How much do restaurants make on Mother’s Day?

In this 4 minute read:

  • Is Mother’s Day one of the biggest days of the year for restaurants?
  • How much do restaurants make on Mother’s Day?
  • What types of restaurants are most popular?
  • Where did restaurants do the most business over the holiday?
  • How does your restaurant stack up?

Americans don’t skimp when it comes to celebrating Mom. All sorts of small and local businesses see their biggest days of the year fall over Mother’s Day weekend. Day spas, nurseries and gardening stores, grocery stores, hair salons, gift shops, bike stores — all these and many more experience one of the top 5 days of their year over Mother’s Day.

But how does Mother’s day impact business at local restaurants? Do enough people take mom out for brunch or dinner to move the needle for local businesses? How much should restaurants expect to make over the weekend? What types of restaurants do the most business?

We dove deep into transaction data from 2018 in order to answer all these questions and more.

Is Mother’s Day one of the biggest days of the year for restaurants?

This one’s easy. Mother’s Day isn’t just one of the biggest days of the year for restaurants. It’s responsible for the top two days of the year for local restaurants nationwide.

On the day before Mother’s Day restaurants across the country experienced a 62% increase in total revenue, making it the #1 day of the year overall. The 60% increase in total revenue on Mother’s Day itself made it the #2 day of the year—a particularly impressive feat seeing how 17% fewer restaurants were open for business on that day.

No matter how you look at it, however, Mother’s Day weekend is massive for local restaurants. So let’s take a look at just how big it is for the average restaurant.

How much do restaurants make on Mother’s Day weekend?

While the Saturday before saw more money being spent at restaurants than on Mother’s Day, those restaurants who stayed open on Mother’s Day brought more money in their doors on the actual holiday. Throughout the year, restaurants averaged $1,273 in revenue on a given day. The day before Mother’s Day saw that number jump by 46% to $1,863. On Mother’s Day itself, that number jumps all the way up to $2,180, a full 71% increase over a typical day.

Restaurants were only slightly busier than usual on Mother’s Day, averaging 52 transactions—a 16% increase over the 45 transactions restaurants averaged throughout the year.

But it’s clear that when people take Mom out to a restaurant to celebrate her big day, they’re spending a lot more money than a typical day. The $41.89 average ticket restaurants experienced on the holiday was a full 48% higher than the annual average of $28.38.

In fact, the only day that saw average ticket sizes larger than Mother’s Day was Christmas Day (when only 21% of restaurants nationwide remained open). So if you own a restaurant, make sure you take advantage of this clear desire your patrons have to treat Mom right by spending more than a typical day out.

What types of restaurants do the most business over the holiday?

Of course, when it comes to treating Mom to a nice meal, not all restaurants are created equal. We took a deeper look at our data to get a sub-category view into which types of restaurants experience the biggest increases on Mother’s Day, and which did not.

As you might expect, restaurants more associated with a slightly more “upscale” experiences, brunch or breakfast options, or more traditional cuisine seemed to benefit the most from Mother’s Day.

The places that experienced less-than-impressive increases (or even decreases) in average revenue? Burgers, Pizza, Burritos, and Bars and Grills.

Which states experienced the biggest days of the year over Mother’s Day weekend?

Mother’s Day was big for local restaurants across the country, with either Mother’s Day or the Saturday before cracking the top 10 days of the year list in 34 out of all 50 states. Let’s take a look at the states where people took Mom out to eat enough for the weekend to come in as the #1 day of the year:

States where Mother’s Day was the #1 day:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York

States where the day before Mother’s Day was the #1 day:

  • Iowa
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Utah

The weekend was so big for restaurants across the country, that there wasn’t a single state that saw open restaurants bring in less revenue than a typical day. Interestingly, however, there were some clear trends between states where both days of the weekend were big days

Even the states that saw both days of the holiday weekend fall well outside the top 10 days of the year (Alaska, Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Vermont, and Wyoming) still experienced above-average revenue throughout the weekend.

How does your restaurant stack up?

Do you own or manage your own restaurant? If so, do you also see big business on and around Mother’s Day? Our analysis shows that restaurants from coast to coast stand to make a lot of money throughout the weekend as Americans look to treat mom to a nice meal.

Big days like these represent a wealth of opportunities for your restaurant, particularly when it comes to the average ticket price. Our analysis showed that while you should expect a mild uptick in foot traffic, you should absolutely expect patrons to be willing to spend a bit more than a typical day.

Suggest add-ons like desserts, drinks, and special appetizers. Maybe even consider thinking of outside the box ways to inspire your customers to spend a little extra to make mom feel special.

Read more: Building an effective small business marketing plan

If, however, you struggle to draw people in your doors, perhaps look for creative ways to drum up interest or establish your restaurant as the place to be on Mother’s Day weekend.

Finally, try using Womply’s reputation management software to help you attract and retain more happy customers. Businesses like yours have used Womply to bring in 20% more revenue while saving an extra 10 hours of work per week. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!


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