Research from the National Restaurant Association shows that more than one-quarter of American adults will celebrate Mother’s Day by dining out, and nearly one in 10 will rely on restaurant takeout or delivery for their special Mother’s Day meal. Overall, the NRA projects that 80 million American adults will enjoy restaurant meals on Mother’s Day.
With some planning and forethought for Mother’s Day, restaurateurs can leverage this holiday and engage some new, regular clients.
When customers dine out at a restaurant on Mother’s Day, they're giving the restaurateur a chance to impress both them and their guests on what they consider to be an important meal out.
Following are some tips to make the most out of the holiday for the guest and the restaurant operator:
Open early. To accommodate extra volume on Mother's Day, some restaurants open an hour and a half earlier, for example at 9:30 a.m. instead of 11.
Try to avoid long wait times. It's a special day and guests want to get right to the fun, not wait around while others finish theirs. If you take reservations, be careful not to overbook. You will get some walk-ins, and you want to give them every reason to celebrate at your restaurant for many years to come.
Keep the quality high without killing your kitchen staff. Many operators say it is important that guests be able to order off the menu, rather than a buffet, which makes the experience less special. To that end, consider offering a slightly abbreviated menu to facilitate increased business.
Remember it’s Mother’s Day. Keep in mind the basic reason why your guests are dining out. In planning the menu, bear in mind that the goal for Mother’s Day is to provide a variety of dishes that will satisfy three generations of diners: some of whom who lean toward brunch items and others who favor lunch.
Make it profitable. Mother's Day is largely a one-shot opportunity. With a minimum of tables being turned, every seat must be profitable. To that end, some operators will offer a special à la carte Mother's Day brunch menu. With hotels in town offering a Mother's Day Buffet deal, and with children being discounted or even fed for free, there may not be an advantage to getting into a pricing war with them. Instead, offer a menu that features plenty of variety and something for everyone that meets high standards.
If Mom is happy, everyone is happy. Consider offering all mothers a free dessert.
Track your numbers. Make sure that hard-earned lessons are not forgotten and are put to good use in the future. Knowing your numbers ‑ from covers to food to linens to staff, in both the front- and back-of-the-house ‑ can make the difference in maximizing profits and the customers' enjoyment of the day.
This article is presented courtesy of RestaurantOwner.com, a source of operational and business resources for independent restaurant operators.