Mother’s Day is the biggest day of the year for foodservice establishments. Families typically go out to eat to make moms feel special and ensure she has a delicious meal without having to clean up after. However, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, restaurateurs need to get creative to capitalize on this lucrative holiday.

Last year, many families relied on take out and delivery services to help create a special experience for mothers. With many restaurants across the country now operating at limited capacity, food operators can expect to have a mix of on-premise and off-premise customers. From Mother’s Day menu ideas to promotions, we’ve created this informative guide to help you prepare for this special event.

How To Prepare Your Restaurant For Mother’s Day

Operators should expect to face unique challenges this Mother’s Day due to COVID-19. To make this holiday a success, it’s important for businesses to prepare for the high volume of on-premise and off-premise customers they will have. Below are a number of suggestions to help your foodservice establishment stay organized and provide customers with an enjoyable dining experience.

Have All Hands On Deck

Many customers understand that restaurants are busy on Mother’s Day. However, they still expect to receive exceptional service. To ensure your operation can keep up with the volume of orders, it’s important to fully staff the front and back of the house. You should also consider having some additional staff on call in case someone calls out last minute or you realize your staff needs additional help. Having a full staff makes working the holiday less stressful and guarantees you run a smooth operation.

Get Your Pickup & Delivery Plans In Place

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a number of families will opt to order meals for curbside pickup or delivery this Mother’s Day. This makes it essential to create a team that will be in charge of handling take out and delivery orders. Inform the team to schedule pickups and deliveries at designated times to help encourage social distancing and manage the flow of business. The goal is to avoid having too many customers waiting to pick up their orders or not enough employees to transport delivery orders.

Take Dine-In Reservations

If your restaurant doesn’t normally take reservations, consider making an exception for Mother’s Day. Families like reserving a table in advance because it guarantees that they will immediately be seated and won’t need to wait at least 30 minutes for a table to become available. It also allows you to gain an idea of how many customers you’ll be serving and how much food you’ll need to prepare.

A few days before Mother’s Day, follow up with families that made a reservation. Simply email, text, or call them to confirm their reservation. This guarantees that you aren’t holding tables for guests that won’t be attending and allows you to book those tables for other families.

Accept Orders In Advance

If you’re offering Mother’s Day meal kits, cocktail kits, or take out and delivery services, allow customers to place orders in advance. Allowing patrons to order weeks or days prior to the holiday will help the flow of your business. You will be able to gauge the number of orders you will be receiving and prep the ingredients in advance to increase your business’s efficiency.

Foodservice establishments should also consider creating a pre-order deadline for their Mother’s Day specials. Accepting orders on Mother’s Day could cause your kitchen to fall behind due to the volume of orders for family meal kits or delivery orders you will receive. This also allows your business to mainly focus on dine-in customers to guarantee your staff provides them with an unforgettable experience.

Use Disposable Products

Using disposable products on the busiest day of the year will allow you to keep up with the influx of customers and maintain smooth service. Bussers will be able to quickly clean and reset tables while dishwashers won’t need to constantly wash tableware. You also won’t need to worry about running short on clean drinking glasses or plates.

Opting to use single-use tableware allows you to get creative and have some dishwashers complete different tasks. For example, you can assign them to help clean and sanitize restrooms or waiting areas to ensure your customers feel safe dining at your restaurant. Single-use products help maximize table turnover time while reassuring customers that dishes aren’t served on contaminated plates.

Mother’s Day Menu Ideas

Your regular restaurant menu may include a variety of dishes to ensure there’s something for everyone to enjoy. However, on Mother’s Day, it’s best if you create a limited menu. It prevents each family member from having to flip through pages in order to find the perfect dish. Creating special menus also allows your business to stock up on all the necessary ingredients and achieve better economies of scale. When designing a Mother’s Day menu for dine-in or off-premise services, there are a few different types of menus to consider.

Prix Fixe Menu

Having a set menu with fixed prices allows your business to stock up on ingredients and maximize profits. Chefs will have fewer ingredients to prep which will help them keep up with the influx of on-premise and off-premise food orders. Prix fixe Mother’s Day menus also make things simpler for patrons. They will be able to combine dishes that satisfy their taste buds to create a multi-course meal they’ll enjoy.

Family-Style Menu

Mother’s Day is all about bringing families together and there is nothing mothers love more than being able to enjoy big family meals. Family-style brunches and dinners provide families with an intimate and interactive dining experience. Individuals are able to pick and choose what they’d like to eat and their portion size.

When creating your Mother’s Day family-style menu, it’s essential to include the number of people each meal serves and what dishes it comes with. This allows parents to easily decide which meal is best for their family.

Meal & Cocktail Kits

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a number of families will choose to enjoy Mother’s Day in the comfort of their own home. Meal and cocktail kits include prepped ingredients that families can easily assemble in their homes before serving. Offering a variety of DIY kit options for families to choose from provides them with a fun way to enjoy meals or drinks on this special day.

Mother’s Day Restaurant Promotions

When families are doing research on where to order take out or dine at for Mother’s Day, many of them are looking for special promotions. They want to experience something new or save money. To stand out from hundreds of competitors in your area, consider implementing any of the following Mother’s Day promotions to your foodservice establishment:

  • Offer free delivery: Customers don’t like when last-minute delivery charges appear in their total. Patrons appreciate simple pricing structures and offering free delivery is why they’d likely choose your establishment over another.
  • Host cooking classes: Providing families with the opportunity to cook with professional chefs offers them a unique experience. You can offer virtual cook-alongs or small in-person classes.
  • Raffle prizes: You can put together gift baskets, gift certificates, flower bouquets, and other prizes for moms dining at your restaurant. Just provide each mother with a ticket and announce the winners during your meal service.
  • Create a signature cocktail: Allow your bartenders to get creative and craft a one-of-a-kind cocktail for this special day. Mothers will enjoy being able to try something new.
  • Offer gift cards: When families receive their check, show your appreciation for choosing your restaurant by providing them with a gift card. This will help drive traffic back to your business.

Make Mothers Feel Special

Families could have decided to order delivery or dine at the restaurant down the block. Instead, they chose to order Mother’s Day brunch or dinner from your foodservice establishment. To thank them for their business, consider getting creative to make mothers feel special. You can place a flower inside of every delivery bag or have servers hand out flowers to mothers that dine at your foodservice establishment. You can also provide mothers with a complimentary dessert, appetizer, or cocktail. Customers will appreciate the extra touches your business does to make their Mother’s Day special.

You’re All Set For 2021 Mother’s Day!

Your foodservice establishment’s dine-in services may be operating at a limited capacity or solely relying on off-premise dining this Mother’s Day. To overcome the obstacles this global pandemic has provided your business, it’s essential to prepare your team for this advantageous holiday in order to maximize profits. Consider taking reservations, accepting orders in advance, and creating a special menu so chefs can efficiently prep meals to speed up ticket times in the kitchen. And of course, don’t forget to come up with unique promotions or gifts to make mothers that order take out or dine at your restaurant.