Branch Line

Branch Line

Wine: Moms can’t get enough of the stuff.  Upserve’s latest restaurant sales forecast report reveals that more wine was sold on Mother’s Day than any other holiday of the year. When you consider wine-heavy holidays like Valentine’s Day, which Mother’s Day beats by 7 percent, that’s a fairly staggering statistic. We checked in with a few beverage managers to get them to spill the vino veritas about how they see wine sales spike (or not) on Mother’s Day, and about any specials they run to keep the wine flowing.

Wine Helps Mom Revel in the Good Times

Chris Graeff, beverage director at Lumière


“Wine sales tend to tick a bit higher on Mother’s Day and other family holidays. When relatives dine together, all the usual emotions at the dinner table one would have with friends and colleagues—comfort, stress, happiness, irritation—are amplified. A great glass of wine can help you revel in the good time and company or help ease familial tensions. At least that’s the thinking! Mother’s Day is a big one for us. I always make sure to have plenty of Provençal rosés on hand, as well as some springtime whites that are crisp and refreshing, yet possess some stone fruit notes and texture—these always prove to be pretty popular on the holiday. I also like offering whites from Northern Italy like Venetian Soave and Piedmontese Arneis, and French whites made from the Jacquère grape in the Savoie. These always do well with mom.”

On Mother’s Day, Prepare to Sell Wine Day and Night

Alex Papanicolaou, sommelier at Babbo

“I’ve come to find that there are a few reasons why wine sales may be increased on Mother’s Day as opposed to a typical Sunday. One is definitely the fact that it is typically an event that is universally celebrated both during the day and at night.  Daytime at Babbo is not a usually a time when we hit high numbers because the mornings and afternoons are less apt for drinking. But on a holiday where a good portion of business happens during the day—and day drinking is more readily accepted—that certainly boosts the numbers. The next would be the celebratory nature of the day. On a typical Sunday, guests are far less inclined to spend big money on bottles of wine, especially at a pizza restaurant. But when it’s a Sunday spent celebrating your mother, there is more of an inclination to splurge on a nice bottle. Last year on Mother’s Day we sold as many bottles of wine costing $75 or more as the rest of the Sundays that month combined! The last is sheer volume of guests. With larger numbers than we’d typically have during lunch or dinner service on just any Sunday, the general spike in guests on a holiday Sunday is just naturally going to drive up all sales numbers, wine included.”

“Last year on Mother’s Day we sold as many bottles of wine costing $75 or more as the rest of the Sundays that month combined!” -Alex Papanicolaou

Let Mothers Pop the Champagne

Elizabeth Booth, wine director at Flagstaff House

Elizabeth Booth, Flagstaff House
Elizabeth Booth, Flagstaff House

“Mother’s Day certainly doesn’t spike wine and alcohol sales like we see during other holidays, by any means, but we do see more tables enjoying mom’s libation of choice, whether it’s a rosé or Champagne. Sparkling wine, rosé, and cocktails seem to be the most popular for our Mother’s Day brunch, so we will be featuring some fantastic bubbles and rosé by the glass. We are also creating cocktails that are outside of our normal list for the upcoming holiday, including a twist on the classic Aperol spritz as well as a matcha green tea cocktail.”

…Or Let Mothers Pop the Fizzy Rosé

Charlie Gaeta, wine director at Branch Line

“For Mother’s Day, we are going to be focusing on sparkling wines from outside of Champagne in order to offer value to our guests. We always have our foot in the Mediterranean and one of our favorite sparkling wines hails from Punta Crena in Liguria. The Ruffino family has been crafting beautiful wines from the region for 500-plus years and is still totally family-run. Today, the estate is run by the four siblings; however, Libera Ruffino, the mother, revolutionized sales for the winery and is still a strong part of the operations of the small domaine. It’s a slightly fizzy rosé that, for us, defines the perfect Mother’s Day pour.”

Wine Bottles are Great for Groups of Family Members that Celebrate Mothers Day Together

Natale Servino, managing partner at from Servino Ristorante

“Wine sales always increase on holidays and during holiday seasons, as people are celebrating and often in larger groups than normal, especially on Mother’s Day, by 25 to 30 percent. When you have larger groups, bottles of wine are always a go-to, rather than individual cocktails, and groups generally start with bubbles, moving on to white wine with their appetizers and first courses, and then moving on to red with their meal. This year, on Mother’s Day, Servino will be offering ‘A Dozen Rosé’s,’ a selection of 12 amazing and unique rosé wines, all under $40.”

Leverage Wine Promotions to Highlight New Offerings

Shannon Salupo, corporate beverage manager at Quaker Steak & Lube

The Hourly Oyster House
The Hourly Oyster House

Mother’s Day is the most popular holiday for eating out—six out of 10 consumers say they are treating mom to lunch or dinner on this holiday. With that, we’ve launched wine promotions in the past that have been very successful, especially when paired properly. With the combination of chocolate and wine, we are looking forward to a positive return from our customers. ... Quaker Steak & Lube is known for our wings, so wine isn’t typically top of mind when thinking about our offerings, but these promotions serve as a great reminder and ultimately make a big impact on sales. During Mother’s Day, we want to be a destination where families can repay the mom’s in their lives. Quaker Steak & Lube is featuring a new premium wine selection, Chloe Chardonnay, with a special Mother’s Day strawberry chocolate ‘sidecar’ decoratively placed on the side of the glass.”

Take Out the Special Bottles to Celebrate in Style

Beth Hoselton, bar manager at The Hourly Oyster House

“Mother’s Day brunch is always popular at The Hourly. This is our first Mother’s Day with our patio, so we’re expecting an even higher volume of wine-loving patrons than usual. Additionally, people love rosé and bubbles, especially this time of year. We’ll have special pours of sparkling rose that will go great with chef Phil Lewis’ holiday offerings.”


And don’t forget about Father’s Day!

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Stephanie is a Providence, RI native and eight-year food industry veteran. As Upserve's Content Marketing Coordinator she creates materials that help restaurateurs, managers, and service professionals succeed. When she's not writing, Stephanie is most likely traveling, cooking, or trying new restaurants.
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