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Mother's Day Brunch Ideas: How Restaurants Can Capitalize On This Beloved Tradition

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Tessa ZuluagaAuthor

For restaurants, few days are more lucrative than Mother's Day. In fact, the average ticket size on Mother’s Day was 32% higher compared to the average Sunday in 2023. This annual celebration honoring Mom is essentially a national holiday for brunch. Families across America make Mother's Day reservations weeks in advance to treat their mothers to a meal they won't have to cook or clean up after. It's a busy and profitable day for eateries – if you plan accordingly.

With a little creativity and some well-conceived promotions, restaurants can really pack the dining room and pour on the revenue for Mother's Day brunch. For full-service restaurant specifically, GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume) on Mother's Day 2023 was 51% higher than the average Sunday in 2023. But it takes more than just putting out a strip of lukewarm bacon and some pitchers of OJ. Today's diners want a memorable brunch experience. That means delighting mom's palate with unique menu offerings and tasty drinks, while wooing the whole family with specials and marketing hooks that have them calling weeks in advance for a coveted table.

So let's explore how to make your Mother's Day brunch menu, cocktails, and promotions the best possible for Mom – while increasing your bottom line.

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Menu Offerings to Wow Mom

We know that Mother’s Day is for brunch, not dinner. Approximately 45% of transactions on Mother’s Day in 2023 were during brunch (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.). 

The most important factor in planning your Mother's Day brunch? The menu. Think premium ingredients, heartwarming flavors, and upscale spins on familiar favorites. This is the day to break out the lobster and tenderloin.

Here are some brunch menu ideas to get you started. 

Savory Brunch Dishes

  • Lobster & Brie Omelet - A combo of buttery lobster chunks and oozy, melty cheese folded into an elegant egg omelet. Garnish with fresh herbs and a drizzle of hollandaise for an extra indulgent touch.

  • Filet & Frittata - Every mom feels like a queen when slicing into a hearty frittata packed with seared beef tenderloin medallions, mushrooms, and gruyere cheese. 

  • Sweet Potato Barbacoa Bennies - An intriguing southwest-inspired spin on eggs benedict with slow-braised barbacoa beef over sweet potato cakes and smothered in chipotle hollandaise.

  • Salad Lyonnaise - A French bistro classic of lettuce, crispy pork lardons, and a velvety soft-cooked egg that's both fresh and decadent.

  • Soft Scramble - Scrambled eggs mixed with truffle oil, mushrooms, and topped with shredded parmesan. Served with crispy hashbrowns and a side of crème fraîche.

  • Mexican Avocado Toast - Everyone loves avocado toast! This one features mashed guacamole, cotija cheese, pickled red onions, a poached eggs, and a side of hot sauce.

  • Salmon Platter - Dish out a beautiful board with smoked salmon, a fresh bagel, sides of cream cheese, lox, capers, avocado, cucumbers, and onions.

  • Quiche - Make a specialty quiche just for the day. These are easy to prep and won’t cost your kitchen any extra ingredients. Consider adding sausage, goat cheese, veggies, and garnish with some chives.

  • Chilaquiles - Who doesn’t love tortilla chips, ranchero sauce, and some fried eggs? Top with avocado and pickled red onions with a side of beans and sour cream.

Sweet Treats

  • Croissant Bread Pudding - This heavenly mash-up of buttery croissants and rich custard is sure to satisfy Mom's sweet tooth. Top with a Grand Marnier caramel glaze.

  • Red Velvet Waffle Flight - Crispy, cream cheese-laced red velvet waffles served with delectable toppings like caramelized bananas, candied pecans, and chocolate-covered strawberries.

  • Cannoli Crepes - Delicate crepes stuffed with sweet cannoli cream and sprinkled with chocolate chips and crushed pistachios. Or make a plain cannoli crepe topped with some pretty lemon zest.

  • Brown Butter Banana Sticky Buns - Decadent yeasted buns loaded with banana-pecan filling and drizzled with a browned butter sauce.

  • Cinnamon Roll French Toast - Few things are better than a warm cinnamon roll, except cinnamon roll french toast. Brioche bread, cinnamon, cream cheese, and powdered sugar all mixed together on a plate for Mom.

  • Rhubarb Pancakes - Of all the pancake recipes this might be the most unique. Mix your buttermilk mix with rhubarb syrup and top with powdered sugar and fresh berries. A side of sweet ricotta and syrup will make this dish...chef’s kiss!

Beverage to Toast Mom

Of course, no fabulous brunch is complete without pampering sips. Mother's Day provides the perfect opportunity to offer fun, festive beverage specials that keep the whole family imbibing happily. Get creative with whimsical riffs on classic brunch sips. 

Wine & Bubbles 

Moms love the bubbles, sparkling wine sales increased by a whopping 99% on Mother’s Day last year compared to the average Sunday in 2023. 

Bubbles and brunch just go hand-in-hand, especially on Mother's Day. Offer premium sparkling wine or Champagne by the glass, or perhaps a flight for sampling. Another hit is a bucket of bubbles, made up of  a bottle of prosecco with unlimited juices for a DIY experience. 

If you're a restaurant with an extensive wine list, consider offering brunch-friendly pours like crisp Sauvignon Blancs, light rose, or fruit-forward reds like Beaujolais. Last year, wine sales increased by 15% on Mother’s Day when compared to the average Sunday in 2023.  Local pours and mom-owned wineries make for great tie-ins as well. 

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Cocktail Menu Templates

Use these cocktail menu templates as a starting point for your menu design or to give your menu a refresh.

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Signature Cocktails

  • The Velvet Mom-osa - A rich, velvety mashup of raspberry vodka, vanilla liqueur, and pomegranate-raspberry juice topped with a sparkling rose float. 

  • Mom-marge Fizz - A bright, citrusy play on the classic with blood orange vodka, triple sec, lime and grapefruit topped with sparkling wine.

  • Spiked Morning Punch - A fruity vodka punch laced with pineapple and orange juices. Make it extra fancy with fresh fruit kabobs frozen inside the punch bowl.

  • Mom-hattan - A cherry spin on the classic Manhattan made with rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and dried cherry bitters with a bordeaux cherry garnish. Swap maple syrup for the vermouth for a sweet twist.

  • Almond Mom - A vodka soda with a splash of cucumber juice and a cucumber garnish. 

Brunch-specific beverages  

  • Italian Mom-osa - Equal parts OJ and Aperol topped with prosecco for a brunch beverage with bitterly boozy charm.

  • Spiked Cold Brew Latte - Nitro cold brew laced with coffee liqueur and served over mocha ice cream for a extra dessert-y start.

  • Morning Marg - A fresh squeezed margarita made with tequila, agave, and tangerine juice served over crushed ice.

  • Red Wine Hot Chocolate - Rich sipping chocolate made with Cabernet and a touch of vanilla liqueur.

Mother's Day Brunch Promotions 

With so many families vying for a limited number of tables, a well-planned Mother's Day promotion can fill seats and draw traffic. But you need a creative hook beyond the standard "Mother's Day Brunch" marketing to capture people's attention. Here are some fresh, fun ways to get families calling for resys:

  • Partner with a local florist- Offer an add option where guests can pay to have a bouquet waiting for them at their table.   

  • Host a "Momosas & Mimosas" contest: Have your bartenders dream up signature Mom'osa recipes and let brunch-goers vote for their favorite. The winner gets a bottle of bubbly. 

  • "Mom's the Word" promotion: Raffle off a deluxe gift basket filled with pampering treats and a brunch gift certificate. Award one entry for every use of a special "mom-themed" password when diners make their reservation.

  • Pre-sell "Momsicle Margarita" kits: Promote a crave-able Mother's Day cocktail kit with all the fixings for taking the fiesta home. Offer a discount or free dessert with pre-paid orders placed ahead of time.

  • "Momcoupons" all year long: With every dine-in Mother's Day brunch purchase, stuff mom's stocking with coupons redeemable for free cocktails or brunch discounts on any subsequent visits. 

  • Photo station: Set up a fun photo opportunity with whimsical prompts or props where families can capture their morning's memories. Offer a free mimosa or dessert for anyone who tags your restaurant on social media.

Set your restaurant up for success

With the right mix of mouthwatering menu items, signature sips, and creative promotions, your restaurant can elevate itself for the best Mother’s Day brunch. 

And, make sure your staff is set up for success ahead of this busy shift. Take care to staff your entire restaurant accordingly, as there are also 14% more transactions at full-service restaurants on Mother’s Day than on an average Sunday. 

Look at your reservation system to discover when you have the most covers scheduled. At that time, you’ll want a full staff of servers. However, when you open, you might only need a couple. Consider staggering your in-times to keep labor costs down. 

And, of course, check out these related resources to help prepare for Mom Day:

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