They come around every year, but somehow the three biggest restaurant-driving days in May can still catch restaurants by surprise. But, not this year! With a little planning and a lot of insight, you’ll get the most from Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, and Memorial Day and set yourself up for a great season of serving happy, repeat customers.
The Motherload of Opportunity
One in every four mother’s day celebrations takes place in restaurants. With a little planning, not only will you bring in guests on that holiday, but you can also engage new, potentially regular clients, as well. After all, kids young and old love to hear they did a good job celebrating their moms!
The inevitable “what-will-we-do-on-Mother’s Day” question starts popping up earlier than you think. Customers will love you for taking that stress off their plates (pun intended) early so they can move onto the other issues like what gift to get mom. Get your Mother’s Day menu up and running and early restaurant seekers will already appreciate you…and you haven’t even seated them!
Another plus with the mom-centric holiday celebrators is that the guest of honor herself is usually the one you are marketing to: moms more often than not take charge planning Mother’s Day. Here’s an opportunity to show her you understand what’s important to her. Moms of young children are looking for simple, kid-friendly options; they’re probably more concerned with appeasing the kids than with what their personal preferences are. Moms whose kids have grown are more likely to be interested in their own tastes and meal preferences.
Maximize Your Mayo
Although Cinco De Mayo originated as a way to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War, today the holiday is more celebrated in the United States as a way to honor Mexican heritage and pride.
Here’s a great opportunity to put a festive, Mexican spin on your usual menu options. And with all the expected dishes that customers may be tired of, it’s easier than you think to catch their attention with some original thinking.
By doing a little research on the holiday, you can show off your smarts, in addition to your delicious servings.
A Memorial Day To Remember
Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start to summer. People are eager to celebrate the arrival of the warmer months and it doesn’t take much to catch their attention. It’s the unofficial start to summer, spring, and they’re ready for that celebration. If you haven’t already, this is the perfect time to start focusing more on lighter fare for your menu selections. Salads, cold soups, fresh seafood and tropical drink specials are a great start, if they make sense for your restaurant.
Check out local farmers markets for good deals on local seasonal produce. Many farmers will deliver bulk orders right to the restaurant and people are increasingly interested in supporting local businesses and eating ingredients that came from close by. Chances are, the summer season brings some new faces to your staff. Before Memorial Day hits, make sure you’ve got these new additions trained and ready to please diners.
Keep in mind that holiday seasons like Memorial Day and Fourth of July are a good time to focus on your marketing efforts. Partner with other local businesses (hotels, shops, chambers of commerce) to promote one another. You can swap brochures and take out menus as well as links on your websites. Another option is to outsource the marketing to larger companies who specialize in marketing, like Restaurant.com. That way you can focus on your in-restaurant preparations, while someone else is getting them through your door.
In short, by approaching the 3 big “M” holidays in May, you can get a major jump on your spring business.