As summer got into full swing, burger LTOs once again ranked high with consumers, but seasonal desserts also struck a chord. Ice cream treats and desserts flavored with fresh berries and chocolate received high scores for purchase intent. Several variations of fries and sandwiches also landed on the list.
Click ahead to see the 10 most appealing limited-time offers at chains from May through June, as indicated by Technomic’s MenuSurf survey, powered by Ignite. (The canvass of 500 consumers for 100 or more LTOs shows which are most likely to be ordered on the basis of the item’s name and description. Results are rounded to the nearest whole number.)
10. Bacon Cheddar Ranch Fries
This item from the Gold Star Chili chain boasts several customer favorites in its name: bacon, cheddar cheese and ranch dressing. Its detailed menu description—which also mentions tomatoes—enticed 56% of consumers to say they would order it. Of those purchasers, more than 71% also found its combination of ingredients craveable.
9. Chicken Parmesan Italian Flatbread
Cicis branched out from its pizza roots into trendier territory with this flatbread. The item features a thin, crispy flatbread crust topped with a brush of garlic butter, tomato sauce, all-white-meat breaded chicken breast, zesty bruschetta tomatoes, shredded Parmesan and a sprinkle of basil. Cicis played up the premium qualities of the flatbread’s ingredients, and based on this description, 59% of consumers intended to purchase it.
8. Sourdough Chicken Club Sandwich
Burger King also capitalized on quality cues in the description of its Sourdough Chicken Club Sandwich. Using phrases such as “100% white meat seasoned chicken filet, breaded and carefully layered with thick-cut smoked bacon ” gives consumers the impression there’s someone in BK’s kitchen making the sandwich from scratch. Of consumers surveyed, 59% found this description would compel them to purchase this chicken sandwich, and more than 61% of those respondents would visit a Burger King to try it.
7. BBQ Cheddar & Bacon Burger
This limited-time burger at Shake Shack ties into seasonal barbecue flavors. But the item’s description also reminds consumers of Shake Shack’s reputation for using premium, all-natural ingredients. The 100% all-natural Angus beef burger is topped with smoked cheddar cheese and Niman Ranch smoked bacon, along with pickles and barbecue sauce. Based on this description, 60% of consumers said they would order the burger.
6. Loaded Cheddar Fries
The second iteration of fries on June’s list, the Loaded Cheese Fries from Mimi’s Cafe, scored high among consumers, with more than 60% of consumers indicating they intended to purchase the LTO. Mimi’s fries are topped with layers of melted cheddar cheese, bacon and green onions, and served with ranch dressing on the side.
5. Strawberry Shortcake
California Pizza Kitchen may be better known for the savory side of its menu, but MenuSurf respondents gravitated toward the chain’s Strawberry Shortcake this month. The dessert, composed of a shortcake biscuit topped with strawberries, whipped cream and candied lemon zest, earned a score close to 61% for purchase intent. Almost 62% of potential purchasers also found the LTO to be craveable.
4. Chocolate Lava Cake
Chocolate desserts are often best-sellers on restaurant menus, so it makes sense that Bonefish Grill’s Chocolate Lava Cake ranked high in purchase intent with more than 61% of consumers. Of those who said they would purchase it, more than 70% also found the LTO to be craveable. The description of the dessert covers technique as well as ingredients: rich chocolate cake with a molten center, served warm and topped with fresh strawberries and housemade whipped cream.
3. Cheesecake Brownie Swirl New York Style Dessert
In June, Cicis went in another direction other than pizza with the launch of a new dessert item. Its cheesecake brownie features thick swirls of creamy cheesecake baked into rich, fudgy brownies “for a true taste of New York.” Consumers seemed to appreciate the enticing description and the nod to New York-style cheesecake. Nearly 63% of MenuSurf respondents said they would order the cheesecake brownie swirl dessert, and more than 70% found it craveable.
2. Sundae Shakes
Topping the dessert lineup are Sundae Shakes—a hybrid ice cream treat from Baskin-Robbins that features a rich and creamy milkshake with a sundae on top (whipped cream, chopped nuts and a cherry included). The fact that guests can customize the dessert by choosing their favorite combo of ice cream and shake flavors further builds appeal. With that, over 63% of consumers found the Sundae Shakes appealing enough to purchase.
1. Deluxe Bacon Cheeseburger
The menu item with the highest purchase intent score was one of the most iconic and familiar—a bacon cheeseburger. This LTO from P.J. Whelihan’s Pub & Restaurant features housemade touches, including garlic aioli as a condiment and a bakery-fresh bun as a carrier. The burger itself is topped with white cheddar, crispy bacon, sliced tomato and pickles. Close to 68% of consumers would order the Deluxe Bacon Cheeseburger from this regional chain, with about the same percentage saying it was craveworthy.