Mother’s Day is one of a handful of days in each year when demand for restaurant tables is almost guaranteed and goes through the roof, but just because demand is high on this day, it doesn’t mean that you can afford to simply sit back and wait for the bookings to flood in.
With more competition in the restaurant sector, your competitors will be doing all they can to ensure they grab the lions share of bookings, so if their marketing campaign is more attractive to diners, you will loose out.
Doing all you can to ensure that your restaurant is full all day on Mothering Sunday makes perfect business sense, but don’t forget, you can also extend the effect by offering special deals all weekend, meaning you get to cash in for more than just the one day.
Did you know? According to Hallmark, Mothers Day 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of this celebration.
Remember that just because you are busy, you can’t afford to let service slip. For some diners, this will be their first time at your restaurant, so making sure you impress is critical to gaining their repeat custom. Be prepared, and add extra staff to the rota to enable you to maintain high levels of service, that will impress new customers enough to make them want to come back again.
Mothers Day Marketing Ideas For Restaurants
1. Mums Eat Free
You might want to consider letting mums eat free. This doesn’t have to include a full multiple course meal, but could simply refer to the main, meaning you still get to maintain margins on all other courses and items purchased from the bar.
To make this an even less expensive promotion, consider restricting the free course to a special Mothers Day selection or create a set Mothers Day menu that you can offer for free which will give you greater control over your costs.
2. Free Glass/Bottle of Wine For Mum
There aren’t many that can resist the lure of a free bottle of wine! Order in bulk and you’ll get an even better discount from your supplier and encourage diners to go for starters and desserts from a special Mothers Day menu to help you recoup your costs.
3. Free Dessert For Mum
A freebie of any kind is always going to be happily welcomed, so giving mum a free dessert is a simple, but effective promotion that can help to ensure the maximum possible number of covers.
4. Special Dish or Menu For Mum
Create a special dish just for Mother’s Day and even consider restricting sales to mums only so they feel extra special. This works very well for a special dessert, which might be extra large or may contain lots of little treats not available to other diners.
5. Free Return Meal For Mum
Give mums that dine with you with a voucher for a free main course on a return visit. This type of promotion works extremely well as not only does it encourage a repeat visit, but mum will bring family or friends with her too, who will of course pay for their meals.
6. Free Flowers For The First 50 Mums
Provide mums that dine with you, with a complimentary bouquet of flowers. These don’t need to be expensive, and can be sourced locally, including a florists card with the bouquet to get them some ‘free’ promotion in return for negotiating better rates on a bulk purchase of bouquets. You might want to consider restricting this offer to the first 50 table bookings simply so you know exactly how many bouquets you’ll need to purchase.
7. Run A Mothers Day Competition
Encourage diners to share pics of their food on their favourite social network, and ask them to use a specific hash tag and your restaurant name in order to enter a prize draw to win a fab prize. This could be anything from a free meal to a full on pamper package.
Remember that the better the prize is, the more people will enter and when they do, they are also promoting your restaurant on social media to all of their friends and followers too!
8. Mothers Day Brunch or Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea is currently undergoing a huge revival in the UK at the moment and is the ideal way to squeeze even more mileage out of Mother’s Day between lunch and evening service. Create an exclusive brunch or afternoon tea menu to get people into the restaurant earlier and in-between high demand dining times.
As with all promotions, make sure you have very clear terms and conditions. State time and number limitations, restrictions on numbers and any other information necessary to ensure you don’t end up providing any extras for free.
Also make sure that you start your planning well in advance, a few days before means that your messaging will be rushed and has less time to take effect. Get your banners, posters and A-frames printed up and out at least 2 weeks before Mother’s Day and make sure you use all of the marketing channels available to you to spread awareness, so your promotion should be detailed on your website, discussed on social media and also consider sending out an email newsletter or flyers.