Pumpkin on the Menu: Spark Interest with Limited Edition Fall Menu Items

 In Be Calendar Relevant, Drive Traffic, Drive Trial, Increase Frequency, Increase Ticket

This upcoming weekend is the last official weekend of summer. For some of us, this means saying goodbye to days at the pool or beach, fresh produce from the farmer’s market and backyard barbecues.

However, it does mean that cozy fires, cinnamon-spiced cookies and crisp fall weather are on their way!

That being said, you may have noticed some of your favorite cafés, restaurants or fast food places have introduced new seasonal items on their menus. Pumpkin, cinnamon and spice dominate the sweets, while slow-cooked, hearty, stick-to-your-ribs meals take care of the savory.

One of the most recognizable season fall items is Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte. It’s only available through November and for some people, its arrival signifies the end of summer and beginning of fall. Customers take advantage because they know it’s not around for very long, and over the past 10 years, it has become Starbucks’ most popular seasonal drink. The drink even has legions of devotees praising its goodness on Twitter, using the hashtag “#PSL.”

You see, limited-edition menu items create a sense of urgency for consumers. They link a brand (and / or their product) to a season (or even a specific month), and often come back, year after year to get their “fix.”

Adding a seasonal menu item to your offerings is an easy way to create excitement about the changing of the seasons, and could drive traffic and trial to your business. These seasonal items tend to also be higher priced so it can help drive an increase in your average check.

What other seasonal menu items have you seen in your neighborhood? Do you offer any of these specials? If so, what’s been the reaction?

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