Mother’s Day is a fantastic opportunity for restaurants to maximize service and attract new customers. The timing of this holiday is perfect: we’ve just emerged from the long, cold winter months and the most recent restaurant-centered holiday is Valentine’s Day. Since Mother’s Day is universally celebrated, it’s a great chance for restaurants to appeal to a wide range of people. It’s important that restaurant owners take advantage of this hallmark opportunity, so we’ve come up with ten ideas to ensure your restaurant is fully booked on Mother’s Day.
1. Develop a signature cocktail or mocktail
Knowing that your favorite restaurant is offering a limited-edition drink is a major incentive for customers to visit. Work with your bartenders to craft a new cocktail inspired by Mother’s Day: something floral, fun and festive, like a spin on the classic French 75 or a botanical-infused mimosa. Be sure to feature a mocktail option as well, so you can be inclusive of expectant mothers or those opting not to drink. Finally, drum up excitement by posting enticing photos and videos of this new drink option on social media and in restaurant promotions in the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day.
2. Curate a special Mother’s Day menu
Like a signature cocktail, a dedicated Mother’s Day menu can help elevate the day or weekend for your customers. If you promote the menu beforehand, customers can get excited about the exciting options they’ll have to choose from and make plans to visit ahead of time. A pre-fixe menu also helps your kitchen run more efficiently, maximizing the number of tables you can serve that weekend.
3. Offer takeout and delivery options
Even though Mother’s Day can be a day where many want to go out for the occasion, some may want to dine in the comfort of their own home instead. Offering your Mother’s Day menu for takeout or delivery can help increase sales and reach more customers. Mother’s Day is often a celebration across generations, so it’s important that restaurant managers be inclusive of families who may or may not want to dine in.
4. Don’t forget the kids
When thinking about cross-generational celebrations, we can’t forget about the kids! Though your Mother’s Day pre-fixe menu might feature more complex dishes, work with your chefs to make sure there are multiple kid-friendly meals on offered that Sunday. One of the best parts of Mother’s Day is celebrating with the whole family, and adults will be more inclined to select your restaurant for this joyous holiday if your menu includes something for their little ones.
5. Dress your restaurant up with flowers and decor
Mother’s Day shouldn‘t feel like any other day at your restaurant — spice it up! An easy way to elevate the dining experience is to feature fresh flower arrangements on every table and throughout the restaurant. Though florals will increase costs temporarily, people want to feel like holidays are special, and they’ll likely be willing to pay more or be more inclined to make a reservation if your restaurant looks the part.
Related: Marketing your restaurant during the holidays
6. Take your restaurant’s dining experience to the next level with live entertainment
Restaurants should be looking to create memorable experiences for families on Mother’s Day, so why not elevate your dining room with live entertainment? You can source talent via flyers or advertisement on social media, then work with the talent to curate an on-brand setlist with songs like “My Girl” or “Mama Said.” Adding an entertainment element to the usual dining experience will help your restaurant attract more customers, potentially bringing in a new crowd of loyal diners.
7. Give mothers what they want: free dessert
Free dessert is always a hit among customers. Similar to how many restaurants offer ice cream or a small slice of cake on somebody’s birthday, consider giving a few chocolate-covered strawberries or a cupcake to the mothers that dine with you on Mother’s Day. Again, this strategy might increase your costs. However, people are highly incentivized by free gifts, so you should see an uptick in reservations as a result. Also, a free gift shows your customers that you care, which will make them more inclined to return.
8. Give back
Most people feel a sense of gratitude on Mother’s Day. This could be a great opportunity for your restaurant to bank good PR with the community by partnering with a local non-profit for a fundraiser. You could offer a percentage of the proceeds from Mother’s Day weekend as a donation or run a food and supplies drive for a local women’s shelter. This strategy demonstrates your commitment to the community and makes everyone feel involved.
9. Partner with local women-owned business(es) to host a pop-up shop
In addition to community service, Mother’s Day weekend can be the perfect opportunity for your restaurant to partner with local female-owned businesses. Hosting a pop-up at your restaurant increases foot traffic, thereby increasing the number of customer orders.
10. Spread the word
The previous nine ideas are great, but will only go as far as your restaurant’s reach, so post about your Mother’s Day offerings! Leverage existing channels such as your website, social media pages and in-restaurant advertising to get the word out about the amazing Mother’s Day weekend your restaurant is hosting.
With Mother’s Day approaching, don’t miss this great opportunity to launch your restaurant into the busy spring and summer months with a uniquely special experience. New menu items, an upscale dining experience and special community partners can take your regular weekend business to the next level, ensuring your restaurant is fully booked on Mother’s Day.