Everything’s coming up spring. One of the biggest restaurant holidays of the year is Mother’s Day. A National Restaurant Association survey in 2023 reported 40% of adults planned to use a restaurant as part of their Mother’s Day meal.
Spring holiday dining – Easter, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day – covers a lot of meals, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and carryout orders. In 2023, Statista.com reports about 41% of consumers planned to spend $50 to $100 at a restaurant on Easter. Cinco de Mayo has seen restaurant sales jump as much as 44% over a typical day.
With people choosing restaurants over cooking at home, making plans to maximize sales and satisfy customers can pay dividends this spring and beyond. Here are some tips to get the most out of your business.
1. Be Strategic
Make sure you have a plan. Write everything down and start early.
Many restaurants do buffets on Easter and Mother’s Day because it turns tables quicker, but it’s hard to do buffets well if you don’t do them all the time. Consider a brunch or a fixed menu that pulls out all the stops instead.
2. Spread the word and secure reservations
Start promoting your event 90 days out via in-restaurant signage, social media and email.
Reach out to your regulars and ask them if they’d like to make a reservation. Consider offering a small discount or a special perk for reserving early. Mother’s Day roses and Easter candy baskets are great incentives.
3. Elevate and indulge
People aren’t typically watching their diets on these holidays, so think about upping the indulgence with special dishes, desserts or drinks. Just make sure your kitchen and serving staff can execute any deviations from the norm.
Don’t forget to think beyond food. What else can you do to enhance the dining experience? Valet parking? Live music? A complimentary mimosa for Mom? Consider extra details to make the experience really memorable.
4. Prep staff
Mother’s Day is an all-hands-on-deck situation. Make employees aware well in advance that they’ll all be expected to work it. Need additional staff? Start by reaching out to last summer’s crew. They’re already familiar with your operation.
5. Welcome guests and follow up
You’re likely to welcome a number of first-timers. Train staff to capture their contact information. Post-holiday, consider sending a bounce-back deal with a warm invite to come back.
Encourage customers to connect with you on social media to be in the know about future events and specials.
6. Review and assess
Sit down with your team soon after the event for a thorough debriefing. What went wrong? What went right? What improvements can be made? Document everything so you have it when creating next year’s plan—ready to build on this year’s success.