According to a Recent Study/Survey … Special Edition

This special edition of Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine’s “According to …” research roundup features news about Mother’s Day trends from Cake,  OpenTable’s top restaurants for moms, the Value Wars and stats compiled by Big Star Wrigleyville in its first month of operations. 

Mother’s Day Trends

Last year, a survey from the National Restaurant Association found that 92 million Americans will eat out on Mother’s Day. In light of this annual upswing in restaurant traffic, wanted to share a few supporting stats from CAKE around Mother’s Day revenue trends.

  • From 2015-2017 average revenue was higher on Mother’s Day than any other Sunday of the year
    • 2015: 26 percent higher
    • 2016: 36 percent higher
    • 2017: 17 percent higher
  • Over the past 2 years (2015 – 2017) revenue has steadily increased on mother’s day
    • 2015 – 2016: 47 percent increase
    • 2016 – 2017: 14 percent increase
  • Average ticket size has also increased
    • 2015-2016: 44 percent increase
    • 2016-2017: 17 percent increase
  • Larger tickets for family meals also led to a huge increase in average tip size: Both 2015 and 2016 saw a 26 percent increase in tip size on Mother’s Day, and in 2017 there was a 35 percent jump in tip size on Mother’s Day.
The Value Wars

A value menu here, a value menu there, a value menu everywhere for restaurant customers courtesy of three major quick service restaurant (QSR) chains — Jack in the Box, McDonald’s, and Taco Bell — that are looking to drive traffic in a flat market. According to a recent study by The NPD Group, a leading global information company, these value menus are working. Value menu traffic for total QSR increased by 10 percent and consumer spend by 13 percent in the first quarter of 2018, reports NPD.

The value wars among the three major chains began in late 2017 when McDonald’s announced that they would launch a new value menu in January 2018. For McDonald’s, their primary business objective was to bring back customers that they lost over the past few years when they moved away from value via their Value Menu. Other QSR chains, like Taco Bell and Jack in the Box, introduced a value offering of their own to compete directly with that of McDonald’s with the objective of retaining their customer base.

In addition to driving traffic and winning back or retaining customers, the idea of value menus is that once the customer ordered from the value menu, they would also purchase from the regular-priced menu. While results for each of the three chains varied, on average for all three chains, 72 percent of consumers purchasing from the value menu also purchased from the regular menu, finds the NPD report, Value Wars 2.0: The Value Menu Strikes Back, which is based on research that analyzes actual receipts from consumers and can follow the same consumer’s purchasing behavior over time.

“A value proposition is definitely warranted to increase customer visits and drive frequency in today’s marketplace as the recent crop of value menus bear out,” said Bonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant industry analyst. “But It’s important to fully understand the impact and effectiveness of these promotions, whether it’s understanding value-seeking customer behavior or loyalty erosion.”

Big Star’s Big Numbers
As the start of Cubs season brings the masses back to Chicago’s north side, hoards of hungry fans have descended upon Big Star Wrigleyville, the much buzzed about, funky new addition to One Off Hospitality Group. Since opening on April 2, the two-story, 9,000-square-foot, honky-tonk taquieria has been filling up with neighborhood revelers and game-goers, while racking up some impressive stats in the process. 
Here’s a look at Big Star by the numbers in its first month of business:
  • Over 40,000 fresh and flavorful tortillas have been made in house by Big Star’s Chef de Cuisine Julie Warpinski and her kitchen team.
  • Hand pressed tortilla chips tossed in Arbol salsa and topped with with sour cream, radishes and cilantro have come together into 800 plates of Hot Chips, Big Star’s inventive cross between baseball nachos and chilaquiles.
    Big Star Hot Chips Photo Courtesy of Big Star
  • 3,000 avocados have combined with diced red onion, serrano, garlic, cilantro and lime juice to be prepared into delectable, madefromscratch guacamole.
  • 30,000 mouth-watering tacos such as Al Pastor, Baja Fish, Panza, and Big Star’s Walking Taco—a unique blend of corn chips, spicy pinto bean dip and tamazula salsa — have been assembled and devoured.
  • Known for its wide selection of seriously cheap and delicious beers, Big Star Wrigleyville patrons have downed 7,500 cans and bottles of American and Mexican brews including Lone Star, Estrella Jalisco, and 21st Amendment “Brew Free!” Blood Orange IPA.
  • From Bar Manager Laurent Lebec’s collection of exclusive whiskies and spirits, 1,000 shots of bourbon have been tossed back, including Pappy Van Winkle, Booker’s Bourbon and pours from Big Star Wrigleyville’s house-barrel program.
  • In addition to bar selections such as agave based cocktails and an always changing shot of the day, 2,000 pitchers of margaritas mixed with fresh squeezed lime juice and premium tequila and poured.
OpenTable’s Top Cities Mom’s Love

According to data from OpenTable, Americans will be dining out this Mother’s Day to celebrate the moms in their lives, making it the single busiest day for group dining of the year. Coast to coast, families and friends will gather to honor mom, particularly in the top 25 cities that celebrate Mother’s Day.

“No one brings everyone together at the table like mom does,” said Caroline Potter, Chief Dining Officer at Open Table. “Mother’s Day has become the single most popular day for group dining, beating out all other holidays when we typically see diners gathering in large parties. And while love for mom is pervasive in cities across America, the diners in the top 25 definitely make it a point to celebrate the moms in their lives.”

According to OpenTable data, among the cities that love moms the most, the South proves it knows a thing or two about showering mom with love. Baton Rouge takes the top prize, while Charlotte, North Carolina (#3) and Houston (#4) make the top five. Not to be outdone by Southern counterparts, New York City demonstrates it can slow down long enough to make Mother’s Day special, securing the number two spot, while the Midwest also claims bragging rights with Indianapolis in fifth place.

The following cities, listed in order, comprise the Top 25 Cities that Celebrate Mother’s Day:

  1. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  2. New York, New York
  3. Charlotte, North Carolina
  4. Houston, Texas
  5. Indianapolis, Indiana
  6. Atlanta, Georgia
  7. Jacksonville, Florida
  8. Dallas, Texas
  9. Omaha
  10. Raleigh, North Carolina
  11. Plano
  12. Chicago, Illinois
  13. Fort Worth
  14. Richmond
  15. Albuquerque
  16. Sacramento
  17. San Diego, California
  18. Virginia Beach
  19. Oklahoma City
  20. Columbus, Ohio
  21. Orlando, Florida
  22. Seattle, Washington
  23. Kansas City
  24. Austin, Texas
  25. Tampa, Florida

Diners can also find more tips and trends regarding Mother’s Day on the OpenTable Blog.

The list of the ‘Top 25 Cities That Celebrate Mother’s Day’ was based on an algorithm using four variables: the volume of diners seated on Mother’s Day; the volume of reservations on Mother’s Day; the percent increase in the volume of diners seated on Mother’s Day compared to an average Sunday; and the percent increase in the volume of reservations on Mother’s day compared to an average Sunday. All qualifying cities have a minimum of 50 restaurants on OpenTable.

Top Brunch Spots in Canada

Canada’s busiest brunch day is just around the corner: Mother’s Day. For those looking for advice on where to treat mom, OpenTable announced the 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in Canada for 2018.

Restaurants from coast to coast round out the list, with Ontario having the most restaurants featured (36), followed by British Columbia with 28 and Alberta with 18. Quebec (11), Manitoba (4), Newfoundland (2) and Nova Scotia (1) also have establishments in the top 100.

“Mother’s Day is our biggest group dining day of the year, and brunch, with its wide array of menu options and kid-friendly hours, is the meal that checks a lot of boxes for families gathering to celebrate the moms in their lives,” said Caroline Potter, Chief Dining Officer at OpenTable. “We’re thrilled to highlight the restaurants that are offering memorable daytime dining experiences for this special day – or any weekend day.”

From sustainable dining such as Vancouver’s Forage with its commitment to farm-to-table fare, to the rustic elegance at The Lake House in Calgary, to Canadian comfort food at Toronto’s Bannock, this year’s list features an extensive variety of brunch destinations moms will enjoy.

Canada’s 100 Best Brunch Restaurants is generated solely from more than 550,000 restaurant reviews collected from verified OpenTable diners between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018. All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the percentage of reviews for which “hot spot” was selected as a special feature.

Based on this methodology, the 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in Canada for 2018 according to OpenTable diners are as follows (in alphabetical order):

AGO BistroToronto, ON
AgriusVictoria, BC
Altitude – Casino de Mont-TremblantMont-Tremblant, QC
American Grille – Marriott Vancouver AirportRichmond, BC
Ancaster MillAncaster, ON
AquaTerraKingston, ON
Arms Reach BistroNorth Vancouver, BC
Arôme – Casino du Lac LeamyGatineau, QC
Banco Bistro – Casino du Lac LeamyGatineau, QC
BannockToronto, ON
Bar George – Montréal, QC
Beaumont KitchenEtobicoke, ON
The Beach HouseVancouver, BC
The Beach House RestaurantVictoria, BC
The Belgard KitchenVancouver, BC
Berkeley NorthHamilton, ON
Bistro NolahDollard-Des-Ormeaux, QC
The Block Kitchen and LoungeCalgary, AB
Bow Valley Ranche RestaurantCalgary, AB
The Bruce Hotel and RestaurantStratford, ON
Brooklyn TavernToronto, ON
Cafe BelongToronto, ON
Café CancanToronto, ON
Cambridge MillCambridge, ON
CanteenEdmonton, AB
Catch 122 Cafe & BistroVancouver, BC
ClunyToronto, ON
Colette Grand Cafe at Holt Renfrew VancouverVancouver, BC
Deane HouseCalgary, AB
The Distillery Bar + KitchenVancouver, BC
Dockside Restaurant & Brewing CompanyVancouver, BC
Drake CommissaryToronto, ON
Drake Devonshire InnWellington, ON
The Drawing Room – The Prince of Wales HotelNiagara-on-the-Lake, ON
Earth to Table: Bread BarGuelph, ON
Edible Canada at the MarketVancouver, BC
Elbow RoomCalgary, AB
Epic Restaurant – Fairmont Royal YorkToronto, ON
Fairmont Banff Springs – Riverview Special EventsBanff, AB
FARMHOUSE TavernToronto, ON
The Fifth TicketSt. John’s, NF
Firestone Restaurant and BarLethbridge, AB
Flour Mill RestaurantNiagara Falls, ON
ForageVancouver, BC
The Gates on RoblinHeadingley, MB
Glo Restaurant + LoungeVictoria, BC
Golf’s Steak House & SeafoodKitchener, ON
H4C Place St-Henri – Montréal, QC
Hart’s Table & BarEdmonton, AB
Harvest Room – Fairmont Hotel MacdonaldEdmonton, AB
Hooded Merganser at Penticton Lakeside ResortPenticton, BC
Hot House Restaurant & BarToronto, ON
Hunter’s LandingToronto, ON
Juniper Bistro – The Juniper HotelBanff, AB
La Ronde – Château LacombeEdmonton, AB
La SociétéToronto, ON
The Lake HouseCalgary, AB
Lakeside Dining Room – Hotel EldoradoKelowna, BC
Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & SpaCambridge, ON
Liquidity BistroOkanagan Falls, BC
Lisa MarieToronto, ON
Lov de la Montagne – Montréal, QC
Lure Restaurant & Bar – Delta Victoria Ocean PointeVictoria, BC
The Manor Casual BistroEdmonton, AB
Marina RestaurantVictoria, BC
The Merchant TavernSt. John’s, NF
Mildred’s Temple KitchenToronto, ON
Milestones Grill + Bar – Multiple Locations – Victoria, BC
Neverland Tea SalonVancouver, BC
Oceans 999  Pan Pacific VancouverVancouver, BC
Old Mill TorontoToronto, ON
OLiV Tapas Bar & Restaurant at Strewn WineryNiagara-On-The-Lake, ON
Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse EllerslieEdmonton, AB
Pat Quinn’s Restaurant & BarDelta, BC
Pavillon 67-Resto Casino – Montréal, QC
Pineridge Hollow – RM of Springfield, MB
Plant Matter KitchenLondon, ON
Prairie’s EdgeWinnipeg, MB
Promenade Cafe and WineWinnipeg, MB
Renoir – Montréal, QC
Restaurant at Peninsula RidgeBeamsville, ON
River CaféCalgary, AB
Rosélys – Montréal, QC
Salmigondis – Montréal, QC
Seasons in the ParkVancouver, BC
Seasons of Bowness ParkCalgary, AB
Smack DabKelowna, BC
Smuggler’s InnCalgary, AB
Sorrentino’sStony Plain, AB
Spencer’s at the WaterfrontBurlington, ON
Summit Restaurant at Villa Eyrie Resort – Malahat, BC
The Stubborn Goat GastropubHalifax, NS
Table 21 Kitchen & Wine BarEtobicoke, ON
The Teahouse RestaurantVancouver, BC
Themed Afternoon Tea – Fairmont Hotel VancouverVancouver, BC
Trattoria GustoPort Hope, ON
Tucker’s MarketplaceBurlington, ON
Vista 18 Westcoast Grill and Wine BarVictoria, BC
Whitewater Brewing Company- Lakeside Brew PubCobden, ON
Wilfrid’s Restaurant – Fairmont Chateau LaurierOttawa, ON

The complete list may also be viewed here.