Tips for dining out on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and this special holiday serves to honor all those women who devote so much time and effort to their families. While gifts and other trinkets are certainly part of the celebration, a vast majority of children opt to treat Mom to a night out on the town come Mother’s Day. Not only does this give mom a night off from cooking, but also it presents an opportunity to get dressed up and spend time together as a family.

A vast number of families travel to their favorite restaurants for Mother’s Day meals. Mother’s Day is one of the busiest holidays of the year for restaurants. The National Retail Federation says 54.8 percent of Americans treat their mothers to a special meal out on Mother’s Day. Billions of dollars are generated by people eating out with their mothers. With large crowds to be expected, diners can follow a few tips when treating Mom to a meal.

Book early…very early.

To guarantee a reservation at any restaurant, namely your favorite restaurant, you will need to make a reservation well in advance of Mother’s Day. It’s never too early to put your name on the reservation list. Don’t forget Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 11, 2014.

Expect to wait.

Even with a reservation, you’re bound to spend some time waiting at the restaurant. Other families may be lingering at their tables, as no one wants to rush Mom out of the door. Plan accordingly for a potentially long wait time. This means having a snack before you leave. Don’t arrive famished, as no one wants the dining party to be hungry and cranky, which is not a good way to celebrate Mom. Have plenty of snacks and drinks on hand for young children, as well as activities to keep them entertained.

Consider dining out a day before or after.

Restaurants are generally packed on Mother’s Day, and as a result kitchen and wait staffs might be overtaxed. What’s more, diners might be relegated to a special or abbreviated menu. If you want a more relaxed setting and the ability to order whatever you desire, it may be a better idea to celebrate Mother’s Day in advance. Then have Mom enjoy a relaxing day at home on her special day.

Take-out is an option.

Families can treat Mom to a dinner out, without really having to go out. Many restaurants offer takeout service, so you will not be limited to pizza or Chinese. Even chain restaurants have curbside service, so if Mom is in the mood for a burger or something more elaborate, she’ll have that option.

Expect an included gratuity.

Restaurants often include a gratuity in the bill when servicing larger parties, such as those that might be celebrating Mother’s Day. The standard gratuity rate is 18 percent, but you may want to go above and beyond if you feel the service is exemplary.

Hire a sitter for young kids.

Although Mother’s Day is a chance for the entire family to spend time together, the main goal is to ensure Mom’s comfort and happiness. If very young children are in tow, she may not be able to relax and enjoy her meal. Infants will need to be fed, and toddlers may be easily distracted. Have a sitter watch little ones when adults are dining out, and then Mom can enjoy time with the kids when she returns home for more celebrating.

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