As a restaurant operator you know Mother’s Day is the most popular holiday of the year for dining out. It brings nearly half of Americans to dine out, or order restaurant takeout or delivery, on May 7, according to the National Restaurant Association, six in 10 will choose a casual dining establishment. So, if you’re a casual dining chain what are your plans for capturing more than your share of traffic and sales that day. Here are several strategies to capitalize on this enormous opportunity..
Casual and fine dining establishments are the big winners on this day. And restaurants that are kid friendly are very desirable. But don’t completely ignore take out, it’s estimated 13% of families with kids under 13 will order take out. Keep this in mind as seek to optimize sales on this robust dining day.
Begin your marketing efforts at least a month in advance. You’re not marketing the day, you need to market the planning of the day. This year, 83 percent of those who plan to celebrate Mother’s Day at a restaurant made their plans to do so less than one month ahead of time. Seventeen percent made their plans well in advance, longer than one month prior.
Mothers typically enjoy going to a place that does something to make them feel special, and recognize the special day, outside of just giving mother’s free food. Mother’s Day themed decorations, banners, flowers when you come in, etc., are all examples of things that bring attention to the special day for mothers without just involving paying for their food.
When it comes to how moms find restaurants, they are proactive online with regard to restaurants:
84% use the Internet to seek restaurant coupons or special deals
43% look at menus and operating hours
40% seek directions
30% actually order takeout or delivery food
25% research nutritional information or buy gift cards
Social media should play a key role in your strategy. Moms are very social and look to each other for recommendations and ideas. Feed them with messaging early to capture share of mind. Don’t ignore the dads though. While the ladies make a lot of the decisions they also like it when they are given options by their husbands and significant others.
Now let’s talk about the best way to message to moms. It is important to stay away from stereotypes, and pigeonholing your audience into a specific category (soccer moms, etc) Be short and concise, moms are busy and like getting things done quickly. Keep your marketing the same way towards them, let them get their info quickly and effectively, allowing them to get on with other things. They will typically respond well to advertisements that recognize this.
Tug on their heartstrings as much as possible, but in a simple, mellow way. Referencing moms’ children and growing up with them is always full of positive feedback. Especially around Mother’s Day. Moms love thinking about their parenting journey and how incredible it can be. Restaurants that use this to show the value in spending a Mother’s Day meal with those kids they watched grow up could be a very successful play.
Mothers are looking for something that was made from scratch with fresh ingredients and cooked at that location, so Mother’s Day restaurant selections will likely follow this same trend. Always emphasize fresh, like mentioned above. Even if you make the “fresh” promise a crazy amount of times, it will still come off as reassuring and settling for mothers.
Moms are always on the go, so try and make majority of your content mobile optimized. Easy to stream or download and easy to watch and share.
Don’t fall into the trap of repetition for this Mother’s Day because it’s worked in the past. Just as millennials have redefined the state of the marketing industry, so must we, too, adapt to meet them where they are receptive — on mobile devices, for example, with messaging targeted directly to their lifestyles and preferences.
Create the type of content that will answer moms’ questions, validate her decisions and convince her of the value you bring. Use behavioral data and social insights to stay on top of what’s important to her now. But remember to respect her boundaries. Be mindful and contextual in your media placement and messaging frequency.
Follow these important strategies with your marketing to Mom for Mother’s Day and you’ll be sure to win her heart and mind and therefore her dining dollars, actually it will be Dad’s and Son’s dollars! Happy Mother’s Day hunting.