It is almost a given that no matter what type of restaurant you are, on Mother’s Day, you can prepare to be slammed. The holiday has long beat out both New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day as the busiest day of the year for restaurants, so if you don’t already have a game plan, it’s time to get one together. Take a look at our top 10 marketing tips for getting the most out of mom’s day.
1. If you don’t offer brunch, add it on for Mother’s Day. A vast majority of the reservation-seekers on Mother’s Day will be looking to have brunch. If you don’t do brunch, now is a great time to advertise Mother’s Day as an exclusive, one-time-only brunch menu to lock down regulars and entice newcomers. Release the menu in advance on your website and Instagram to build up anticipation among potential guests.
2. Make sure you can accommodate kids. With Mother’s Day comes the almost-guaranteed possibility that kids will be plentiful at each table. Stock up on booster seats if you don’t already have them, and be sure to come up with a few kid-friendly combos so you’re not having to customize a meal last-minute for picky children.
3. Flowers are a must — but don’t wait to order them. One of the reasons that people love Mother’s Day is that in many cities, it’s one of the first harbingers of summer and warmer weather. Give your dining room a breezy, summery vibe with lots of flowers, and order extras to give to mothers as they walk through the door. Don’t forget: florists will be in high demand on Mother’s Day, so get your order in well in advance.
4. Book a live band. Nothing enhances daytime ambiance like a band. If your space permits, bring in a guitarist, jazz band, or pianist to liven up the restaurant, and you can even ask guests to put in requests. But ensure that the noise levels aren’t too loud, particularly for older customers.
5. Partner with other mom-friendly businesses. Is there a spa, clothing store, or jewelry shop in your area? Ask if they’d be interested in going in on a Mother’s Day package that includes, say, a meal, a bouquet of flowers, and a spa certificate, that you can then use to promote each other’s businesses. Plus, it’ll give booking at your restaurant that extra selling point.
6. Give mom a free return meal. It can—understandably—be tough to financially justify doing complimentary meals for all moms on Mother’s Day. The solution? Offer all moms a certificate for a free return meal. Not everyone will return for a meal, but for those who do: you’re gaining a repeat customer, and for those who don’t: you’re still generating good will, and making that group more likely to recommend your place to someone else.
7. Run an Instagram promotion. Everyone’s Instagramming Mother’s Day brunch anyway, so why not use this as a marketing tool? Encourage diners to Instagram a picture of their meal and geo-tag the restaurant for a chance to win prizes for their mom, like a spa day or jewelry.
8. Add an afternoon tea service. While brunch is still the most popular Mother’s Day meal, afternoon tea is becoming an increasingly popular option for those guests who want a shorter, potentially less expensive meal. It’s also a great way to add a new service, and therefore, a new revenue opportunity, on an already popular day. Get creative with your snacks menu, and of course, make sure to promote it on your restaurant’s website and socials well in advance, so people know that it’s an option.
9. Do bottomless wine for mom. This is a simple but effective strategy for building customer loyalty, as few moms will not love the ever-filled wine glass. Choose a bright rosé or a refreshing bubbly, and offer it complimentary to all moms at the beginning of the meal. You’ll earn points among both moms as well as their family members footing the bill for the meal!
10. Get creative with prix-fixe options. A lot of restaurants do prix-fixes for Mother’s Day brunch or dinner, but what about doing smaller-scale prix-fixes, like a wine and cheese tasting, or a chocolate tasting? This is yet another way to get creative with people who don’t want to do a big, elaborate meal, but still want to do something special and unique for their mom.