How to Promote a Successful LTO

How to Promote a Successful LTO

Limited time offers, known as LTOs are the quick hit promotions that most bars 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, one key intent – getting customers to take advantage of this unique promotion.   

Let’s examine 5 key factors on how to promote a successful LTO: 

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 insure 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.  You should insure 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 unintended consequences like turnover, moral and feedback from consumers which will certainly derail your strategic planning and marketing strategy.  

4.      Communication: Communicating your message to all levels of your organization will affirm and insure that all staff members understands 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.     Do the Dance:  You have laid out your LTO with careful consideration of your brand?  You have insured your LTO has received the proper attention in each area: training, materials and marketing.  Now it’s time to watch and monitor results to insure 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.