Limited time offers, or LTOs, are one of the most popular marketing techniques used by restaurant operators. When carried out properly, LTOs can attract both new and existing customers who are interested in trying new flavors and menu items. LTOs are so popular, in fact, 91% of consumers say they would choose one restaurant chain over another if they offered LTOs or new items.1 

So how can you take advantage of limited-time offers without blowing your marketing budget or exhausting your kitchen staff? Let’s explore four tips for LTO success. 

Tip 1: Make LTOs Simple

There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel when creating an LTO. Look around at some of the most successful LTOs and you’ll see that many involve something as simple as a new sauce, new bread, or a boost of flavorful heat. And there’s always the classic Soup of the Day or Seasonal Soup LTO, which is an easy way to add a new flavor to the menu that reflects on-trend flavors.

 You shouldn’t revamp your menu to introduce an LTO. The best LTOs are easy to execute and capitalize on existing ingredients. Focus on pre-made, pre-portioned products that fit your existing menus and will help your team execute them quickly and flawlessly.

For example, Campbell’s® Culinary Reserve Roasted Red Pepper and Smoked Gouda Soup can be used to create a variety of LTOs. It can be served as a “soup of the day” but also as a sauce for a new flatbread, or pasta entree.

 Tip 2: Make LTOs Seasonal

Everyone is familiar with the seasonal LTOs that roll around every fall and winter (Pumpkin Spice Latte, anyone?). But don’t dismiss the seasonal LTOs that work just as well during the rest of the year. In fact, Technomic reports that, compared to 2022, Best-in-Class LTO launches were dispersed more evenly throughout the year in 2023.3 With that in mind, consider seafood dishes during Lent; sweet, shareable treats around Valentine’s Day; or BBQ wings and grilled hot dogs for the summertime.4 

Datassential research backs up the above, with 79% of consumers claiming that they’re interested in seasonal LTOs, and another 61% believing that seasonal flavors should distinguish LTOs from regular menu items.

Incorporating seasonal produce is a great way to spruce up an LTO. Here are some seasonal varieties to keep in mind.

Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables5

(Note: some may fall in between seasons or last longer than one season)


  • Asparagus
  • Fava Beans
  • Pea Greens
  • Snap Peas
  • Rhubarb
  • Spring Onions
  • Strawberries


  • Basil
  • Blackberries
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Peaches
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini


  • Artichokes
  • Cranberries
  • Edamame
  • Pears
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Tomatillos
  • Parsnips
  • Turnips


  • Tangerines
  • Butternut Squash
  • Radishes
  • Salsify
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Sunchokes
  • Persimmons

Tip 3: Make LTOs On-Trend

Simple and seasonal is great, but don’t overlook what’s trending. Who can forget the chicken sandwich wars, right? One-fifth of all LTOs are returning LTOs (think McRib, Nacho Fries, Peppermint Latte).6 Interestingly, the uniqueness of LTOs seems to have reached its peak, but it’s not influencing overall purchase intent or draw, which continue to increase over time.

Trending LTOs, according to Technomic, include interesting mashups, such as a breakfast burger, cheeseburger pizza, or southwest egg rolls, and dessert-inspired drinks like a strawberry shortcake martini or iced sugar cookie latte.3 Try Creamy Chicken And Waffle Sliders, a mashup of chicken and waffles and sliders, or give guests an easy grab-and-go snack with these Parmesan Cheese Twists. Crave Hot Dogs & BBQ offered its guests a BLT Hot Dog.

Try a new twist on a dish your guests already love or bring back a previously discontinued item that customers keep asking for. Is your restaurant in an interesting area? 70% of consumers are interested in LTOs that are regional or highlight local flavor profiles.2

 Tip 4: Make LTOs Pretty

Social media has an influence on the success of today’s LTOs. You’re not likely to air commercials like the big chains, so social media is the place where many of your guests may learn about your LTO—both good or bad—through reviews, photos, videos, and more. Because of this, think about how your LTO will look on a plate and in a to-go container. Three in 10 consumers are driven to try an LTO because it looked good in advertisements or in photos in the store.2 Here’s a fun seasonal LTO for St. Patrick’s Day called Dreaming of Irish Cream that Biggby Coffee ran on its Facebook page. 

Need more inspiration? Run an internet image search of LTOs, or a more specific search of the type of LTO you’re considering such as “burger LTO” or “coffee LTO,” and take note of how the images look. You’ll notice vibrant colors, dripping sauces, and cozy coffees with whipped cream. Then, just get creative.

When you’re ready to start developing your first—or next—LTO, explore how Campbell’s Foodservice can make LTO development simple with labor-saving products.

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1. Foodservice and Hospitality: A strong LTO strategy helps operators retain and grow their customer base (March 2024)

2. Datassential: Limited Time Offers Keynote Report

3. Technomic: 162 Best-in-Class LTOs for 2023

4. Food & Drink Resources: A Limited Time Offer Strategy For Restaurants

5. Your Guide to Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables, The Spruce Eats

6. Datassential: State of the LTO 2024