Swipe to the left

Moms, Dads, Grads LTO Ideas for Restaurants

Print
Moms, Dads, Grads LTO Ideas for Restaurants
By Dot It May 10, 2019 No comments

Coming up with great restaurant promotions tailored around special events is a tried and true method to get customers into your restaurant. These limited-time-offers, or LTO’s, can help to drive sales, can be used to test new menu items, and can help you gain new customers. Planning these new menus around seasonal menu items and corresponding holidays can help create a sense of urgency among your customer base that they may miss out if they don’t visit your restaurant. But it doesn’t have to be just special menu items. You can tailor your LTOs around games, contests, and entertainment.

It's Moms, Dads, Grads Season

Families celebrating holiday’s and life milestones are always looking for a restaurant to celebrate a special occasion. It may seem like the spring and summer months don’t offer the same opportunities for restaurant promotions that the winter months do with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. But starting in May, restaurants have the opportunity to come up with special limited-time-offers for families looking to celebrate high school and college graduations, which begin typically in early May and run through June, Mother’s Day, which falls on May 12th this year, and Father’s Day, which is June 16th. Each of these events presents an opportunity for your restaurant to tailor its marketing approach accordingly. This article will help you come up with restaurant promotion ideas for each occasion.

Restaurant LTO Ideas for Mother's Day


  1. Special Cocktail Menu - Offering a special menu of fancy and fun drinks for moms is a great promotion to run on Mother’s Day. Offering fancy and elegant drinks for one-day only helps to make it feel even more special and unique. Create some new or unique flavors for mimosa’s and serve other cocktails in fancy glasses that will make all the mom’s feel special.
  2. Create a Special Tasting Menu - A pre-set menu of 5-7 courses is a great option for bringing in a crowd on Mother’s Day. This can help take the stress off your kitchen since it will know exactly what items it has to make, but it also lets mothers sit back and relax without having to look at a menu and choose.
  3. Mom’s Love Brunch - According to the National Restaurant Association, in 2017, more than 92 million American adults will dine out on Mother’s Day. A classic and effective way to capture some of that market is to offer a Mother’s Day brunch buffet. Include endless Champagne for mom’s and watch your tables fill up on May 12th.

Restaurant LTO Ideas for Graduates

  1. Rent a Food Truck - Your restaurant may not need a food truck all year, but renting one for graduation season may be well worth the investment. With a food truck, you can then bring the food to the graduation party. Create a smaller menu of 5 or 6 items and then drive the kitchen on wheels to the graduate's house or banquet hall and start cooking. People will enjoy the convenience of having the food being brought to them and if you own the food truck, you can use it for catering events all summer long.
  2. Hire a DJ - Make your restaurant a little more hip and lively and hire a DJ to play music on Friday and Saturday nights during graduation season. Creating a youthful and energetic vibe will help bring young people to your restaurant to celebrate their great accomplishments.
  3. Graduates Get a Free Dessert - Create a LTO where recent graduates receive a free dessert with their meal. It is a nice way to say congratulations to an individual that has just finished high school, college, trade school, or their advanced degree. Require them to show their diploma or be dressed in cap and gown.

Restaurant LTO Ideas for Father's Day


  1. Heat up the Grill - With father’s day falling in the middle of June temperature will be rising, so it is the perfect time to get the grill out and create some special grilled menu items. Dad’s love grilling meat in their own backyards, so offer them a menu of unique grilled items that they will want to try and duplicate in their own backyards throughout the summer.
  2. Live Trivia Competition - All dad’s love to compete, so why not create a promotion around a live trivia competition tailored to fathers. Offer some seasonal and limited time beer specials, and tailor a trivia contest around sports, movies, history, and music. Let dad enjoy some cold beverages and seeing if he knows more than the dad at the other table.
  3. Live Music - You don’t always have to tailor your restaurant promotions around special menu items. Offering live music is a nice change of pace from the typical father’s day brunch fare. Find a local band that covers classic songs from the ’70s, 80s, or the ’90s and create a unique and fun atmosphere inside your restaurant. The father's will enjoy the show and the food.

Mom's, Dad's, Grads LTO Checklist


Your preparation for LTO’s start well before the event or holiday. Make sure you have all the proper custom print marketing materials to let your customers know that your restaurant will be offering special menu items and pricing for select holidays. You will need:

  • Special Menu
  • Banners
  • Yard Signs
  • Window Clings
  • Counter Cards
  • Table Tents
  • Ceiling Danglers
  • Employee Apparel (buttons, hats)
  • Stickers for children

Coming up with and executing a limited-time-offer takes a lot of steps. Luckily for you, we have an Essential LTO Rollout Checklist to help you stay organized.