Mum Knows Best
Mothering Sunday provides an opportunity to encourage a significant rise in footfall and sales. With more than half of UK families heading out for food on Mother’s Day* (26 March) make sure you offer a varied menu choice for this family occasion.
Toast the roast
A roast dinner is still the firm favourite. “Our members and guests always want a carvery on Mother’s Day,” said Caroline Hirst, bar steward and manager at Outlane Golf Club in Huddersfield. “There will be a choice of three meats: beef, turkey and ham, alongside a choice of starters and desserts. We have found children are most likely to eat a small portion of carvery if it is turkey or ham.”
Keep the classics
Traditional pub grub will satisfy all ages and palates. Classics like sausage and mash, steak and ale pie (see our Life of Pie feature) or fish and chips (see our feature Frying High) are still popular choices. The Empire Fish and Chip restaurant, takeaway and drive through in Wakefield was fully booked by January for Mother’s Day. To make it fun and memorable for the older clientele, why not add a couple of retro dishes to your specials board? Prawn cocktail, potted chicken livers and scampi (don’t forget the white bread and butter!) will be welcomed with open arms.
Remember the kids
The day may be about mum but children will be enjoying the occasion too. Most parents (and kids!) would prefer their child to eat the same meals as adults rather than chicken nuggets and chips. So why not create a children’s special menu with more ‘child friendly’ food like lasagne or macaroni cheese or offer a smaller portion of pub classics like sausage and mash or fish and chips, and charge accordingly.
This is the one day when ‘diet’ is definitely off the menu so make sure you have a good selection of desserts on offer. Sticking with the retro theme, delights such as trifle, black forest gâteau or a light Victoria sponge always pleases customers. Sharing desserts are a lovely treat too for this special day. “A sharing dessert is perfect for this family occasion, as it gets everyone involved and is a lot of fun!” said Helen Vass, pastry chef at Number 16 Restaurant, Glasgow. “I’d suggest making an edible flower pot. Put skewers with lollipops, chocolate and macaroons inside and tie a big bow around it so it looks like a flower display!” Helen’s Cheese Box; a cheesecake disguised as a camembert, works well too as a sharing board (see recipe Cheese Box). And don’t forget to stock up on flavoured ice cream. A popular choice with children, it will keep them – and their parents – happy so make sure you don’t run out!
A tipple or two
Most mums will want to celebrate their special day with a fancy tipple (or two!). Gin & tonic and Prosecco are the favourites, so make sure you have an abundance of both. Make it extra special with a cocktail offering or even create a signature drink (see our Mother’s Day Drinks feature). Remember to have mocktails for non drinkers so they don’t feel like they have missed out, and stock up on bottled water. Water is the fastest growing sector of the soft drinks market and customers will pay a higher premium for what they think is a better brand. Presentation is key too; serving it in a wine glass with ice and lemon will make bottled water more appealing to customers not drinking alcohol.
Make them an offer
Why not offer a glass of fizz on arrival and provide entertainment? Not only will it bring in the trade but it will make mums feel extra special. Mitton Hall in Whalley is offering a glass of fizz and canapés on arrival followed by a three course meal with coffee while a singer provides background music. Alternatively, why not spread the event over a few days? The Garden Kitchen, Bolton-by-Bowland, Lancashire is offering a Mother’s Day Deluxe Picnic with Prosecco and tea or coffee for £19.99 per person. The offer starts on Friday 24 March until Monday 27 March.
- Mothering Sunday is always held on the 4th Sunday of Lent – 3 weeks before Easter Sunday
- Simnel cake was the traditional treat to eat with family on the day – a light fruit cake covered with a layer of marzipan and with another layer of marzipan baked into the middle of the cake and decorated with 11 or 12 balls of marzipan, representing the 11 disciples and, sometimes, Jesus Christ