A couple of restaurant executives expressed their optimism about Q2 during the latest round of earnings calls. That’s because the second quarter includes the mother of all sales days in the restaurant industry – Mother’s Day. The National Restaurant Association cites Mother’s Day as the most popular holiday of the year to eat at restaurants, while OpenTable data shows that Mother’s Day 2022 was the second biggest day in the industry for dining.
During his company’s Q1 call, BJ’s CFO Tom Houdek said Q2 is typically the chain’s strongest sales quarter “propelled by Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and graduation.” Average weekly sales per restaurant grow modestly in the quarter because of this cadence of events. Texas Roadhouse also noted that May is a strong month because of Mother’s Day, while Denny’s called Q2 a “peak period” because of these holidays.
“Mother’s Day has historically been a strong, high-traffic holiday for the restaurant industry,” Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for the National Restaurant Association, said in a statement. “As families around the country look to celebrate the important role that mothers play in our lives, restaurants offer an opportunity to take the hassle of cooking out of the equation for a day, while making the holiday memorable for everyone at the table.”
As such, a National Restaurant Association survey finds that 40% of adults will use a restaurant as part of a special Mother’s Day meal. Dinner is the most popular mealtime for those who plan to visit a restaurant, with 43% of respondents planning to dine in and 49% planning to order takeout or delivery. Most of these diners, 60%, plan to bring their children under the age of 18.
Further, OpenTable data finds that most diners – 78% – plan to spend the same or more on Mother’s Day this year versus last year.
Still, many are looking for deals. According to the National Restaurant Association, 53% of consumers ordering food to-go and 43% of those dining in are seeking Mother’s Day discounts. Offering a free add-on for mom, such as a special cocktail, dessert, or small gift, will influence 48% of takeout customers and 44% of on-premises diners. A special Mother’s Day menu is also a strong consideration for customers, the association’s data shows.
To capture this crowd, several brands are offering such Mother’s Day promotions. Here are some examples:
Jet’s Pizza is offering 20% off all menu-priced pizzas on Sunday, May 14. The offer is available all day for both pickup and delivery and can be obtained digitally with the code MOM23. The chain is also offering a new limited-time Triple-Roni Pizza and new Deli Pepperoni for the occasion.
Zaxby’s is celebrating all moms with a free kid’s meal this Mother’s Day. The offer is valid with the purchase of an adult meal Friday, May 12 through Sunday, May 14 via the brand’s app and at participating locations.
Applebee’s is offering a buy $50 in gift cards, get a $10 bonus promotion for Mother’s Day.
TCBY is gifting moms a treat of up to six ounces of free frozen yogurt all day on Sunday, May 14 at participating locations.
Bakery-café chain Tous les Jours has launched a special Happy Mother’s Day collection, with cakes, pink donuts and flower-shaped macarons. The collection is available through May 14.
KFC is offering free nuggets as part of its “KFC Nuggets of Appreciation” meal, along with a free, downloadable Mother’s Day card. The offer is available May 10 through May 14 via the KFC mobile app or website.
Bonefish Grill is promoting several specials for Mother’s Day, all of which run through May 22. They include the Scallop & Shrimp Scampi Filet, an old-fashioned cedar plank salmon, Rockefeller Butterfish, carrot lava cake, a crushed pineapple martini and a new wild flower martini.
Metro Diner is offering maple bacon bread pudding, Belgian waffle or pancake griddles for $4.39 paired with mimosas. Signature brunch favorites are also available for the occasion.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is offering an all-day pancake breakfast family meal basket to-go and a Momma’s Pancake Breakfast May 13 and May 14. All meal baskets and Momma’s Pancake Breakfast Catering Bundles will include a $10 digital bonus card.
O’Charley’s is extending its hours to celebrate moms, opening at 10 a.m. – an hour early – on Sunday, May 14. Additionally, the chain has a special menu that includes a Teriyaki salmon bowl, salted caramel cheesecake, and a strawberry rosé spritz, among other options.
Mountain Mike’s Pizza is bringing back its heart-shaped pizza to celebrate moms, available May 11 through May 14.
California Pizza Kitchen is also bringing back its heart-shaped pizzas for moms, available May 14. Also, guests visiting a CPK restaurant with their moms on May 14 or May 14 will receive a $10 bonus card for every $50 spent. Guests celebrating from afar can add a $10 eBonus to every $50 eGift purchased through May 14.
The Cheesecake Factory is promoting an online gift card offer; for every $50 in gift cards purchased online through Mother’s Day, guests will receive a $10 bonus card redeemable May 15 through June 7.
BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse is currently offering a digital promotion through June 18 in which guests who buy mom a $50 eGift card will receive a $10 bonus card that can be redeemed from June 19 through July 9. Additionally, every mom who dines at a BJ’s restaurant May 13 and May 14 will receive a complimentary Mother’s Day stemless wine glass. On the menu, BJ’s has introduced two new pink drinks – a strawberry rose lemon drop and a watermelon mojito – and a new confetti Pizookie.
Krispy Kreme has rolled out Minis for Mom for a limited time, featuring new mini chocolate iced rose doughnuts, new mini strawberry iced heart doughnuts, and new mini cookies and Kreme doughnuts. A 16-count box also includes four mini Original Glazed doughnuts. On May 12 and May 13, there is a $0 delivery fee applied to orders placed online or through the Krispy Kreme app.
Chicken Salad Chick is offering moms a free large Quick Chick of any of its chicken salads with the purchase of a large Quick Chick on Friday, May 12 at all locations. Also, all restaurants will celebrate Mother’s Day with surprises for moms all day Friday, May 12, including an additional “Month of Moms” promotion offering a free drink every day for the rest of May for all guests who scan receipts on Friday via the brand’s Craving Credits app.
In celebration of Mother’s Day weekend, White Castle is offering a free dessert on a stick with any purchase, to anyone who has a coupon (link here) found through White Castle’s social media and promotional emails. The offer is valid May 12 through May 14.
Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]