HONOLULU (KHON2) — Easter Sunday will be the first major holiday without COVID restrictions and lots of families are celebrating pre-pandemic style.

Most of the places that offer brunch buffets are booked solid. So what’s their advice? Plan way ahead for the next holiday.

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KHON2 spoke with a lot of places and they said the demand for these holiday buffets is strong so people are urged to start making plans for Mother’s Day.

At the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, 300 people are booked for Easter Sunday’s Buffet so it’s sold out.

“We have seen, definitely, just a renewed sense of this connection that people have kind of longed for, I think, through the pandemic,” said Micah Suderman, Food and Beverage Director at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. “And because of that, you’re seeing the need for even larger parties than what we would see in the past because they want to get everybody in there.”

The same goes for the Plumeria Beach House at the Kahala Hotel, where the buffet runs from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

“I guess Easter is one of the first holidays that people can go out and really celebrate we have a lot of large parties a lot of families coming out,” said Wayne Hirabayashi, executive sous chef at the Kahala Hotel and Resort.

Restaurants have said large family gatherings are a big step toward getting back to normal. And buffets during the holiday definitely support that feeling. But there are still some extra precautions. Guests can serve themselves but at Plumeria Beach House, disposable gloves are recommended.

“Each time they come up, they can use new gloves to serve themselves. And so the guests are really enjoying this experience to be able to experience once again how things were,” said Joy Garzon, assistant director of Food and Beverage at the Kahala Hotel and Resort.

The Royal Hawaiian will be changing out utensils at the buffet more often.

“We also will have hand sanitizers stations at the head of every buffet. So before someone begins, they can quickly sanitize and begin to serve themselves,” said Suderman.

At the Prince Waikiki Hotel, 100 Sails Restaurant & Bar is also booked for Easter brunch, but there are still reservations open for dinner. A spokeswoman said the buffet will feature a mix of self-serve and action stations that allow guests to safely interact with the chefs as they prepare dishes from behind glass partitions.

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Many places will start taking Mother’s Day reservations starting next week.