Mother’s Day is one of the biggest dining days of the year — think high volume, big groups, and serious brunchers. To help restaurants prepare for the occasion, we asked our data team to pull some stats on how guests celebrated with Mom in the U.S. in 2015. Here’s what we learned. (Don’t forget to take advantage of extra OpenTable marketing by signing up for our free promo and getting your restaurant in front of more diners!)
First, get ready for a high volume of guests. Last year saw a 200% increase in seated covers on Mother’s Day compared to a typical Sunday. What better way for guests to treat the special women in their lives?
People started booking Mother’s Day tables as early as August 2014, but only 3% of bookings were made by the end of March. A month prior to the holiday, 5% of bookings had been made; one week out, it was 36%. A significant chunk of reservations (18%) were booked on Mother’s Day itself. Don’t underestimate the last-minute demand.
AVERAGE PARTY SIZE
This is a major holiday for group dining, too, so configure your dining room to accommodate larger tables. The average party size on a typical Sunday is 3.38, but on Mother’s Day that figure jumps to 3.99 — an increase of 18%.
Mother’s Day vs. Typical Sunday
Brunch times are in higher demand on Mother’s Day (left) than on a typical Sunday (right). On a typical day brunch reservations (between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.) account for 31% of the overall, with dinner (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.) at 46%. But on Mother’s Day brunch bookings jump to 44% of the overall, with dinner at 26%.
With diners celebrating, prepare for turns to take a little longer on Mother’s Day than they usually do. The average turn time is 113 minutes on the holiday, versus 101 on a typical Sunday.
Last year a whopping 73% of diners who made Mother’s Day reservations through OpenTable were booking at those restaurants for the first time. Consider this a big opportunity to create a memorable experience and turn them into regulars.