According to the National Restaurant Association, more than one-quarter of American adults celebrate Mother’s Day by dining out. This, as well as Valentine’s Day, results in one of the busiest days of the week for many restaurants. Get your share of this all-important market by following a few tried-and-true tips and convert new guests into loyal customers.


Brunch is still the most popular meal for people who are age 65 and over. To target this audience, consider an exclusive Mother’s Day no-holds-barred brunch. What draws this crowd in? Quality often surpasses quantity and traditional items hold nostalgic memories. Consider a unique twist on the classics such as salmon with eggs benedict, lobster frittata, roasted chicken on crispy waffles, or challah French toast. Incorporate fresh herbs and edible flowers into soups and salads. While some restaurants offer an a la carte menu of favorites or a buffet, others choose prix-fixe three-course brunch specials. Choose the format your restaurant is best set up for in order to make this day a success.

Treat Mom Special

Treating mom special is what this day is all about. Consider bottomless mimosas or sparkling apple cider and don’t forget to hand out the flowers. As florists find themselves on the brink of crazy, be sure to place your order early. Your mother’s day goal: to convert first time customer’s into long-term loyal repeat guests.  To this end, consider giving out special Mother’s Day cards that offer a complimentary appetizer on their next visit.

You only get one chance at a first impression, so be sure mom and her family are pleasantly surprised when they enter your establishment. Make flowers the motif of the day and choose colors that go with your ambiance. If your design is such that most colors work well, consider classic combinations such as violets and yellows.

Kid Friendly

This holiday is a family outing so expect an over-abundance of little tykes. To help your adult guests enjoy their outing and keep the little one’s from going stir-crazy, consider a special area designated for kids. This section has little tables with paper tablecloths and massive crayons as well as etcher-sketchers, coloring books and blank cards they can color for mom. You’ll need one staff member to keep an eye on the little people’s section, but your guests will truly be impressed that you went the extra mile for them. And don’t forget a kid-friendly menu with easy finger foods such as chicken tenders, raw vegetables dipped in ranch, and anything cheesy.

Get the Word Out

Be sure to use your social media platforms to get the word out. In addition to traditional Facebook posts and twitter tweets, consider Instagram and Pinterest as ways to actually show your delectable offerings. “A picture paints a thousand words. “ —Arthur Brisbane.

Other advertising portals include Urbanspoon, Yelp, and OpenTable. YouTube is the place to post a video of kids playing in their designated area, your chef preparing a delectable item and happy customers enjoying a relaxing shared meal.

Traditional marketing methods still work, despite digital marketing’s overbearing presence. Consider making classic flyers regarding your special offerings and ask your local floral shop to display them (the one you’ve ordered your flowers from). Other display venues include office buildings, libraries, community centers, and gyms. Make sure you’ve got your specials posted out in front of your restaurant well in advance to attract passer-bys.

Make your Mother’s Day special stand out on your website and, if you don’t already know the importance of blogging in your marketing strategy, now is the time to start. Blogs are less about advertising and more about sharing valuable information. Consider a blog on the local activities your community is sponsoring for Mother’s Day.


Consider going in with a local business to create “Mother’s Day packages.” This can include a massage at the local spa or tickets to the local theater, museum, planetarium or botanical gardens. As a special offering for your mother’s day guests, and to promote another stream of income, consider branding items that your restaurant commonly uses and that people rave about, whether it’s your homemade salsa, blue cheese dressing or scented lotion you supply in your restrooms.

If you’ve been in the restaurant business for any length of time, you know the worst feeling is having your business full to overflowing and not having the necessary staff to care for your patrons. Make sure you’re prepared for a busy Mother’s Day—providing the service and quality food and ambiance your regular customers have come to expect and your new clients will come to cherish.

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