Deep down, what people want from a sentimental occasion like Mother’s Day is memories. That’s one reason it’s one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants. People know that doing something special for Mum will help everyone remember the occasion. But when you take Mum out for brunch every year, Mother’s Day can become a bit forgettable.
This year, give guests more of what they want (memories) by offering something different (beyond brunch). Newness is the secret sauce in creating lifelong memories. Research shows that introducing a twist to the familiar makes memories that stick. Doing something different this year will not only set you apart from the crowd, it will help guests remember the day—and you— far into the future.
Here are some ideas for 11 different Mums to get your creative juices flowing for unforgettable Mother’s Day experiences.
1) Mother’s Day eve celebration for non-Mums
For many, Mother’s Day brings up mixed emotions. It can be helpful to invite people to celebrate the important non-Mums in their lives. Position the Saturday before Mother’s Day as Mother’s Day Eve, an occasion to celebrate aunts, teachers, neighbours, family friends, mentors, or any special nurturing person that isn’t Mum. It can help make the occasion more inclusive for guests and give people another reason to make a reservation.
2) Daytime disco party for dancing queens
Some Mums want to let loose on the dance floor from time to time. Create an opportunity for family-friendly fun with a daytime dance party. All it requires is some open floor space and a playlist that makes people want to move. (DJs are nice but optional.) Handheld food served buffet style will help keep guests on their feet.
3) Shop and dine combo for retail enthusiasts
An afternoon of dining and shopping can add up to a special Mother’s Day celebration. If you’re among the many restaurants in a shopping centre or near an area with plenty of shops, consider partnering with local boutiques to offer Mums a discount on their special day.
4) Game-viewing event for sports fans
Stereotypes, be gone. A lot of Mums love sports, including football, cricket and rugby. Celebrate the love of the sport by showing a game on your big screen TVs and offering a sports-inspired Mother’s Day menu.
5) Live music for music lovers
Sometimes something subtle can make a restaurant meal extra special. Bring in live music—a piano player, a singer, a jazz trio—to add to the ambiance for your Mother’s Day lunch or dinner service. Another option for the musically minded is karaoke. Belting out favourite songs as the family gathers over food and drinks can be unforgettable fun for all.
6) Fun run for athletes
Many Mums are fitness minded and might enjoy some exercise to work up an appetite before their celebration meal. Partner with a local charity to host a fun run or walk. Registration can include the price of lunch as well as a contribution to support the cause. Just remember to keep the atmosphere casual—runners and walkers will be in their activewear—and the meal options hearty enough to refuel them.
7) Comedy show for funny girls
An after-dinner comedy show celebrating the highs and lows of motherhood could be just the kind of experience people will never forget. A comedy experience could be part of a prix fixe dinner or a ticketed happy hour that begins after the dinner rush. You could also focus on dessert: Comedy plus an ice cream bar or pudding buffet.
8) Cooking class for home chefs
A hands-on learning experience can be fun for the whole family. Whether you invite people into your kitchen to learn or set up a demo space in the dining room, you have plenty of cooking knowledge to go around. Teach attendees how to make a simple, family-friendly meal and then serve it family style after the lesson so people can relax and enjoy a shared lunch or dinner.
9) Have roses or other flowers on the tables to create a nice ambiance
Sometimes keeping it simple can also be the most effective. Flowers are one of the most popular Mother’s Day gifts, so why not go one step further and set the scene in your restaurant with a bouquet or two? Nothing says “Happy Mother’s Day” quite like walking into a restaurant filled with floral beauty. Consider placing small rose arrangements, tulips, lilies or other seasonal flowers as centrepieces on each table. The vibrant colours and sweet scents will delight mothers and make the meal feel special.
10) Get children to write or draw “Why My Mom is Special” cards that you deliver to her table
Make mums feel extra appreciated by having their kids write or draw special cards just for them. Provide crayons and paper at the host stand for children to craft handmade works of art showcasing why their mom is so loved. Then ceremoniously deliver the artistic mementos to mums as they dine. Not only will this gesture melt mothers’ hearts, but it will also keep young ones creatively occupied, making for a peaceful dining experience all around.
11) Pyjama breakfast for early birds
Kids and adults love wearing their PJs, so make it the dress code for a fun Mother’s Day breakfast experience. Stack the menu with classic morning favourites like pancakes, waffles, bacon, and eggs. It’s the kind of event that’s social media friendly, with ums and kids in sets of matching pyjamas snapping selfies and tagging photos of your house-baked scones and egg sandwiches.
There’s nothing wrong with hosting a classic Mother’s Day brunch. Plenty of families enjoy the tradition. But many will be enticed by something unexpected that helps make memories that last a lifetime.