Dollar Days

Claire McCormack Photography

A primer for the five busiest dining days of the calendar year.

No one has to tell James Holmesthe importance of Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or Easter.

At Olivia, Holmes’ upscale Austin, Texas eatery, those three holidays combined with Father’s Day and New Year’s Eve represent the restaurant’s five busiest days of the year.

“People want to do something special on these days, and we have to be ready to deliver,” Holmes says.

Holmes’ holiday experience is one matched by restaurateurs throughout the country. According to two decades of research from the National Restaurant Association (NRA), Mother’s Day remains the top holiday for dining out followed by Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and Easter.

Still emerging from the economic downturn, these high-traffic dining days present restaurant operators compelling opportunities to seize new business and capture diners’ penchant for loosening their wallets on special occasions.

“These are the days when guests are being more indulgent and less cautious,” says Maeve Webster of Datassential, a Chicago-based firm that tracks foodservice trends.

With competition for the consumers’ attention only intensifying, more and more restaurants are looking to stand out from the crowd on these big-dollar days by delivering an experience that blends high-quality cuisine, services, entertainment, and special offers into one comprehensive, memorable package.


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