It’s All About Mom
If you plan the right promotions, Mother’s Day can be a boon for business
Since many moms tend to take care of the kids, the pets, and, well, the entire household the other 364 days of the year, making Mother’s Day special is in pretty much everyone’s best interest.
And that means your restaurant needs to stand out if you want mom’s family to make that reservation with you on her special day, and more importantly, keep them coming back.
One idea is a specialty item for mom. For example, Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen in Winter Park, Fla. creates the special vanilla rose latte for moms. It’s made with Tucano espresso, steamed milk, vanilla syrup, rose water and simple syrup. It’s then topped with heart-shaped latte art and rose petals. It’s such a hit with customers that people ask for it year round, according to Barnie’s marketing coordinator Adam Singleton. That’s a surefire way to maintain a loyal base of moms.
While getting an extraordinary coffee drink can perk up the day, Mother’s Day really tends to revolve around brunch — and great brunch specials. If you want to draw in a big crowd, and land some repeat customers, start by promoting the holiday early and make sure it is, in fact, special.
“Mother’s Day is an opportunity for our restaurants that serve brunch to pull people away from their normal brunch schedule,” said Kevin Boehm, co-owner of Chicago’s Boka Restaurant Group, which owns spots Perennial Virant and GT Fish & Oyster that both offer brunch. “We market it through Open Table, which has a Mother’s Day icon on their front page. You can write a little about what you’re doing. We also use social media and flyers in the restaurants.”
Adding special touches like a complimentary glass of Champagne or rosé wine for mom, as well as free valet parking, also help to drive people in, as Easy Bistro & Bar in Chattanooga, Tenn. has seen. Easy Bistro starts promoting Mother’s Day just after Easter so as to not take away from their Easter brunch promotions. They use Facebook posts to entice guests to reserve early, but they also use Instagram to showcase their offerings. “We post a feminine, vintage-style photo in relation to Mother’s Day and will focus on a cocktail or menu item description,” said Easy Bistro co-owner Amanda Niel. “We rarely make any sort of post on social media without a photo. We want to stand out and having just verbiage is not enough to grab anyone’s attention anymore.”
As you can imagine, social media plays a large role in any promotion and many restaurants have set up accounts with all the big sites to convert moms to steadfast customers. Texas-based Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, which owns and operates nearly 50 locations of their three brands — Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Del Frisco’s Grille and Sullivan’s Steakhouse — around the country, uses a few different platforms for promotions. “While the meat of our message often appears on Facebook, Twitter is where guests can truly get a sense of the restaurants’ atmospheres through playful content and real dialogue with followers,” said Lisa Kislak, vice president of marketing for Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group.
Another way Sullivan’s encourages repeat customers following Mother’s Day is to offer guests a coupon with their bill. “We’ve seen most success in Sullivan’s restaurants as returned guests will utilize bounce-back cards valid through Father’s Day,” Kislak said.
Passing out flyers and tapping into local media offers another outlet to get your Mother’s Day messaging out to the community. Dina Magdovitz, an account executive at Uproar PR, works with Tex-Mex spot Cocina 214 near Orlando throughout the year. For Mother’s Day, they’ve offered a free piece of their award-winning tres leches cake to moms and to get the word out, will invite local media to the restaurant to sample the cake and take photos ahead of the holiday. “That got us some interesting editorial in newspapers and blogs.”
While brunch is the more popular meal, don’t think you can’t spoil mom with a nice dinner. “We’ve found that dinner serves nicely for a Mother’s Day date,” Niel said. “We are the only upscale restaurant in Chattanooga that is open for Sunday dinner, meaning that special occasion holidays really work out nicely for us.”
Maybe other restaurants should take a page from