Meat and potatoes earned the majority of spots on the list of chain LTOs consumers said they would most likely order in March, as indicated by Technomic’s MenuSurf survey. Burgers in several iterations and other beef items landed in the top 10, along with cheese-topped tots. But there were also a couple of outliers. Click ahead to see the top chain LTOs, ranked from 10th to first by purchase intent. (MenuSurf’s canvass of 500 consumers on 100-plus LTOs shows which are most appealing on the basis of the item’s name and description.)
10. Single Charbroiled Slider
The introduction of a charbroiled slider by Carl’s Jr. tempted more than 54% of consumers to order it. The single mini burger, topped with American cheese, pickles, chopped onions, mustard and ketchup, sounds similar to White Castle’s sliders—although these are charbroiled, not steamed. Carl’s Jr. is selling theirs for $1 each, but the price likely did not impact the ranking, as it wasn’t noted in the description.
9. Bacon Boss Burger
Bacon in the name of a menu item has been shown to boost purchase intent, and this item is no exception. The Bacon Boss Burger offered by Buffalo Wild Wings enticed 54.8% of consumers to purchase it. Since BWW is known primarily for chicken wings, putting a burger in the spotlight is a bit unexpected. This LTO features bacon three ways—smashed into the beef patty, as a topping and in a condiment of bacon jam—which garnered a thumbs up from survey respondents. Of those who said they would purchase it, more than 66% also found the burger craveable.
8. Double Charbroiled Slider
Carl’s Jr. also scored well with its Double Charbroiled Slider. Prepared the same way as the single slider, this item offers even more value, as customers can order two mini burgers for $1.50. Although the sliders each scored high in terms of purchase intent, they both ranked pretty low in originality—fewer than 40% of consumers rated them as unique.
7. The Big Country Skillet
In a departure from burger domination, a meaty breakfast skillet from Perkins Restaurant & Bakery comes in at No. 7 on this list. Almost 58% of consumers said they would order the hearty combination of pork sausage, applewood-smoked bacon, smoked ham, American cheese and cream gravy with two eggs served over fried smashed tots. The LTO also got high marks in another category. Of those who would purchase it, almost 70% found The Big Country Skillet craveable.
6. Butterfly Jumbo Shrimp Basket
In February and March, many chains launched limited-time offers featuring seafood to coincide with Lent. Yet only Culver’s Jumbo Shrimp Basket was one of consumers’ top 10 choices in terms of purchase intent, with more than 58% saying they would order it. The menu item is made up of lightly breaded shrimp served with the chain’s signature cocktail sauce.
5. Smothered Cheese Steak Quesadilla
Along with burgers, cheesesteak preps got some play in March’s MenuSurf survey. A little over 58% of consumers would consider purchasing Buffalo Wild Wings’ Smothered Cheese Steak Quesadilla from its description. It’s a grilled flour tortilla stuffed with sliced sirloin steak and melted cheese, then smothered in creamy white cheese sauce. Close to 65.5% of consumers who would purchase the quesadilla also found it craveable.
4. Prime Rib Cheesesteak
Jack in the Box also scored well with a cheesesteak LTO. The chain debuted a Prime Rib Cheesesteak, an upscale cut for a QSR. Perhaps the words “prime rib” in the item’s name prompted 59.5% of consumers to say they would order the cheesesteak.
3. The Bacon Deluxe
Again, the inclusion of bacon elicits a high purchase intent score. Almost 61% of consumers would order the Bacon Deluxe from Culver’s. The chain plays up its roots, preparing the burger with fresh Midwest-raised beef, Wisconsin cheese, two strips of bacon, tomatoes, pickles, red onions, mayo and the concept’s signature lightly buttered, toasted bun.
2. Cheesy Tots
Burger King brought back its Cheesy Tots, an item 60.7% of MenuSurf respondents indicated they would purchase. Promoted as “crunchy outside, gooey cheese and warm potato inside,” the tots also earned high marks for craveability—over 68% of consumers who would purchase them also found the item craveable.
1. Prime Steakburger
Steak ‘n Shake’s latest LTO suggests that premium ingredients attract customers. The chain’s Prime Steakburger garnered the top spot by purchase intent during March, with more than 64% of consumers saying they would order it. Taking a cue from the burgers featured on high-end menus, this 6-ounce patty is handcrafted from a blend of brisket and chuck, grilled to order and served on a toasted brioche bun.