8 Mother’s Day Restaurant Ideas for Maximising Every Seat

5 min read

Apr 22, 2024

8 Mother’s Day Restaurant Ideas for Maximising Every Seat

Mother’s Day is almost here — and you know what that means. Loads of mums and their loved ones will be booking tables left and right. And these diners are ready to spend. 

In 2023, Mother’s Day spending was projected to hit $925 million. This year, it could be even higher. While it’s likely you’ll have a full house on the big day, there are strategic Mother’s Day restaurant ideas that can help you maximise every seat.

Ready to make this your most profitable Mother’s Day yet? Let’s get started!

1. Promote reservations in advance 

Reservations are a must for Mother’s Day. Diners don’t want to risk Mum’s favourite restaurant selling out before they can secure a table. 

For this reason, open your inventory at least 20 days in advance. 

Noosa’s beloved beachfront restaurant Bistro C, a SevenRooms client, starts promoting their Mother’s Day lunch more than a month before the big day. This gives customers ample time to learn about the event and make reservations.

Create a Mother’s Day restaurant marketing campaign to generate awareness about your event and encourage advance reservations. Use a variety of marketing channels, including email, social media, table tents and paid ads. 

Train servers to mention your Mother’s Day special at the end of each meal and encourage guests to book early to ensure a reservation. Alternatively, add event details to guest bills with a QR code that links to your mobile booking platform

Sydney-based hospitality group Applejack used SevenRooms’ email marketing software to promote their restaurants for Mother’s Day. Notice how they used empathetic messaging to appeal to all customers — including those who might find this day difficult. 

The inclusive language of “maternal figures” helps Applejack’s messaging connect with customers — and shows they care. This can foster long-term loyalty and lead to more positive reviews.

2. Update your floorplan to accommodate groups

Mother’s Day tends to be a group dining occasion. Restructure your floorplan to maximise your space for larger parties and fewer two-tops. By strategically updating your floorplan, you can help increase the number of higher-spending tables you have. 

Promote your restaurant as large group- and family-friendly (if applicable), so diners know you have the space to accommodate them. 

For example: 

Gather the whole family for an unforgettable Mother’s Day dinner at [restaurant name]. We welcome large groups — book now to secure your reservation. 

3. Set time restrictions 

Lingering guests can affect profit, but rushing diners through a meal can lower guest satisfaction and retention rates. If you have a high-demand venue, consider setting time restrictions on tables — but keep it fair and realistic.

Give guests enough time to properly enjoy their Mother’s Day meal before turning the table. What this looks like for your restaurant will vary depending on service speed, number of courses, average guest meal time and more. 

The Shorehouse, a beachside restaurant in Swanbourne, allots a 90-minute slot for each Mother’s Day reservation.  

The Shorehouse uses SevenRooms’ booking widget to inform guests of the time restriction and asks for payment upfront to prevent no-shows.

Whether you set time restrictions for all tables or just those with the most sought-after view, this tactic can help you maximise profit on a special occasion like Mother’s Day. 

4. Ask for deposits and cancellation fees

No-shows and cancellations are never ideal, but they can be especially detrimental on high-revenue holidays like Mother’s Day. While the average Mother’s Day no-show rate for SevenRooms’ Australian clients was 1.8%, others didn’t fare as well. Those hit hardest had no-show rates of over 15%.

However, there are ways to minimise this issue. Consider requiring deposits for large groups and cancellation fees for all bookings, or restricting cancellation fees to your busiest time slots. 

Italian restaurant Chiosco by Ormeggio uses this tactic to reduce no-shows and cancellations for their Mother’s Day lunch. They clearly state fees and collect payments during the reservation process using SevenRooms’ booking widget:

Implementing cancellation fees and collecting card details will help you keep more tables filled come Mother’s Day. If guests’ plans still change at the last minute, you can recoup a portion of the profit to mitigate the loss.

5. Give high value guests priority reservation access 

Rev up your revenue this Mother’s Day by filling your most popular tables and dining periods with your highest value guests. Before these tables book up, offer VIP guests exclusive reservation access.

Segment your database and review loyalty programme data to identify your most valuable customers, including big spenders and regulars. Whether you email these guests or have staff make phone calls, let them know they’re getting first dibs on reservations. This will make customers feel extra special and attract high-value guests to your restaurant. 

As your Mother's Day event gets closer, broaden your marketing efforts. Email your complete list to fill the rest of your tables. 

6. Consider prix-fixe menus

Prix-fixe menus turn an ordinary meal into an unforgettable occasion — and that’s exactly what customers are looking for on Mother’s Day.

Sydney-based restaurant a’Mare created two set menus for their Mother’s Day meal: a “Signature” menu and an elevated “Chef’s Table” option. These set menus make the lunch feel celebratory and enable the restaurant to forecast and increase revenue. 

Use these Mother’s Day restaurant ideas to get the most out of your prix-fixe menu:

Offer multiple courses: Structure your special menu to include multiple courses, including an appetiser, salad or soup course, entree and dessert. This will encourage guests to try a variety of menu items and make the meal feel more luxurious.
Decorate for the event: Enhance your special brunch or lunch with Mother’s Day table settings and decorations. Think floral centrepieces and pastel colours like pink, lavender and white for a soft and elegant look.
Book live music: Whether it’s jazz, acoustic guitar or piano, live music will complement your prix-fixe menu and create a lively atmosphere.
Offer add-ons: Satisfied customers are loyal customers. Offering add-ons, such as a bottle of wine, Mother’s Day mimosa or family photo opp, provides additional value for guests and boosts your earning potential.
Focus on retention: A bustling restaurant is a marketing opportunity. Give guests a small discount or gift card for a return visit with their bill. 

7. Treat Mums to a free gift

Don’t underestimate the power of a free gift. Whether it’s a free dessert, flowers or even BOGO bellinis (don’t threaten Mum with a good time), this is a sure-fire way to get more reservations.

For example, NOUR, a Middle Eastern restaurant in Surry Hills, has a “Mumm for Mum” promotion where every mother dining with them receives a complimentary bottle of Mumm champagne to take home.

To make this tactic more effective, consider restricting the free gift to reservations made before a certain date. This can capitalise on diners’ FOMO (fear of missing out) and encourage them to book early.

8. Capitalise on upgrades

Mother’s Day is all about spoiling mums. Make it easy for your guests by offering upgrades during the booking process at varying prices to accommodate all budgets. Maybe it’s a bottle of champagne, chocolates, flowers, customised dessert or table with a coveted view. 

Guests can select an upgrade or two and prepay, so the surprise is waiting for their mum or loved one upon arrival. 

For example, Nomad, a Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant, offers an array of upgrades. The restaurant partnered with local florists and cosmetics brand Aesop to offer guests everything from bouquets to a luxe skincare basket. 

Upgrades do more than upgrade the guest experience. They make guests feel special, which can lead to higher satisfaction, more positive reviews and long-term loyalty. Did we mention they’re also a great way to boost per-table spend? 

Get Strategic With Your Mother’s Day Strategy

From prix-fixe brunches to lavish lunches, rolling out the red carpet for Mum has the potential to generate serious revenue. But it’s the underused tactics — like asking for deposits and giving VIPs priority reservation access — that can amplify your results. 

The Mother’s Day restaurant ideas above will help you reduce no-shows, increase per-table spend and improve guest satisfaction. Pair your strategy with restaurant technology, like SevenRooms’ reservation, table management and marketing automation software to automate tasks and streamline promotions, payments and more. Schedule a free demo today

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