Mother’s Day Is Almost (gulp) Here.
Our annual opportunity to share some love with the matriarch of our family and recognize all her sacrifices. It’s a happy occasion, one that brings families together in joyous celebration…
Even if that’s actually true for a certain percentage of the ‘civilian’ population, a lot of us in the resto biz break out in a cold sweat just thinking about Mother’s Day – even as we’re getting ready to count the tips and till receipts.
The reason is simple. Mother’s Day can be a complete shit show. Customer expectations are high, restaurants are slammed and even though the day is all about flowers and hugs, people can be complete assholes.
Back in 2013, a National Restaurant Association report estimated 80 million American Adults planned to enjoy dinner out or order in for Mother’s Day that year.
For those going out, dinner remained the most popular option, with 55% of those who planned to take mom out selecting the evening meal period. Lunch took the second spot at 34%, while 30% were opting for brunch and 12% for breakfast.
Surprisingly, the number of people planning to take mom out to the casino then to the bar for shots didn’t register as statistically significant, which makes us think our family is not so typical after all.
According to National Geographic News, Mother’s Day itself goes back to the 1850s when a West Virginia women's organizer named Ann Reeves Jarvis organized work clubs to improve sanitary conditions aimed at reducing infant mortality by fighting disease and curbing milk contamination.
Moved by the death of her mother in 1905, Ann’s daughter, Anna Jarvis, who never had children of her own, became the driving force behind the first formal Mother's Day observances in 1908. Ironically, She spent the rest of her life fighting the increasing commercialization of Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day didn’t become official until 1914 when U.S. President Woodrow Wilson set aside the second Sunday in May for the holiday. Slagged by some today a completely artificial holiday, Hallmark Cards began flogging its first Mother's Day cards in the early 1920s,
So how did things get so nutty for restaurants? Who knows for sure, but maybe it’s time to rethink the whole thing. LizaMarie Parker called for just that last year in a Mother’s Day blog post she wrote for Perfect Taste Catering & Events of Menlo Park, CA.
Parker suggests that what mom really wants is somebody to cook her a meal at home, then do the dishes. Sadly (or not) that movement just isn’t gonna derail the Mother’s Day train this year, so get prepping! And don’t forget to give mom a call Sunday May, 10, or send some flowers. Just ‘cause you’re working is no excuse.
Just to get you in the mood for the potential customers from hell, check Rebecca De Mornay in Mother’s Day, the 2011 home invasion horror classic. Just hope this momma and her little boys ain’t planning brunch at your restaurant this year.