Well, you know you’re going to be busy on Sunday. Mother’s Day, according to OpenTable, is the busiest brunch day of the year and one of the busiest dining out days of the year. Restaurant reservations on Mother’s Day are triple those of a typical Sunday, and there are more group reservations on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year.
Mother’s Day crowds come with high expectations. Unfortunately, diners celebrating Mom are generally unhappy with their experience, according to Venga, a CRM and data analytics tool for restaurants. Scouring more than 70,000 reviews from 124 restaurants, Venga found Mother’s Day to be the “worst reviewed day of the year.”
Poor reviews on holidays are often blamed on a wave of first-time diners trying out a new place, but Venga claims even regulars are often unhappy with their Mother’s Day experience. While repeat guests typically leave higher feedback ratings than first-time diners, on Mother’s Day these repeat guests actually left worse feedback than other guests, the company notes.
But because Mother’s Day brunch is so popular, it’s also the most profitable brunch service of the year. So how do you take advantage of the opportunity to wow these high-spending and often unsatisfied guests? It’s all about the preparation.
Tricks of the trade
Tale a few very simple steps to prepare for Mother’s Day:
• Moms tend to love rosé sparkling wine, so stock up.
• Equip your restaurant for larger parties, which are more likely to order appetizers, drinks and desserts at a large scale but often slow turnover.
• Consider opening earlier than usual, starting brunch as early as 9 a.m.
• Prepare for the 25 percent of diners who will call to reserve a table the day before.
• Offer moms a free mimosa.
Beyond those givens, perhaps you can cherry-pick a thing or two from the following establishments that have found a differentiator that works for them:
• Equus, an eatery inside the Castle Hotel & Spa in Tarrytown, NY, will offer a four-course tasting menu for Moms. The dinner consists of White Asparagus and Lobster or Marinated Seared Tuna; Steamed Flounder; Long Island Duck or Black Angus Beef Tenderloin; and Guanaja Chocolate Fudge Cake or Grapefruit and Avocado Parfait.
• Canela Bistro and Wine Bar in San Francisco will be toasting all moms with a Spanish rose and a rosé (Specifically, sparkling NV Avinyo Rosado Reserva Brut Rosé Cava).
• E&O Kitchen and Bar in San Francisco will offer a house-made tea-infused marshmallow, coated with dark chocolate, and a glass of champagne as a complimentary token of appreciation.
• Sam’s Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco is hoping moms will celebrate a bit early. Moms get a free glass of wine Monday, May 4, through Friday, May 8. If three generations of moms dine together, they’ll get a complimentary bottle.