Perfect Mother's Day Menus

An elegant, light brunch menu is the perfect way for restaurants to celebrate Mother’s Day.With the second Sunday in May soon to come, we all know that it is time to start thinking about Mother’s Day: which gifts to buy, what to do, and where to eat. Though holidays similar to Mother’s Day have existed for centuries, the Mother’s Day holiday as we know it arose in the early 1900s, as Anna Jarvis sought a way to mark the sacrifices mothers make for their families. The first official celebration of the holiday took place in 1908, and after a rally to politicians, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure establishing the holiday in 1914. Jarvis’s conception of Mother’s Day was as an intimate gathering and celebration among families, and as the floral, greeting card, and other commercial industries capitalized on the opportunity to make money out of it, she began to denounce the holiday, even lobbying to have it cancelled. Though consumerism killed the holiday for Anna Jarvis, restaurants have the potential to offer customers some of the family intimacy she envisioned for the holiday, while making profits. The perfect menu is one of the keys to providing customers with an unforgettable Mother’s Day experience.

Keep It Light

Mother’s day fare is typically light and elegant. Think fish instead of meat, butter sauce instead of brown sauce, and the kinds of foods that go great with a nice white or rosé wine, as opposed to a rich, deep red one. Chefs should create menus including various combinations of foods that fit into the typical ideas associated with Mother’s Day meals. Buffets may include a salad section, a pasta section, a cheese, bread, and fruit section, and a fish section, while tasting menus may fit these courses into the meal. Quiches and pastries are no-fail options as well, especially for brunch and lunch meals. Dinner menus can appropriately include slightly heavier foods, such as chicken and beef filet. Of course, the general rule of thumb to keep Mother’s Day menus light is by no means set in stone. There is lots of room for creativity and playing with “heavier” staples, fitting them to a lighter palate.


Mother’s Day brunch is probably the most common type of meal associated with the holiday. Frittatas, croissants, fruits, eggs benedict, and muesli are great options for the brunch menu. Sweet cocktails and wines such as mimosas and cava can accompany a brunch nicely, while a variety of fresh-squeezed juices, shakes, and coffee will be a great addition to the meal as well. Restaurants may want to consider offering Danishes, savory petit fours, and other brunch foods to-go, increasing sales while providing customers with a delicious and unforgettable Mother’s Day brunch in the comfort and privacy of their home.


Dinners for Mother’s Day are usually light meals as well. A selection of fish, pasta, soups, sandwiches, and salads is often offered. Sushi, pizza, lobster, and meats are great options too, not typically seen on brunch menus and therefore contrasting between the meals. Dessert should be given extra thought for a Mother’s Day menu. Having at least a few different options, each integrating modern dessert trends will ensure the restaurant leaves a lasting impression. Dinner, unlike brunch, is less of an elegant take-out meal. Therefore, an emphasis should be put on in-house plating and constructing a festive ambience for a Mother’s Day dinner.

Restaurants can profit from Mother’s Day restaurant traffic, while providing an experience that can be similar to what Anna Jarvis had in mind. Though the foods offered are often similar from venue to venue, the trick to setting your venue apart on Mother’s Day is to create flavors that are not mainstream. Whereas many restaurants will offer gnocchi, preparing sweet potato gnocchi in-house can entice the customers, offering them something they rarely see and taste, and creating a meal to remember. Pairing sweet and salty, and presenting an array of textures and colors during the meal is sure to leave a lasting impression as well. The perfect menu alone is not enough to generate Mother’s Day traffic for most venues. Make sure to flaunt what you’re offering through marketing and advertisement. Once the marketing and ambience goals are successfully achieve, the perfect menu, along with beautiful plating and delicious food can have your venue bustling for the holiday.