What holiday brings the most business to American restaurants? Valentine’s Day? Nope. Father’s Day? Nah.
If you guessed Mother’s Day, you are correct. Nearly two out of every five Americans dined out on Mother’s Day last year, according to the National Restaurant Association. Another 21 million ordered restaurant takeout or delivery.
Those stats have remained consistent over the years, making Mother’s Day the busiest day of the year for American restaurants. The National Restaurant Association surveyed a group of 1,009 American adults and found that 10 percent planned on celebrating Mother’s Day at breakfast, 25 percent will do brunch, 45 percent will choose lunch and 47 percent will celebrate at dinner.
With so many customers in the restaurant, it’s important for restaurant owners and managers to plan ahead to ensure smooth operations and happy guests.
Here are some tips to make it a happy holiday for everyone:
Go with a fixed menu.
A fixed menu or a prix fixe menu typically includes several food courses for one set price. For instance, a Mother’s Day dinner could include an appetizer, a salad, a soup, an entree and dessert for one set price per person.
Having a fixed menu can help streamline order-taking because there are fewer choices and it can help with back of the house operations because chefs can prepare ahead of time for the busy shift.
Be prepared for young children
Having the entire family at a restaurant will mean having young children there also. It goes without saying but noisy children can annoy other guests and even ruin the day.
To keep kids busy, have some activities to tide them over until the meal arrives. If there’s space, set up an activity center where the young ones can make crafts for the mothers. They can color in a card or decorate a pretend menu.
It may also make sense to group tables with young children close to one another so that they are away from other patrons who are dining without children.
Encourage a second visit
It’s a wise marketing move to invite Mom to come back for a second visit in the coming weeks since she assuredly had such a nice time at your restaurant on Mother’s Day.
Several restaurants do just that: they give the mother at the table a small ‘gift’ consisting of a gift certificate that expires in the coming weeks. The idea is to keep the customers coming back to the restaurant so that hopefully they become regulars and there’s less of a lull in revenue. The gift card gives the mothers a reason to return.
After all, Father’s Day is right around the corner.
Interested in how point-of-sale technology can streamline your operations on Mother’s Day and throughout the year? Contact us today to set up a demo.