How to make your independent restaurant a go-to destination on Mother’s Day

Apr 30, 2024

As Mother’s Day quickly approaches, it’s important to remember that some of the most heartfelt and meaningful gifts a mom can receive are also some of the most straightforward: quality time, an opportunity for rest and relaxation, thoughtful expressions of gratitude and love—and sure, a bit of indulgence. Mother’s Day presents a beautiful opportunity to celebrate the moms, grandmothers and other mother figures in our lives, and that doesn’t have to involve expensive or elaborate gifts. A family meal is a popular Mother’s Day tradition for a reason—it delivers each of those meaningful qualities while making memories and developing traditions.

Independent restaurants play a crucial role in facilitating these memorable family experiences in your community, and food service establishments have an opportunity to turn these experiences into annual traditions. Here’s how you can promote family dining opportunities this Mother’s Day and keep those customers coming back year after year. For personalized guidance from the Morton Food Service team, please contact us. Our reps are always glad to hear from clients and other food service operators in the community.

Remember: this year, Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12th!

Promote the Value of Experiences Over Gifts

Gifts are nice, but if you tell a busy mom you’re taking her out to enjoy a delicious meal without any cooking, clean up or invisible labour required on her part, we bet she’ll be thrilled. What many mothers truly want is a break from the everyday responsibilities of family life that also allows her to spend quality time with her loved ones. This is why Mother’s Day brunch is in such high demand, and why many other families go out for lunch or dinner.

In the lead-up to Mother’s Day, we recommend using your newsletter, tabletop advertising and social media channels to encourage patrons to think beyond traditional gifts and instead invest in making memories. Highlight the idea that spending time with Mom in a thoughtful setting, like her favourite local restaurant, is invaluable. Note that this option is ideal for multigenerational groups, and that it makes your Mother’s Day celebration turnkey and low stress. If you can, share stories or testimonials from previous guests who celebrated special moments at your establishment, emphasizing the emotional significance over the monetary aspect.

Create a Welcoming Atmosphere for Families

Ensure that your restaurant is a comfortable, welcoming place where the whole family can relax and enjoy each other’s company. Consider softer lighting, comfortable seating arrangements, and background music that’s gentle and inviting. Offer allergy-safe, gluten-free and vegetarian menu options so everyone’s included. On Mother’s Day weekend, you may want to put flower arrangements on every table or offer each mother a long-stemmed pink rose as they’re seated. Your servers should make it clear that your independent restaurant is a place where family members can talk, laugh, and share a meal without feeling rushed. We also encourage restaurants to provide high chairs, booster seats and simple activity sheets for children (colouring pages, mazes or word searches, for example).

Offer Menu Options That Cater to Family Dining

If you’re welcoming large families with children, parents and older adults dining together, make sure there’s something for everyone. Our reps would be pleased to help design a special Mother’s Day menu that caters to all ages, from an awesome kids menu to options that appeal to seniors. Highlight dishes that incorporate local ingredients to stress the community-focused nature of your menu, and consider offering family-style dining options that encourage sharing. This allows customers to try a number of different dishes while making the meal an interactive experience. You can also offer a buffet-style brunch, lunch or dinner if your independent restaurant is well-suited to that type of meal service. Another great option is high tea, which can be served on demand or in scheduled seatings throughout the afternoon. Pinkies up!

Organize Pre-Mother’s Day Activities

Consider hosting an event the week before Mother’s Day—maybe a flower arrangement or cake decorating workshop, a pasta-making class, a wine tasting or a simple cooking demonstration. Advertise these events as a great gift for mom, and consider adding incentives like a coupon for $10 off Mother’s Day brunch when you buy event tickets. Ideally, these in-house events will include an interactive component as well as food and drink elements. These activities not only add value to your offering but also build up anticipation, help develop community engagement, and create more reasons to return to your restaurant throughout the year.

Offer Personalized Touches

No matter which holiday you’re planning for, personalization can add to the dining experience and help develop customer loyalty. Offer to personalize your customers’ Mother’s Day visit with considerate touches like floral bouquets that can be pre-ordered or professional photo opportunities (for example, a photographer taking photos of each group in the restaurant and sharing either a printed copy or a URL to access the images). These small details that illustrate care and thoughtfulness can be far more impactful than the most extravagant gifts.

Happy Mother’s Day

Moms are worth celebrating, and your independent restaurant is the perfect place to make that happen. By spending Mother’s Day sharing brunch, lunch or dinner at your establishment, families can enjoy quality time together while supporting a great local business. That’s a win for everyone, and what may be the beginning of some beautiful family traditions. Remember, the Morton team would be glad to help you plan and execute the recommendations made here today. Thanks for reading and from all of us at Morton Food Service, happy Mother’s Day!