Mother's Day is one of the most popular holidays of the year for restaurants. Sure, jewelry and flowers are great gifts, but what most moms want is to go out for a meal on their special day. Treat mom right this spring with the following tips.

From Sunnyside Up to Sundown

It's typical to see Mother's Day centered around brunch, but according to one study, nearly half of diners will be coming for dinner. There are many options for organizing the day's specials, but no matter what — ensure flexibility for both brunch and dinner service.

Brunch buffets are a great way to cater to a variety of tastes, while still offering elegance with a carving station, for example. Buffet service is also easier on staff and diners when big groups and kids are involved. Prix fixe is a perfect option for dinner. Customers will be drawn to the idea of a packaged deal while tasting new, distinctive plates, and you benefit from a pared-down menu and an opportunity to test potential new mainstays. Promote a discount or a free appetizer for a certain group size. In many families, different generations like to celebrate together, and you want to make sure they're celebrating with you.

Tailor To-Go

Offer dressed up to-go versions of your specials to serve moms who just want to chill at home in their PJs. Brunch-in-a-Box kits can be a fun — and profitable — way to grab those staying in. Include a handwritten Mother's Day card from your establishment. Offer a build-your-own Bloody Mary or mimosa kit as an add-on. Or create specials only available for online orders — like a box of your fresh homemade donuts delivered right to their door.

Toast to Moms

Create a limited signature cocktail menu so all moms can find something to sip on. Try to span a variety of tastes while keeping in mind current trends. Serve up margaritas but make them smoky with mezcal. Spritzers are popular, so consider a low-ABV LTO with floral vermouth. Use lots of celebratory bubbly, local honey, homemade lavender syrup, and fresh spring edible flowers to coax out the vibe of this holiday. And don't forget a fun mocktail special for the moms who don't drink and the moms-to-be!

Set the Scene

Start the experience off on a high note by surprising moms with a small token as they arrive at the table. A single rose or lily from your local florist can add a special touch. Continue the surprises by having your chef bring out a delightful amuse-bouche to pamper mom while she waits for her meal. You could also offer a complimentary cocktail or coffee, small chocolates to go, or discount coupon for her next visit. Pampering the matriarch not only makes her happy but her whole family, too. This way, you'll make a return visit every Mother's Day more likely and raise check averages as groups will want to linger longer.

Make Kids a Priority

Not all moms can — or want to — celebrate this day without their kids. Make kids a priority, and you'll win the hearts of the moms who dine with you. Offer some fun — yet nutritious — dishes on the kid’s menu and moms will notice. Use cookie cutters to make eggs and pancakes into fun shapes. Or host an activity to keep kids engaged while their moms enjoy their food, like coloring a picture for mom to take home.

Donate while Dining

Advertise that a portion of your Mother's Day proceeds will go to charity, and you can win over folks who are on the fence about where to go. There are many national options related to mothers, but your effort will go further in many ways if you can find a local organization to partner with for the day.

Celebrate with an Experience

You want the guest to not only remember a great meal, but a full experience with you. Hire a jazz band to play during brunch or dinner. Set up a photo booth with cute props like hearts and a "Best Mom Ever!" sign. Team up with another local business to create an event you can cross-promote like "yoga and mimosas" with your local studio. Or pair with your local coffee roaster and host a tasting with brunch. Both businesses get access to a new customer base, can split marketing efforts and costs, and your guests get an experience that'll make them want to come back for more.

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