Mother’s Day is right around the corner and for most restaurants, it’s the busiest day of the year next to Valentine’s Day. Last year, more than 92 million Americans celebrated in restaurants, while another 21 million ordered takeout or delivery. If you don’t have anything planned yet for your establishment, the time to get started is now. Whether you identify as casual dining, fine dining, quick service, fast casual, or a family restaurant, there are plenty of ways to get creative and attract big crowds for Mother’s Day. The question is, how will you stand out against the competition to get customers headed your way?
1. First things first, offer something special for moms.
Studies show that moms are looking to splurge on their day, and we don’t blame them. Think of dishes you can offer just for Mother’s Day that feature seafood or steak as the main attraction. If your establishment is more casual, consider offering a complimentary dessert or appetizer for mothers. If you do plan on offering anything for free, don’t forget to advertise through social media and email marketing!
2. Make it exclusive.
If you don’t normally serve brunch, make it the event that happens only this one time each year so that your customers won’t want to miss it. The same goes for lunch and dinner—the more popular preference for Mother’s Day meals. This also makes for a great opportunity to introduce a signature Mother’s Day cocktail, and this list of 20 ideas from Serious Eats is sure to leave you feeling inspired.
3. Think beyond food.
The meal is important, but keep in mind that most moms are really looking to create memories with their families on Mother’s Day. Make it an extra special day in your establishment by taking it a step further and hosting a fun event, like a cooking or art class.
4. Don’t forget the gifts!
Set your business apart from the rest by giving away flowers, chocolates, and other goodies to all mothers who visit you. Raffling off prizes is also a great way to attract more customers and promote return business—especially if you use social media to let everyone know about it! Speaking of social media, think of ways you can use it to your advantage to bring in more people. For example, try creating an eye-catching post captioned something like, “all moms who mention or show this post to their server will get a FREE appetizer!” Of course, you can replace appetizer with anything you see fit; entree, dessert, cocktail, etc. This is something that will not only make your guests happy, but is sure to get a ton of attention around your business online.
5. Make Mom proud by giving back.
No one is more thoughtful and generous than a mother, which makes Mother’s Day the perfect opportunity to partner with a charity or local organization. Advertising that you’ll be giving back to the community is a fitting way to bring in business while helping out a great cause.
6. Set the mood.
Don’t skip the decorations—ambiance is important! Create a relaxing and enjoyable environment adorned with beautiful flowers, special napkins, decorative napkins, etc. Mom is expecting the best! Live music is an excellent touch also.
7. Be prepared!
There’s a reason that we’re sharing these tips in April. You absolutely do not want to wait until the last minute to start planning. Set aside a little bit of time a few days each week to make sure that everything will be perfectly in order by May 13th. Before you get started, here are a few more tips to keep in mind:
- Keep things simple for your chefs and servers by sticking with a prix-fixe menu
- Be prepared to accommodate both kids and older adults
- Make sure you’re prepared to serve people with food allergies or dietary restrictions (don’t forget to educate your servers so they can answer any questions thrown their way)
- Encourage customers to make their reservations early (consider offering a gift card towards the following visit to those who reserve early enough in advance)
- Use your more experienced staff and let everyone know who will be working with plenty of notice
Regardless of how your business will be celebrating Mother’s Day, using social media to get the word out and spark interest is important. If you’re not sure how to go about it or simply don’t have the time, don’t push it aside. Get in touch with us and we’ll help you get on track!
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