With 92 million American adults set to dine out this Mother’s Day, according to the National Restaurant Association, the holiday affords plenty of opportunity—but plenty of competition as well. In a sea of endless buffets and complimentary Champagne or dessert, some restaurateurs are exploring new ways to set themselves apart.
Here are six Mother’s Day promotions that will give mom a little something extra.
1. A micro LTO cocktail for mom
Bahama Breeze is using Mother’s Day to promote a super-limited-time beverage option, offering moms a special cocktail for one day only. On Mother’s Day, guests can enjoy Mama’s Crush, a cocktail that also happens to be ripe for social media sharing. The LTO starts with a fluff of pineapple cotton candy served in a martini glass, and is then topped with tropical liqueurs, dissolving the cotton candy during presentation. Offering the drink for one day only gives the cocktail an air of exclusivity and is a selling point for staff.
2. Sporty moms eat free, but only if they bowl a strike
Denver-based eatertainment concept Punch Bowl Social is letting diners roll the dice (and bowling ball) this Mother’s Day by comping mom’s brunch … but only if she bowls a strike on the first try. Comping a meal for mom isn’t a new promotional idea, but leaving it up to chance (or skill) and adding an interactive element brings a new angle to this promotion.
Punch Bowl Social will offer a brunch buffet on Mother’s Day and, strike or not, will also treat moms to a complimentary mimosa upon arrival. Besides the draw of complimentary items, the restaurant has a bevy of interactive activities, from private karaoke rooms to wall-size Scrabble, which Punch Bowl is promoting as a perfect Mother’s Day combo, suggesting that after their feast diners can serenade mom on her special holiday.
3. A DIY gift and class as an alternative brunch add-on
Diners can get their hands dirty with a little DIY at La Riviera restaurant in Miami. While many Mother’s Day options offer flowers for mom, this personalized twist is an interactive add-on and gift in one. For an additional cost with brunch, adults and children can participate in a DIY terrarium-making class. The restaurant has partnered with a local succulent and terrarium purveyor to host guided hands-on lessons, and at the end of the session diners will have a treat they made for mom to take home.
4. An exclusive and edible Mother’s Day bouquet
Forget a dozen roses—customers can treat mom to a bouquet of doughnuts on Mother’s Day. Tim Hortons is packaging 24 of its bite-size Timbits on long-stemmed skewers, wrapping the bouquet in tissue paper and ribbon and nestling it in a special Mother’s Day-themed box with this special U.S.-only holiday promotion (sorry Canadian moms).
The bouquets come packaged with an assortment of flavors at a suggested retail price of $7.99, a significant upsell compared to the average cost of the Timbits alone.
5. Free jewels entice mom to brunch early
Crosby’s Kitchen in Chicago is partnering with a new nearby jewelry store to encourage diners to stop in early for breakfast and win something sparkly for mom. The first 50 moms who dine at the restaurant will receive a piece of Kendra Scott jewelry, valued anywhere from $50 to $200. The deal is intended to fill seats early. The new shop will be on-site to pass out the jewelry.
6. A risque marketing campaign woos mom
KFC is getting frisky this Mother’s Day, romancing mom with targeted marketing that is a far cry from the usually PG, family-friendly holiday. To promote its $20 Fill Up deal, the chicken chain has released a 96-page romance novel, “Tender Wings of Desire,” starring Colonel Sanders, as a free download on Amazon. The campaign includes a video KFC posted on social media with a hunky beau seductively reading passages from the book as he sits next to a framed picture of a $20 Fill Up meal. Select Facebook fans will score a hardcover copy.
The marketing move isn’t promoting a new product, but instead is an edgier take to pull away from the pack of more typical wholesome advertising associated with the holiday. And social media fans are engaging with KFC while enjoying trading cheeky quips with the brand on Facebook, with one fan claiming they were “crowing with excitement” over the book.