You know from past aching knees and backs that Mother’s Day is a very busy brunch holiday. Data from OpenTable show it’s the busiest day of the year for brunch reservations and the second busiest dining-out day of the year in Canada. They also say it's also "the largest group dining day of the year, with an average reservation size of four guests." That’s a huge opportunity to capture new traffic with the potential to become year-round loyal customers. Consider these recommendations and tips when planning for the weekend of May 13th and 14th.

A Festive Atmosphere

Mother’s Day focuses on being happy and commemorating some of the most influential women in our lives. Give your staff encouragement and permission to acknowledge families celebrating the occasion. Perhaps they can wear buttons featuring pictures of their own mothers. Or maybe you have a special display of famous mothers throughout history.

Plan on low-cost giveaways or low-margin promotions that will get people in the mood to rejoice. A “free mimosas for moms” promo or $10 bottles of champagne will go far in creating a memorable experience.

Protein Updates

Across the board guests are becoming more adventurous in their dining choices, and Mother’s Day is no exception. (Guests may be even more willing to try something new after a glass or two of your specially priced champagne.) Consider updating your protein choices with options that are just outside the ordinary such as venison, goat, duck or lamb. Seafood is also a popular go-to since guests already know the taste, but are unlikely to incorporate into their breakfasts at home.

Another way to up your brunch protein game is to serve common meats, but ones that are not normally served at breakfast. Think about pulled pork, pastrami, or chorizo.

Chef Recommendation: Tea Smoked Trout with Remoulade Sauce

Get Ethnic

You’ve seen how quickly ethnic breakfast and international entrees are growing. Mother’s Day brunch is a great time to roll out some new globally inspired dishes. How would a few of these work on your menu?

  • Empanadas
    These are small pastries can be stuffed with a variety of ingredients from sweet to savoury. They’re an awesome format for fusion cuisine.

  • Kolaches
    Originally from the Czech Republic, these round pastries readily lend themselves to sweet fillings.
  • Chiliaquiles
    Made with a base of fried tortillas and topped with salsa or mole and other ingredients these are a great base for whatever your restaurant’s specialty may be.

  • Shakshouka
    Popular in North Africa and Israel, this stew-like dish made with tomato sauce, peppers, spices and topped with poached eggs.

Chef Recommendation: Grilled Asparagus with Miso Butter, Poached Egg and Togarashi

Miso, a staple ingredient in Japanese cuisine, is so versatile it can be used in any kitchen. Made of fermented soybeans, it has a complex flavour that is both sweet and savoury. It is a perfect addition to grilled asparagus. Get the Recipe
For more ethnic breakfast inspiration, check out this article.

King of Brunch: Eggs Benedict

This quintessential breakfast and brunch dish is up 10% on menus.* Chefs use this dish to bring a new twist to the familiar. They’re doing so through some interesting updates.

  • Regional Twist
    Think about incorporating local flavours or regional specialties. For example the California benedict at Ruby’s Diner features fresh avocado and tomatoes.

  • International Flair  
    Bring a bit of global inspiration to brunch like they do at Brickford’s Grille with their Irish benedict. It features corned beef and a side of breakfast potatoes.
  • New Proteins
    The eggs offer their own supply of filling protein, but restaurants like Bonefish Grill are taking it a bit further with dishes such as their surf and turf benedict.

Chef Recommendation: Crab Cakes Benedict with Florentine Hollandaise
Offer something a little outside the box with this crab cake benedict served with a sauce of wilted baby spinach and melted Boursin cheese, then paired with grilled tomato and asparagus. Perfect for Mother’s Day brunch. Get Recipe

Brunch Booze (Within Reason)

What’s a good brunch celebration without a few cocktails? But let’s be reasonable. Quite a few families will simply enjoy a drink or two without going overboard. Consider some low-alcohol drinks to supplement your regular bar menu.

On the Lighter Side
Check out cocktail recipes that use low-alcohol ingredients like those made with beer, sparkling and non-sparkling wine, sake, Aperol, or vermouth. Or skip the alcohol altogether and offer festive, non-alcoholic drinks with premium juices and sparkling waters.

Spike Traditional Morning Beverages
Typical morning drinks are more fun with a slight boozy spin. Use complementing spirits to add a kick to kombucha, cold brew coffee, and vegetable and fruit juices. You could even offer those with different alcohol levels for a more customized brunch experience for mom.