Consumers said they were most likely to purchase menu staples such as burgers and fries when asked to rank chain LTOs in March, according to Technomic’s MenuSurf survey. But when it came to rating items in terms of craveability, those same respondents went big for breakfast. 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. Craveability, which can elicit high scores based on the flavors and ingredients included in the item, often ties into an increase in sales. Click ahead to see the top chain LTOs ranked from fifth to first for craveability among potential purchasers.
5. The Everything Skillet
Breakfast items seem to strike a craveability chord with consumers, with five landing in the top spots in March. As part of its new line of Sunrise Skillets, Perkins Restaurant & Bakery debuted The Everything Skillet, which includes grilled ham, crimini mushrooms, green peppers, tomatoes, onions and American cheese topped with two eggs over homestyle potatoes. Although potential purchasers crave this combination of ingredients, they didn’t find them very original; The Everything Skillet ranked 89th for uniqueness, with a score of 50%.
4. The Big Country Skillet
Almost 70% of consumers also found Perkins’ new Big Country Skillet to be craveable, putting it just above The Everything Skillet. This item is a combo of eggs, pork sausage, applewood smoked bacon, smoked ham, American cheese and cream gravy over crispy tots. While Perkins’ demographic may skew older, 80.7% of millennials gave this LTO high marks for craveability.
3. Fresh Raspberry Cheese Blintz German Pancake Combo
The decadent description of this LTO from Coco’s Bakery earned it a top score for craveability. Focusing on sweet flavors rather than savory, it features two German crepe-like pancakes filled with fresh glazed strawberries and rich cheese, and topped with strawberries, powdered sugar and whipped cream. Indulgent descriptions tend to resonate with consumers when it comes to craveability.
2. Brunch Burger
Applebee’s new Brunch Burger was deemed craveable by 71% of consumers. Although millennials have largely been credited for driving brunch business, the Gen X bracket craved this item the most of any group, giving it a score of 78.2%. The item—made up of a patty seared with bacon and onion, and topped with a fried egg, hash browns and American cheese—is promoted as an “all-day brunch burger” spanning both the lunch and dinner menus (Applebee’s is not open for breakfast).
1. Strawberry ‘N Cream Pancake Combo
Like Coco’s, IHOP spotlighted seasonal strawberries for this March LTO. The Strawberry ‘N Cream Pancake Combo earned the No. 1 spot on this ranking, with over 72% of potential purchasers finding it craveable. The menu item includes three of the chain’s signature buttermilk pancakes with a crown of vanilla bean mousse and glazed strawberries. It comes along with a plate of eggs, bacon or sausage and hash browns. The pairing of heartiness with indulgence seemed to appeal to men and women almost equally, with craveability scores of 72.06% and 72.29%, respectively.