5 Mother’s Day marketing tips for cafes and restaurants

Tuesday, 29 March, 2022

As a foodservice operator, you’re probably familiar with the standard Mother’s Day marketing strategies. From special Mother’s Day gifts to discounts and competitions, you’ve seen it all before (and so have your customers).

Mother and daughter taking selfie at café


While these tried and tested strategies can work, they don’t do much to set you apart from the competition. This year, it’s time to think outside the (flower) box and elevate your marketing efforts so that you’re the obvious choice to celebrate Mother’s Day.

1. Deliver a unique experience from your competitors

Rather than fall back on the same cut and paste promotions, offer a unique experience that customers won’t be able to get anywhere else. FOMO (fear of missing out) is one of the oldest tricks in any marketer’s playbook, and you shouldn’t hesitate to use it when promoting your business as the place to be this Mother’s Day. For example, if you run a restaurant, you could open earlier than usual and offer an exclusive Mother’s Day brunch menu. Or perhaps you could hire a local musician or entertainer to perform at your café.

Take some time to study what your competitors are doing and take your offering a step further. Make sure that everyone knows about what you’re doing by posting on social media.

If you’re offering any exclusive menu items, make sure you take great photos of them. Check out our article on food photography tips to ensure you take the best pics possible.

Happy family dining out at restaurant

2. Tap into the ritual of Mother’s Day lunch or dinner

Just like cutting cake on their birthday or having Friday drinks after work, taking mum out to lunch or dinner on Mother’s Day is an important ritual for your customers. You don’t need to convince people to take mum out for a meal (they’re going to anyway), but you do need to position yourself as the option that will satisfy their unspoken expectations.

When running your Mother’s Day campaign, remember that your customers are looking for more than just a place to eat. Make sure you’ve presented your business as a comfortable, aesthetic environment where people can easily chat and take photos with mum.

Emphasise all the great assets your cafe or restaurant has beyond just the food, like friendly staff, great atmosphere and views, intimate dining areas, etc. When captioning photos or writing posts on social media, use language that positions you as the ideal venue for people who want to treat mum to something above the ordinary.

Learn more about some of the other emerging rituals around food and drink you could leverage in your business.

Family giving mother gifts at café on Mother’s Day

3. Be inclusive of every type of mother

As a society, our definitions of a traditional family have become a little more open-ended in recent years. Nowadays, it’s recognised that motherhood can take on various forms that differ from the stereotypes we automatically picture in our heads.

This year, take the opportunity to demonstrate your café or restaurant’s inclusivity by highlighting that anyone who takes on the role of mother can participate in the promotions you’re running.

It’s also important that people with special dietary requirements don’t feel excluded at your venue. Read our articles on plant-based food swaps and catering to gluten-free customers for advice on ensuring your Mother’s Day menu is as inclusive as possible.

Same-sex couple with child on Mother’s Day

4. Offer easy upgrades

Help your customers make their mums feel extra special by offering upgrades to their booking that they’ll be unable to resist. With this strategy, you’re making it easy for your customers to elevate their Mother’s Day outings without them needing to do any extra work.

For an additional fee, give your customers the option to add extras like a box of chocolates, a bottle of wine, a pre-written card, or even a special dessert menu.

Cutlery on plate with flower and happy mother’s day note

5. Don’t forget delivery options

While most of your focus will be on on-premises dining, there’s also an opportunity to tailor your delivery options for Mother’s Day. Not every mother can or wants to eat out, so it’s worth creating options for people who plan to order in and celebrate Mother’s Day at home.

Put together some limited-run Mother’s Day packages and offer them through your preferred delivery platform. Try to align them with your main offering so that people who choose to order don’t feel like they’re getting less value than someone who goes into your venue.

Food delivery person handing order to customer at door

Sweet menu ideas for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is all about showering our hard-working mums with love and affection, and like Valentine’s Day tends to focus on desserts and sweet beverages. So, after serving the main course, why not help customers end their time at your business on a sweet note with some of the following ideas:

  • Create some delicious Mother’s Day themed desserts and offer them as part of a special limited-time menu. Explore our range of dessert mixes and baking chocolate and see what’s possible.
  • Enhance your existing options or offer entirely new sweet baked items and make sure they’re also available for takeaway. See our article on the top sweet bakery trends that you could leverage.
  • Offer some new and exciting drink options (like a special Mother’s Day cocktail) that customers will be tempted to order along with their meal. See our article on ways to increase beverage sales.

What will you do differently this Mother’s Day?

Think about the Mother’s Day marketing ideas in this article and how you could make them work for your café or restaurant. Whatever mix of strategies you choose to deploy, ensure that you’re taking full advantage of your social media channels to get the word out before the big day!

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