Mother’s Day is the biggest day of the year for foodservice establishments. It’s a day when families gather to appreciate the mothers in their life and there’s no better way to celebrate than over a delicious meal.
Many families opt to go to a restaurant for Mother’s Day to avoid cooking and cleaning at home, so you can expect a high-volume of customers at most foodservice establishments. For restauranteurs, this day can be an opportunity to get creative while still maximizing efficiency. 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 can always expect lots of customers on Mother’s Day, making it essential for you and your staff to be prepared. Below are a number of suggestions to help your foodservice establishment stay organized and provide customers with an enjoyable 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 team needs some extra 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
Many families may still want to enjoy a meal in the comfort of their own home without having to cook it themselves. In these cases, they will place take out or delivery orders. This makes it essential to create a team that will be in charge of handling off-premise dining orders. Inform the team to schedule pickups and deliveries at designated times to manage the flow of business. The goal is to avoid having too many customers waiting to pick up their orders or not having 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 lets you know how many customers you’ll be serving or if any large groups plan on coming in, so you know 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 the reservation. This guarantees that you aren’t holding tables for guests who won’t attend and allows you to book these 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 beforehand 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. You will have additional hands on deck to assist with the number of customers coming in. Single-use products help maximize table turnover time.
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 to find the perfect dish. Creating special menus also allows your business to stock up on all the necessary ingredients to 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 can 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
For a quieter or more intimate dining experience, a number of families may 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 researching where to order take out or dine for Mother’s Day, many 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 at 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 host small classes for a fun, yet intimate experience.
- 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 checks, 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 ordered 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 every delivery bag or have servers hand out flowers to mothers who 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 Mother’s Day!
While it is the busiest day for restaurants, Mother’s Day can also be a beautiful day for serving meals to mothers and their loved ones. Being prepared for a busy Mother’s Day is essential to avoid stress and provide customers with the best dining experience. 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 show appreciation to mothers who order take out or dine at your restaurant.