Make Mother’s Day at Your Restaurant a Success

Make Mother’s Day at Your Restaurant a Success
Mother's Day is one of the busiest times of the year for restaurant owners. Go into it prepared with these tips.
by Chidinma Nnamani Mar 29, 2024 — 4 min read
Make Mother’s Day at Your Restaurant a Success

Busy seasons ebb and flow, but for restaurants, Mother’s Day is in a league of its own. According to OpenTable data, Mother’s Day was the second busiest day for restaurants in 2022, trailing only Valentine’s Day in the number of restaurant bookings. In 2023, the National Restaurant Association’s survey revealed that 40% of adults intended to dine out for Mother’s Day. This year will likely be no different​​. 

The holiday is a golden opportunity to bring in more revenue and grow your customer base in ways that will have a lasting impact. Some restaurants choose to offer new menu items or merch. Others optimize reservation scheduling to increase table turnover, while some make an effort to serve more guests by offering takeout. In every case, it’s a chance to make a lasting impression and turn first-time guests into regulars.

For many food business owners, however, service on Mother’s Day can be stressful. With an influx of customers who expect memorable experiences, your restaurant needs to operate like a well-oiled machine. Here’s how you can make this Mother’s Day a success for your restaurant and community. 

Craft a special Mother’s Day menu.

For many Mother’s Day diners, food is at the heart of the celebration. So creating a special menu for Mother’s Day is not just an act of creativity; it’s a strategic move that can significantly enhance your restaurant’s appeal. According to the NRA survey, 39% of diners are more likely to choose one restaurant over another if it offers a Mother’s Day special. And with 59% of adults planning to dine out indicating that their party will include children under 18, incorporating kid-friendly options is essential so families that turn up at yours can enjoy a seamless dining experience together.

To streamline kitchen operations and make service more efficient, consider offering a fixed-price menu. This can help simplify the decision-making process for guests and allow your kitchen to prepare dishes more efficiently, reducing wait times and improving overall customer satisfaction. Leverage your existing restaurant data to ensure your menu really hits the mark. Analyzing sales data from past Mother’s Days or similar busy periods can help you identify which dishes were hits and which didn’t fare as well, guiding you to craft a menu that’s both appealing and profitable. With restaurant tools like Square Dashboard, you can gain insights into customer preferences, popular dishes or items, and peak dining times to inform these decisions. 

Get your staffing right.

Once you’ve nailed your menu, it’s time to plan for staffing. Prepping your team for Mother’s Day is essential to ensuring smooth operations and happy customers. Start by analyzing past data from Mother’s Day or similar peak periods. Tools like Square Team Management can help you review past performance and predict staffing needs accurately, ensuring you have enough hands on deck to handle the rush without overstaffing.

If the numbers suggest you’ll be busier than usual, consider hiring temporary help to ensure you’re well-prepared. Additionally, tailored training sessions can be a great way to get your staff up to speed on any Mother’s Day specials or procedures, ensuring they’re ready to provide the best possible experience for your guests.

Tweak your restaurant layout.

Before the day arrives, you may want to make a few important changes to your restaurant’s layout. The goal is to serve more guests efficiently by maximizing available space without sacrificing comfort. This might mean reconfiguring tables to accommodate larger family groups.

If your restaurant has the space, expanding your dining area to include outdoor seating can be a game-changer. With 32% of diners indicating a preference for restaurants that offer outdoor seating options, creating a pleasant al fresco dining environment could set your restaurant apart from competitors and attract more guests looking to celebrate Mother’s Day outdoors.

Having a robust table management system is crucial when guests arrive. For example, with Square for Restaurants, you can create a floor plan using intuitive drag-and-drop layouts and rearrange your plan as often as needed to ensure that you’re turning tables at an optimal rate while still providing a high-quality dining experience. Square for Restaurants also integrates with OpenTable, allowing you to manage reservations, tables, and coursing information from your Square Dashboard.

Leverage technology for a seamless operation.

With your menu, staffing, and layout set, take steps to ensure a smooth operation. The best way to achieve this is to adopt technology that supports your most critical processes, especially during peak periods. For example, when it comes to payments, you want guests to have a glitch-free experience — a reliable point-of-sale (POS) system helps you do just that. With Square Restaurant POS system, for example, you can accept all major credit cards — even in offline mode — and set up automatic tipping.

To ensure smooth communication between front and back of house, invest in a kitchen display system (KDS). A tool like Square KDS helps keep everyone, from servers to chefs, on the same page, creating a seamless flow from the moment an order is placed to when it is served.

Diversify your offerings.

Even if diners aren’t physically present in your restaurant for Mother’s Day, you can still engage them with a variety of options that cater to their needs. With 13% of people planning to order takeout or delivery for a Mother’s Day meal, offering specially curated meal kits or family-sized takeout options can help you capture this market segment. 

Mother’s Day is also an opportunity to explore additional revenue streams. The Square Future of Commerce report shows that 80% of customers are interested in trying a new offering at a business known for something else. Consider merchandising your brand through items like custom Mother’s Day aprons or cookbooks or offering gift cards for those looking to give the gift of a great meal at a later date.

Once you’ve created your offerings, be sure to spread the word. Promote your Mother’s Day specials on your website and social media channels. If you have a Square Online site, for example, you can easily create a website banner or pop-up to catch visitors’ attention. 

Delight guests, grow your business.

Hosting Mother’s Day at your restaurant presents a unique opportunity not just to serve delicious meals but to help your guests create cherished moments. By carefully crafting a themed menu and making the right plans for staffing and operations, you’d be prepared to deliver exceptional service. Remember, it’s the thoughtful touches, from personalized service to complimentary treats for moms, that will truly resonate with your guests and encourage them to return long after the celebrations are over.

Chidinma Nnamani
Chidinma Nnamani writes about the food industry, digital marketing, and technology — and explores the fine spaces where they intersect. She works with B2B startups and agencies, helping them deliver clear, actionable, and insightful content for business audiences.


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