Mother’s Day might just be the busiest day for the restaurant industry. Presenting a host of operational challenges from managing traffic to turning tables efficiently, it’s important for restaurants to have a strategic roadmap to effortlessly tackle problems as they pop up.

Cited as the most popular holiday to eat at restaurants by the National Restaurant Association, Mother’s Day is also one of the industry’s most profitable celebrations. In 2023, The National Retail Federation predicted that a whopping $5.6 billion would be spent on a meal or an outing!

And the love-filled day/weekend doesn’t need to be stressful if the right management practices are implemented ahead of time. Here are a few ways you can efficiently manage your floor and staff — while providing some fun, unique offerings to draw in more families looking to celebrate a mother’s love.

Embrace the Wait

Taking effective control of your waitlist is one of the best ways to ensure that Mother’s Day traffic is handled with minimal hiccups. Embracing a streamlined, tech-driven system will help your restaurant improve front-of-house management, control capacity, and limit potentially stressful guest contact — so even when there are more guests, there’s less stress.

Yelp Waitlist is an example of an excellent tool to help you tackle Mother’s Day traffic. Guests can seamlessly join your restaurant’s waitlist from the Yelp app and receive accurate wait times and notifications via text message. This hassle-free system, part of the One Source partner program, ensures an overall better and more streamlined customer experience that also results in return business, not just during the busiest times of the year, but year round.

Know the Game

Running a restaurant is never easy, let alone on the most frenzied day of the year. Whether you need operational help or ideas on how to draw in more customers, it’s always important to invest in materials that increase efficiency and boost revenue while minimizing chaos and unnecessary costs.

There are a number of other cost-effective ways to effectively managing your queue, including utilizing TablesReady, a waitlist management and text paging system designed specifically for restaurants. The TablesReady site is also there to equip you with tips on everything from the best DJ apps for ambient music to understanding the psychology of waiting. You are able to deepen your understanding of the industry, learn about affordable operational solutions, and even emulate successful business models from powerhouse sources, such as Disney World.

Fun for Everyone

To make the holiday fun for staff and guests, consider adopting unique offerings to help the day feel just a little more special. Creative prix-fixe menus featuring a starter, main, side, and dessert are a way you can draw in more people. And you can take it a step further by theming these around Mother’s Day and adding the option to pair the menu with individual servings or pitchers of inventive cocktails and mocktails — think herb-infused drinks or floral garnishes — that will also tie in well more generally with the spring season.

Shower even more love on moms and their families with giveaways, like offering the first 50 moms a gift card to your establishment or gifting a 10% discount off their meal. It could be fun to host a raffle contest: For example, upon making a reservation or joining a waitlist, families can enter a raffle to win small prizes such as branded glasses, pastry packs, or tote bags.

These are simple yet effective methods that add a touch of personalization to Mother’s Day. They’re also thoughtful incentives that will go a long way in helping you stick out from the crowd during the holiday and beyond.

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