Even before the McRib was introduced in 1981, Limited Time Offers have been a way operators boost traffic.
The purpose of an LTO is to offer something unique and give consumers something to talk about.
“Simple is not a word I would use,” said Buffalo Wings & Rings executive chef Elliot Jablonsky. The franchise brand features, obviously, chicken wings and onion rings as well as sandwiches, burgers, soups and wraps.
To create an ideal LTO, you must start the process by doing your research.
When Jablonsky comes across a good possibility from the “mountain of samples” in his office, he brings it to the Buffalo Wings & Rings marketing team to see if it fits with the brand.
“It has to pass three criteria for us: Is it profitable, is it brand appropriate and is it where we want to be on the trend curve,” said Jablonsky, who is still fighting for wasabi.
Once it has been confirmed, it’s a matter of testing the recipe.
"For winning recipes, like the spring launch of three LTOs dubbed the Santa Fe Scuffle, the Royal Ruckus and Zing of the Ring, it was a mix of trendy ingredients and inspiration from Jablonsky’s fine-dining past."
“The term I was raised with is crossover. If you give them something familiar they will tend to want to try them,” said Jablonsky. “Be approachable in the title, and be interesting in the details, that’s what we’re trying to do.”