19 Oct Top 5 “App” trends to drive LTOs
Appetizers (or the original “apps” before Apple Inc. coined it) can be a great way to increase your check average with an add-on sale, but they have to stand out for customers to crave them. Our research team has gathered consumer trend insights and partnered with our culinary team to bring together some craveable value-added options to add to your menu.
For its What’s Hot list, the National Restaurant Association polled nearly 1,300 chefs and determined the top five trending starter appetizers. The trends reflect customers’ desire for artisan touches, adventuresome flavors and healthful options. Here’s the breakdown:
Going, Going, Gone Vegetarian
Consumers are looking for more non-meat appetizers and this will likely be the most cited increase of 2015 (Image: Hearts of Palm with Avocado, Cherry Tomatoes & Thyme-Lemon Vinaigrette Drizzle)
Cured Meats & Charcuterie
The always popular, now with more culinary craftsmanship. (Image: Bacon-wrapped Big Banana® Whole Plantains with Bourbon Garlic BBQ Sauce)
Ethnic & “Street” Foods
The perfect combination. Easy food on the go, with flavor. (Image: Tio Jorge® Yuca Croutons with Sriracha Aioli)
A great protein alternative and perfect for culinary creativity. (Image: Tio Jorge® Yuca Cups stuffed with Crab Mango Salad with Blood Orage and Poblano Peppers)
Bite-Sized (AKA Fun-Sized!)
Small, tasty and shareable. Still relevant, gaining in popularity. (Image: Tio Jorge® Yuca Cheese Bites with Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce)
For us, it’s very exciting to see that ethnic foods are getting the chef’s attention it deserves in this top 5 appetizer trend list. We know how delicious Latin foods are since many of our customers live it every day, but this will be a great palate expansion for mainstream restaurants and consumers alike.
APPS & LTOs
Now that you’ve seen the trends, we wanted to share an important part of making apps work best for your restaurant and your bottom line.
According to Sysco, “limited time offers (LTOs) can go a long way toward generating buzz and impulse buying among foodservice customers.” They add that these offers “help entice consumers into your restaurant, and encourage trial, without you having to make a full-menu commitment.”
When implementing an LTO, here are 4 Key Limited Time Offer Tips to help you maximize your promotional profits.
- Get your restaurant staff excited about the offerings
- Strive for low labor, long shelf-life ingredients
- Get your staff involved in a suggestive sell contest
- Encourage guest engagement with social media contests
We understand the challenges in the foodservice industry to stay relevant with new, innovative flavors and want to help you by offering key current insights and tips to help drive sales. Utilizing these latest appetizer trends combined with an LTO approach is a great way to achieve new trial and higher check average. We would love to hear about your latest LTO’s. Post on our Facebook page so we can see and come try them for ourselves.
MIC Food is a leader in frozen, value-added natural tropical food products, supporting chefs and restauranteurs and others in the foodservice industry for over 25 years. Go to www.micfood.com to learn more about our diverse line of all natural Caribbean products, recipes and more.