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Food

Despite consumer behavior shifts, remarkable LTOs still help drive sales

Versatile products make menu innovation easy
Global foods
Photograph courtesy of Sigma Foodservice

There’s no denying that consumer behavior has changed over the past year. From shifts in off-premise demand to the actual foods consumers want to order, the trends across foodservice have presented challenge after challenge to operators. But despite these shifts, one thing has remained constant: Consumers still love limited-time only menu options and trying new things. According to Technomic’s recent Flavor Consumer Trend Report, in fact, a full two-thirds of consumers say they like trying new flavors from time to time.

For operators, planning new and exciting menu options can be stressful—but it doesn’t have to break the budget; by choosing to work with versatile and craveable ingredients, restaurants can offer an array of limited time offerings without the hassle. Check out these best practices for offering LTOs and learn more about how versatile ingredients can help.

Make sure the LTO matches the consumer base

When planning LTOs, operators should take into account that in order to be optimally enticing, the item should fit a need that consumers have—are they looking for something fun or unique? What about an innovative way to enjoy the ingredient being used? Whatever the need state is, operators should plan around their customers’ needs. For instance, if the menu is primarily comfort foods, an LTO of a green salad with seasonal veggies might not be the best pick. Instead, opt for something like a signature hot dog with interesting toppings.

What’s more, operators should consider the exclusivity; Technomic’s Flavor report notes that 43% of consumers expect restaurants to offer signature flavors they can’t get elsewhere, so operators should consider offering dishes that are different from what competitors are offering.

Using versatile ingredients for LTOs

Introducing new and exciting dishes as limited time offers doesn’t have to be a costly, stressful endeavor. By choosing versatile ingredients to work with, operators can ensure they can pivot easily by swapping in different toppings or condiments. For example, a restaurant can use familiar favorite proteins such as sausages, chicken or even hot dogs as the base of an LTO, then experiment with the format of the dish, the toppings or even sides that come with the dish.

Sigma Foodservice has everything operators need to put delicious, craveable LTOS on the menu, as well as the foods they need to build a permanent menu full of dishes diners love. From hot dogs piled high with regional or even global toppings, to corn dogs that are more than welcome on the appetizer or shareables menu and so much more, Sigma can help restaurants craft the perfect LTO. Learn more today at www.sigmafoodserviceus.com.

This post is sponsored by Sigma Foodservice USA

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