When it comes to restaurants (and well nearly everyone on Planet Earth), mothers trump all. Mother’s Day has historically been the busiest sales day in the restaurant industry, even ahead of Valentine’s. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, this restaurant blog wanted to get you bar and restaurant owners thinking about how you could capitalize on all that motherly love. After all, your customers want to celebrate Mom’s special day the right way, and it would behoove you (and your bank) to make it easy for them to show Mom just how amazing she is!
Create Mom-Approved Specials
A day that Mom doesn’t have to cook or do the dishes is special as it is, yes, but creating some extraordinary menu items at affordable prices will make her feel like royalty…and you’ll leave a memorable impression with your savvy chef skills. Keep your ingredients fresh and creative, and remember, a perfect price point will ensure the special is ordered up without Mom feeling guilty that her son or daughter is flipping the bill. Plus, it might give you a chance to try something you’ve wanted to add to the menu! Just keep in mind that with a busy day ahead, you’ll want to prep as much as you can in advance and not create a specials menu that relies heavily on one part of the kitchen over the other so there’s less of a chance of delayed tickets and over-worked staff.
Consider a Mother’s Day Brunch of Buffet
Carving out a specific brunch or buffet menu, available between certain hours of the day only, will drive traffic at strategic times of the day for you to guarantee staffing and hot-from-the-oven meals. Perhaps you want to partner up with a local tea or coffee shop to provide gourmet café drinks, or maybe you go for a wine pairing later in the day. Instead of a buffet style, you could consider multiple service times and take reservations for your pre-arranged “sessions”, e.g., brunch at 10 a.m., lunch at 1 p.m., and dinner at 5 p.m. Set one flat rate and make it easier to plan your Mother’s Day success!
Set Tables for Larger Parties
Most likely, Mom and the gang are going to be a larger group than your average Sunday party size. Are your tables set to accommodate parties of 5 or 6 or even more? Make any changes to your table and chair configurations before your doors open on Sunday. Your host staff will thank you for saving them the time (and sweat) it would take to pull those tables together during a crowded lunch service.
Give a Gift or Token of Mama-Appreciation
Whether you hand out a carnation to every mom, discount your gift cards for future sales, or give mom a free dessert, you want to make Mom feel loved and give her something <good> to talk about. Maybe she’ll rave about the great day her kids (and you) gave her on Facebook, namedropping your restaurant and stirring all those warm-and-fuzzy feelings up that will continue to be associated with you. Don’t forget to remind your staff to be extra sweet, even though business will be bustling. You could even work with a local florist on a cross-promotion, or hand out certificates for a near-future visit.
Hire a local band, a harpist, or other entertainment to help you drive traffic to your restaurant on Mother’s Day. With so much competition of choices out there, bringing in a “gotta see” act will help pack the house.
Send an email. Advertise in the local paper. Post on all your social media accounts and your website. Hang a few flyers in your store. Add a memo to the bottom of your receipts a few weeks out. Basically, you have to spread the word that your place is the place to be on Mother’s Day. Invite your guests to come on Mom’s big day, so they remember you and know exactly what to expect when they make plans with the rest of their family. Plus, the added online content will help your restaurant rank higher when potential patrons use search engines to find good “Mother’s Day restaurants” in your area.
If you are running a Mother’s Day promotion, you better be prepared for a full service. Don’t be left understaffed on the busiest day of the year! Also, come up with some simple ways to alleviate wait times at the front door, such as more bar seating or appetizer samplers in the waiting areas.
Reward Moms for <Positive> Yelping
(Or tweeting, etc.) Set up a post-Mother’s Day contest for the moms who do brag about the special treatment your restaurant gave them. Set clear time frames and rules, and either do a drawing or reward the mom who tells the most friends. Good reviews will boost your future business, and people who take the time to give you a good review online feel important and satisfied.
Hopefully, our Mother’s Day marketing tips for your restaurant will inspire you to have the best mother-loving day of the year!