With under a month to go until we all celebrate mums, stepmums, mothers-in-law and grandmothers, we’re bringing caterers everywhere some more inspiration ahead of the big day.
Taking place on Sunday, 22 March, Mother’s Day is one of the busiest dates on the hospitality calendar – and for good reason.
It’s an opportunity for mums to kick back, relax and say ‘no’ to cooking for the family. So, how can you ensure your customers are talking about your food and service long after they leave your bar, restaurant or café?
Here are some quick wins for your catering team to try this spring…
CREATE A MENU PACKED WITH HOME COMFORTS
What does your mum usually cook when you visit? A roast dinner with all the trimmings? Bangers and Mash? Toad in the Hole, or something else entirely? We’d say it’s a universal fact that mums like good-old-fashioned, home cooking. Think creamy fish pie, slow-cooked hotpot or deliciously moreish Spaghetti Bolognese.
Consider how you might add your own twist to some of these tried and trusted favourites, then – and don’t forget dessert as well. Custard-topped sticky toffee pudding, spotted dick and jam roly poly are all popular ‘home comfort’-esque dishes.
BBC Good Food has compiled a handy collection of comfort food recipes to save you the legwork – head here.
London-based chef, Yadav Bhandari, is trying something different by adding recipes inspired by his own mum to his restaurant’s menu this Mother’s Day. Find out what he plans to dish up by heading here.
DON’T FORGET YOUR DRINKS MENU
So, you have a crowd-pleasing food menu in mind…but have you thought about your drinks offering? You could create a Mother’s Day-themed cocktail selection, including some mocktails for mums who aren’t getting a lift to your venue!
Liquor.com has plenty of ideas for your bar and restaurant, with all kinds of flavour combinations on offer. The sweet-toothed will enjoy a Tropical Strawberry Hibiscus Rum Smash, while mums who prefer their cocktails on the savoury side can get stuck into a Bloody Mary. Liquor.com’s version features plenty of seasoning for a tasty pre-dinner aperitif.
ROLL OUT A MOTHER’S DAY PROMOTION
Make mums feel extra special by introducing a promotion. ‘Mums eat free’, for example – or mums get a free cocktail with every main meal. They’re simple enough promotions that may encourage a few more families through your doors and make mums feel good about themselves to boot. Get your heads together as a team and see what you can come up with – but be sure to push out the offer on social media or in your digital newsletter.
You could even offer a free return meal for mum, if you like. It’ll give customers another reason to book a table again, and if they were thrilled with the food and service the first time, they may just bring some friends, too.
DONATE ON MUMS’ BEHALF
How about promoting the fact that you’ll make a charitable donation on behalf of all mums who visit your restaurant or bar? You could give to anything from homeless to breast cancer awareness charities; it may be worth getting customers to vote for their chosen charity ahead of Mother’s Day, too.
RUN A MOTHER’S DAY COMPETITION
Drum up new business ahead of Mother’s Day by running a competition on your social media pages. Try Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and see if you can pull in a new set of customers by offering, say, a three-course meal and a bottle of wine for the winning mum. You could ask daughters and sons to tell you why their mum should win, with the most creative answer bagging the prize. Go on; think outside the box this Mother’s Day and see what you can come up with.
COLLABORATE WITH LOCAL BUSINESSES
Offer mums and their families ‘the whole package’ this Mother’s Day to ensure their plans for 22 March are smooth and stress-free. How about partnering with a local florist or artisan chocolate shop to offer daughters and sons a discount on gifts for their mum, providing they eat with you? You could even team up with a taxi firm to offer cheaper taxi rides to and from your venue. That way, mums and their families can leave the car at home and have that cocktail or two.
How will you be spoiling your female customers – and their families – this Mother’s Day? We hope this piece gives you some food for thought.