LTOs are the quick hit promotions that many concepts within the Food & Beverage industry utilize to drive traffic and incremental sales. They can support food, beverage, calendar events and even link to causes and foundations that brands support. LTOs offer many ways to connect with consumers, but the trick is getting customers to take advantage of the unique promotion.

Below are Key steps to help you get started:

  1. Theme: What is the message? What are you attempting to accomplish? Will your message excite your customers based upon what they see and hear? It’s critically important to ensure your LTO is good for your guest and you have confidence that your delivery will resonate and drive traffic.
  2. How Long: There are many opinions on how long a successful LTO should run and this may depend on how the LTO fits into your marketing calendar. A long LTO may become boring or lose its excitement while an LTO that is too short may not provide ample time to measure and see results. A successful and well-planned LTO with the right message that bears fruit typically fits a 6 to 8 week platform but can last up to 12 weeks. You should ensure you have the ability to make money based upon your investment.
  3. Can you Execute: Your LTO may have a compelling message that can drive traffic yet may be difficult to execute. Operations, buy-in and acceptance are critical. A short LTO that is not executed well will setback operations and can impact with unintended consequences like turnover, moral and feedback from consumers, which will certainly derail strategic planning and marketing strategy.
  4. Communication: Communicating your message to all levels of your organization will affirm and ensure that all staff members understand how to deliver the best result. Setting crystal clear expectations and direction with your LTO cannot be handled lightly. Ask these questions when rolling out a new LTO:
    • Is your LTO the right thing? Have you selected a key leverage point that makes sense and fits your brand?
    • Is your LTO executed the right way? In other words, are you utilizing the right products, resources and materials to deliver exceptional results?
    • Can you execute your LTO the first time? If your communication and training is spot on, now you have the ability to execute the plan the first time. Early mistakes and miscues can irritate both consumers and team members. Rebounding from those early blunders may be costly and provide less than expected results.
  5. Analytics: You have laid out your LTO with careful consideration of your brand. You have ensured your LTO has received the proper attention in each area: training, materials and marketing. Now it’s time to watch and monitor results to ensure your LTO provides your business with the required revenue and margin improvements. Your actions and follow up will also play a key role in continued development with successful LTOs and promotions in the future.

This is part four of a 5 part series on How to launch a successful Limited Time Offer (LTO).

Part One: Accurately Identifying & Targeting Your Audience
Part Two: Understanding Trends & How to Use Them
Part Three: Creative Concepts
Part Four: Execution & Launch
Part Five: Review & Results