Indulgent and accessible LTOs during the holiday season drive sales.

Incorporating enticing limited-time offerings (LTOs ) during the holiday season is a proven strategy for boosting restaurant sales. These innovative LTOs offer consumers a chance to explore new tastes while maintaining a sense of familiarity. To stand out in a competitive market, restaurants can leverage the appeal of seasonal LTOs to generate excitement and draw in customers.

According to IRI, the snack industry has experienced an impressive 11.7 percent sales increase, reaching $58.7 billion this year. This trend underscores the popularity of pre-packaged snacks and handheld options, particularly in the post-pandemic landscape. For quick-service restaurants and consumers alike, these convenient choices have become a staple. However, the key lies in creating seasonal LTOs that seamlessly adapt to kitchen operations and staff efficiency.

Discovering fresh dining experiences drives consumers to explore new restaurant options. A study by Mattson in 2021 revealed that 35 percent of consumers intentionally visited fast-food establishments to sample LTOs. This surge in interest can significantly boost sales as new patrons are enticed while existing loyal customers are encouraged to step outside their culinary comfort zones. The adaptability of seasonal LTOs for efficient kitchen management is a crucial consideration in this process.

“Stratas partners with leading manufacturers and chains, supplying high-quality shortenings and oils used in their products. We are starting to see a lot of people take more traditional desserts and make them into something more handheld and easier to eat on the go,” says Dan Moats, national account manager and certified Master Baker for Stratas Foods. By infusing innovation into classic desserts, eateries that focus on handheld items can offer customers a safe and enjoyable culinary journey.

Stratas Foods is dedicated to curating the next sensational and viral food trend that drives customer traffic. Chef Vincent Barcelona, director of culinary solutions at Stratas Foods, emphasizes their commitment to creating unique flavors that empower quick-service restaurants to enhance menu offerings. These additions have the potential to become social media sensations, further amplifying restaurant visibility. “We are trying to discover what it is that makes a handheld menu item stand out to customers,” says Barcelona.

Leveraging existing kitchen ingredients to enhance pre-packaged desserts and handheld menu selections opens doors to captivating possibilities for quick-service restaurants. This approach minimizes the need for additional stock-keeping units (SKUs) or operational complexities in the back of the house.

Timeless desserts such as cookies, donuts, shakes, and brownies provide an adaptable canvas for innovation, while still maintaining consumer recognition. Similar to the famed Pumpkin Spice Latte that transformed a familiar flavor into a cult-favorite drink, Stratas Foods harnesses indulgent ingredients and recipes to empower quick-service restaurant partners. These partners can seamlessly elevate accessible handheld options within their kitchens.

Stratas Foods’ culinary ingenuity offers creative solutions that harmonize with busy back-of-house operations throughout the holiday season. “Dan and I brainstorm for a living. We find what the next ‘aha,’ crave-worthy, buzzworthy, handheld item will be that gets customers in the door,” says Barcelona.

By embracing inventive seasonal LTOs, quick-service restaurants can tap into the allure of limited-time experiences, amplify customer engagement, and ultimately boost sales. Ya’el McLoud

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