mothers day diners at restaurant

Mother’s Day is on the horizon, and many restaurants are planning and beginning to promote their brunch menus. While this is a long-standing family tradition for celebrating Mother’s Day and many restaurants are running similar brunch promotions, you might be wondering how your restaurant promotions can stand out.

A consistently great menu is why your loyal guests have come to depend on you. However, freshening up the promotions and options is a great idea for drawing in some new guests, and keeping them returning year after year.

Brunch is a huge restaurant food trend so be prepared to have tons of interest!

Here are 8 Restaurant Marketing Tips to make Mother’s Day a Success

1. Advertise Your Mother’s Day Promotion As A Rare Event

Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco is only open for brunch one day a year — Mother’s Day.

This is a fantastic strategy. For repeat guests, this creates an annual special treat.  It also creates a sense of urgency and provides a special experience for repeat guests who probably can remember what special menu offerings happened and be one of the “lucky few” who was there to try it!

Bake Dessert Party Cake Brunch Cafe Cookie Concept

Also, consider trying the opposite — if every restaurant in town offers a special brunch menu, your restaurant could plan a fantastic prix-fixe or tasting menu for Mother’s Day dinner. Your guests who have difficulty getting everyone together on a Sunday morning or planning around church schedules will thank you.

2. Give Moms A Special Treatment 

Promotions, where Moms get flowers, complimentary drinks, and other fun extras, are a nice way to make it a special meal for families on the holiday.

According to the National Restaurant Association, roughly 92 million Americans eat out on Mother’s Day.

Aleo goes all out and lets Moms eat free on this special day! That’s a fantastic deal, but even small bonuses are appreciated! Consider offering a complimentary dessert, specialty cocktail, or discount.

According to the National Restaurant Association, roughly 92 million Americans eat out on Mother’s Day. That means there is a lot of people eating out, but also stiff competition for drawing a crowd among your nearby competitors.

3. Highlight your inclusivity

Don’t alienate a subsection of moms and families by only catering to one version of what “mom” can mean—these days the role of mom can be filled by plenty of people from grandmothers and nannies to daycare providers. Families can also have two moms, two dads, or multiple “mom” roles—the rules of what makes a family is evolving, so make sure your take on Mother’s Day fits the ever-expanding mold not only to be on the right side of history but to make sure your visitor net is as wide as possible in the process. Be clear about the fact that “mom” and “family” aren’t strictly interpreted in your establishment and that all moms are welcome.

4. Offer a free meal for mom

If families are treating Mom to a Mother’s Day meal, why not make it easy on them and offer freebies for mom? Some restaurants “go the extra mile, using the opportunity to give our free entrees, desserts, or coupons for moms,” explains a Time.com piece about a variety of national brands that gave something for free to moms on Mother’s Day. That’s exactly the extra bonus—offer up something for free and you’re likely to be featured for doing so which means free press for you.

mothers day table setting

5. Consider gifts for moms

Instead of (or on top of!) offering freebies for moms, toss a gift into the mix too. Anything you can do to help mom feel special on her big day will help to draw a crowd. Of course, roses and flowers are a favorite as are chocolate treats and other delightful surprises that show that you care about your customers and are going out of your way to make the day as memorable as possible.

6. Host a Mother’s Eve event

Some moms still like to have fun! If your restaurant is more of a bar than a brunch spot, host a Mother’s Eve bash that offers free drinks for moms and sells a fun night out before a day where mom is guaranteed to be able to sleep in if she wants. This way you can still capitalize on the Mother’s Day crowd in a fun and different way without having to compete for a brunch crowd with everyone else in the morning. Brilliant.

7. Try Something Entirely Different With Your Mother’s Day Restaurant Menu

Another option is to break from tradition entirely and do something unique for Mother’s Day instead of or in addition to your usual brunch.

Bluestem Restaurant is offering a Mother’s Day tea with fine tea and pastries, which is a fun and unique alternative to brunch reservations over this spring weekend.

Likewise, a chef’s tasting with pairings would be a fantastic event for wine lovers. Your restaurant could also plan events that create additional “out of the box” options. For instance, bars and pubs can host food and drink specials, or even live music, alongside a baseball game for sports-loving mothers and their families.

8. Of course, don’t forget the cocktail menu

It turns out that what Mom really wants is a nice big glass of red or white. Wine sales on Mother’s Day are historically 16% higher than the rest of the year according to data insights from Upserve.

What’s more than that? This is 7% higher than Valentine’s Day–the second highest sales holiday for vino. To capitalize on this, restaurants should be prepared to offer specials and update the cocktail list to offer sangria and other wine-centric beverages. Looking for inspiration?

Chill down the bubbly and get ready to toast all the moms on Mother’s Day at your restaurant with these cocktail restaurant menu ideas.

Wine sales on Mother’s Day are historically 16% higher than the rest of the year according to data insights from Upserve.

We’ve found our 5 favorite champagne cocktails that would be perfect to add to your cocktail menu or be a drink special during Mother’s Day brunch. Even though we’re calling them champagne cocktails, don’t break out the fancy Champagne for these. Choose a sparkling wine that’s dry and crisp, like Spanish cava, or domestic sparkling wines.

Here are a few cocktail winners to get you started:

Classic Champagne Cocktail

Simple and classic, this cocktail makes a great aperitif. Not only is it tasty, the sugar cube adds a visual element that feels like a present.

  • 1 sugar cube
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Sparkling Wine

Put one sugar cube in a Champagne flute. Lightly sprinkle the cube with bitters, fill the glass with sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon twist before serving.

French 75

Named after an innovative piece of French artillery, this simple cocktail is a bubbly combination of floral gin and citrus.

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1 oz gin
  • Sparkling Wine

Stir first 3 ingredients together, add ice cubes and fill glass with sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon twist.

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Kir Royal

Another French cocktail, named after its creator Canon Felix Kir, a bubbly loving fellow who went on to become the mayor of Dijon.

  • Splash of Creme de cassis
  • Sparkling Wine

Splash Creme de cassis into glass, fill with sparkling wine.

Bellini

Anyone who has traveled to Venice, has likely popped in Harry’s Bar to see the bar that Hemingway used to lean on. It’s this very bar that invented the Bellini. In honor of its Italian roots, this is a perfect excuse to use Prosecco as your sparkling wine of choice.

  • 3 oz Peach nectar or very smooth puree
  • 1 dash lemon juice
  • Splash of grenadine
  • Sparkling Wine

Pour chilled peach nectar into flute and add a dash of lemon juice and a dash of grenadine for color. Fill glass with sparkling wine.

mimosa cocktails

Mimosa

A classic, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. To make your mimosa more unique, consider making it with freshly squeezed orange juice, or add a tropical twist with some mango, pineapple or guava juice.

  • Orange Juice
  • Sparkling Wine

Pour equal parts orange juice and sparkling wine in a champagne flute. Garnish with orange wedge.

No matter what you decide, be creative and have some fun when planning your promotions. The quality food your loyal guests have come to expect, coupled with some fresh ideas and twists for this year, is a winning combination for Mother’s Day marketing…. Which may result in a packed restaurant.

family dining out on mothers day

Three Tips to Watch Out For This Mother’s Day

How are you going to prepare to avoid a kitchen nightmare?

Surely we don’t have to tell you twice that running a restaurant is challenging. It’s costly, and not just in dollars and cents. You can’t afford a mistake, so rather than making them for learning’s sake, take a step back and read on to learn from these 3 kitchen nightmares.

1. Offering a new, but confusing menu options

When planning a special event menu or prix fixe menu for an upcoming holiday promotion, things can sometimes feel a bit rushed.

Here’s one place not to rush through the motions: your restaurant menu.

Many restaurants will run a special event or prix fixe menu for Mother’s Day or Easter. This is a good idea, as it takes pressure off of the kitchen and allows for efficient prep. In many cases, it’s a well-paced prix fixe menu and it is usually well received by guests. Unless they can’t understand it.

They wanted dessert but they’re questioning what the desert has to do with it; or they wanted lox as part of their brunch order but they’re wondering what “locks” (of hair) means. Misspelling foods, ill-placed menu items and a crowded menu are examples of how your restaurant menu design can become a kitchen nightmare on a busy day like Mother’s Day.

2. Understaffing (or Hiring New Servers) for the Holiday Rush

Sunday is typically not that busy, right? Well if you are planning on having a Mother’s Day or Easter Sunday special event menu at your restaurant, think again.

One neat idea that many restaurants take advantage of is having segmented “seating times” on busy holidays.

While in some cases, Sundays are a good time to train new restaurant staff and work out kinks; Sundays during the spring might not be your best bet. Understaffing your wait staff, overstaffing your kitchen, or having employees that are not your top performers can spell disaster.

Take some time now to learn what you can about how you can improve server performance so you can properly prepare.

No one wants to be you if you find out that table 7 ordered a pitcher of mimosas in their glasses, not their laps.

3. Don’t Keep Mom Waiting

Who likes to read the Yelp review that said: “I waited 45 minutes for a seat, my waiter took another 15 minutes to even bring water… and let’s not start on how long it took to prepare my food!”

Here’s how you can avoid it: Don’t overbook and don’t seat tables until parties are complete.

It can be easy to overbook on a holiday —  you want everyone to be able to enjoy your restaurant and the phones are ringing off the hook. But you won’t be as happy when you have a crowd waiting in the lobby because you didn’t consider table capacity.

One neat idea that many restaurants take advantage of is having segmented “seating times” on busy holidays. In the case of a brunch situation, this can work out well if you have 10 am, 12 pm and 2 pm as options.

Successful busy events like Mother’s Day can be the difference between building a loyal customer base and a bad reputation, but with a bit of planning, you’ll be building loyalty for years to come!

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In a perfect world, Theresa would spend her days reading good books and writing all the time... and she'd own all the shoes her heart desired. When she's not on the hunt for shoes, you can find this Rhode Island transplant on the hunt for food that comes close to "Long Island". Her favorite? Caffe Dolce Vita in Providence's historic Federal Hill.