May 10, 2023

Is it Too Late to Get a Table for Mother’s Day?

On the most popular holiday of the year to eat at restaurants, nearly 1 in 3 people plan to dine in; another 13% plan to order out
Washington, D.C. – If you haven’t made your Mother’s Day plans, time is ticking away to make reservations at her favorite restaurant. But don’t worry, if you can’t get a table, takeout is still an option.  According to new data from the National Restaurant Association, 40% of adults plan to use a restaurant as part of a special Mother’s Day meal this year. Dinner is the most popular mealtime for those who plan to enjoy a restaurant experience, with 43% of those respondents planning to visit an establishment and 49% planning to order takeout or delivery in the evening hours to celebrate the holiday.

“Mother’s Day has historically been a strong, high-traffic holiday for the restaurant industry,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of Research for the National Restaurant Association. “As families around the country look to celebrate the important role that mothers play in our lives, restaurants offer an opportunity to take the hassle of cooking out of the equation for a day, while making the holiday memorable for everyone at the table.”

Families with young children are most likely to take advantage of the convenience offered by enjoying a Mother’s Day meal at a restaurant. Among those planning to dine at a restaurant, the majority (59%) say that their party will include children under the age of 18. Among adults with young children in their party, 96% agree that letting restaurants do the cooking for Mother’s Day is easy and reduces stress, and 94% say that enjoying the experience with family or friends offers an opportunity to socialize and is a more worthwhile use of time than cooking and cleaning up.

Many restaurant operators are enticing diners with special deals, discounts and surprise delights to make the occasion even more meaningful – and according to the Association’s recent survey, these perks will help win over customers. Nearly half of respondents (44%) say that a free add-in for Mom, such as a special cocktail, dessert, flowers, chocolates, or a small gift, would make them more likely to choose to dine at one restaurant over another. The same is true for off-premises this Mother’s Day, as 53% of individuals who are planning to order takeout or delivery from a restaurant for the holiday say they would be more likely to choose a restaurant offering a Mother’s Day discount.

“Restaurant operators know that dining out with family is often a significant treat. So, when making plans, check online and on social media to see what specials local restaurants are offering to celebrate. And if going to a restaurant is not possible, there will also be restaurants with notable offers for takeout and delivery,” said Riehle.

The national online survey of 1,000 adults was conducted April 21-23, 2023, by the National Restaurant Association. Get the full survey results here.

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises more than 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.5 million employees. Together with 52 State Associations, we are a network of professional organizations dedicated to serving every restaurant through advocacy, education, and food safety. We sponsor the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit and find @WeRRestaurants on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.