65% of consumers say they would be likely to purchase the Original Buttery Steak Burger, making it the most alluring LTO on a chain menu in July. This burger tops a beef patty with seasoned steak, steak butter and crispy onion tanglers. It returned from last year with the addition of the word “Original” to set it apart from the new Garlic Buttery Steak Burger (No. 3 on this list).
Butter and burgers have gone hand-in-hand over the past year at top chains beyond Culver's: Jack in the Box unveiled a Triple Bacon Buttery Jack in January, and Steak ’n Shake introduced its Garlic Double Steakburger in October.