Restaurants in the United States face a significant logistical problem on Mother’s Day due to the high volume of customers expected. Because of this, it became known as “One of the Most Grueling Days of the Calendar” among waiters and restaurant workers.
“Every server knows that working on Mother’s Day is hell. In fact, if I die and go to hell, I completely expect it to be Mother’s Day. 365 days a year,” wrote Darron Cardosa, in his book “The Bitchy Waiter: I’m Really Good at Pretending to Care.”
Where is the harm in that? Restaurants despise this occasion because of the swarms of customers that arrive at once (“most of us are here!”), the picky eaters among the young, the arguments over how to divide the bill, and the lingerers over their morning coffee.
Some customers at restaurants may act more entitled than usual this year due to high inflation and increased menu pricing. Joe Haley, an abstract artist and server at an Italian-American restaurant in Quincy, Massachusetts, has observed, “The anticipation alone can make you anxious.”
In other words, it gets really crowded. People are canceling appointments at the last minute, while others are making numerous bookings to give Mom her choice. He said, “People who take their mom out once a year tell you, ‘Nothing can go wrong!'”
Yet it is true. Larger dining areas are more likely to cause kitchen commotion if guests arrive late. And there’s always that one disreputable sibling or in-law in the bunch. Haley continued, “Mother’s Day is a holiday I dread.
Restaurant owners, managers, and chefs all agree that diners have higher standards this year due to the economy. The appearance of luxury and excess is popular in the world after a pandemic. Sunday is the one day of the week when customers are more likely to complain if their $30 eggs Benedict isn’t topped with caviar.
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Chef Art Smith, who has cooked for Oprah Winfrey and Jeb Bush, has claimed that people’s tastes have evolved significantly since Covid. On Mother’s Day, his four restaurants, including Homecomin’ at Disney Springs in Walt Disney World, will serve hundreds of dinners.
The people who visit? “They’re drinking more. They want more carbs – If it’s mac and cheese, it has to be the cheesiest. But they want salads, and they want more veg sides, too. They just want more.”
Today is a Busy Day for Restaurants
According to the National Retail Federation, this year’s Mother’s Day spending will total $35.7 billion, with a record $5.6 billion spent on food and drink alone (a 6% increase from last year). According to OpenTable, the online reservation service, it is the second busiest day for restaurants, second only to Valentine’s Day.
“An operational challenge,” as Shawn Walchef, owner of five Cali BBQ restaurants in the San Diego area, put it, “trying to get everything ready for Mother’s Day.” The highest expectations of guests are placed on this day, which is also the busiest day of the year. He predicts that there would be a commotion about patio seating since “in Southern California, everyone wants to sit outside.”
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This is the first major holiday for many eateries that hasn’t been overshadowed by the plague since 2019. It’s been approximately eighteen months since Binh Douglas opened Main Prospect in Southampton, New York. “It’s a lot of people getting together who haven’t seen each other in a while,” he said.
He estimates that Sunday will see a 40 percent increase in expenditure from the average day and that 30 percent of consumers will opt to add on the $19.95 “bottomless mimosa” to their dinner. He noted a recent decline in the cost of both eggs and seafood.
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