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7 Tips to Prepare Your Restaurant for Mother's Day

Diane Chiasson
by Diane Chiasson March 3, 2013
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Even though it’s still the middle of winter, it’s time for you to start preparing for one of the busiest days of the year for restaurant or foodservice owners and operators – Mother’s Day. It’s always best to start planning at least three to four months ahead of time so that you are certain that you have each and every little detail accounted for.

If you offer your customers a memorable and successful Mother’s Day meal at your restaurant, you could gain repeat customers for the next several Mother’s Days and other special holidays in the future.

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, President of Chiasson Consultants Inc., a restaurant and foodservice consultancy firm in Toronto, offers these tips and ideas to make your Mother’s Day a big success:

1. Prepare your staff and your restaurant

Regardless of what type of promotion you are running for Mother’s Day, the first thing you must consider is that your service should be flawless. Ensure that you have prepared and trained your staff to deliver the best service possible, and that you have ordered the correct amount of products including food, drink, linens, decorations and other supplies.

2. Extend your hours

In order to ensure that you can accommodate and serve all your guests properly, consider extending your hours by opening an hour or two earlier, or staying open an hour later. This way, you can ensure that all your guests will receive proper service and attention, and not feel rushed through their meal, and that your reservations do not have to wait for their tables.

3. Don’t overbook

Do not overbook on reservations. While many operators may be tempted to overbook to gain the extra business, you will end up losing business in the long run when your guests do not receive the proper service and attention they require, and never return. If things in your restaurant are running smoothly and you feel you can serve more customers, allow for walk-ins.


4. Limit your menu or offer prix-fixe

If your kitchen cannot handle the high volumes of a full restaurant, consider limiting your menu to fewer options, or offer a prix-fixe menu with two to four choices for appetizer, main course and dessert. This will help ensure that your guests are served in a timely manner, and all the dishes are executed perfectly.

5. Ensure variety for all ages

Mother’s Day is one holiday where your menu needs to accommodate the tastes of at least three generations of people. Make sure that you offer a children’s menu and a special non-alcoholic cocktail for kids as a special treat. Also, don’t forget something special for the seniors as well.

6. Keep the kids entertained

In order to make the meal more enjoyable for families with younger children, ensure that you have toys, coloring books, crayons, balloons, markers and other treats on hand to keep the kids entertained. If your restaurant can accommodate it, set up a special area designated for kids to color, make special Mother’s Day cards or other activities.

7. Give the moms a little treat

Since it is mom’s special day, consider giving each mother who celebrates at your restaurant a small gift – one that will ensure that she returns to your restaurant in the future, like a $20 gift card, or a coupon for a free appetizer or entrée, coupled with a flower or a small chocolate.

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