Businesses get creative with Mother's Day specials despite supply chain challenges

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Mother's day is very important financially to businesses across the nation.

In 2019, according to the National Retail Federation, Mother's Day accounted for $25 billion in consumer spending in the U.S. This year, as companies try to plan special deals for the day, they are facing challenges as the novel coronavirus pandemic creates uncertainty on many levels.

"Everybody's calling and strategizing," said Tony Coulter, co-owner of The Rockford restaurant in downtown Raleigh. "What are we gonna be able to get, like flowers if we want to do flowers, where would we find those?" You know, some of the meat products, the supply chain, they've been interrupted, produce has been interrupted. So, we kind of call to place our orders to say, 'hey what do you have?'"

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So much of what local businesses can offer for Mother's Day depends on what is available, forcing businesses to be flexible and creative. Coulter said the uncertainty is affecting how all industries try to plan for a holiday that is historically one of the busiest days of the year.

"It's hard to plan because we have to confirm with all of our vendors that we can source anything that we want," Coulter said. "Types of meats or produce or flowers or chocolate, some of that stuff is hard to come by."

Coulter said his best advice for consumers who want to surprise their moms this year is to place orders early, as it will help businesses have a better idea of what they need to produce and plan for. Coulter said many businesses will be adding cut off dates for orders due to the challenges.

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Coulter said The Rockford is finalizing a Mother's Day curbside pick up special and they are working around the supplies they have a surplus of right now.

"So, we want to do a candy box. Our chef who is a wonderful pastry chef and a wonderful chef overall, Scott Phillips, he's gonna make homemade candy chocolate truffles. So it will be little cakes, wrapped in chocolate ganache and little homemade sprinkles. So we'll sell probably a box of four to six of those." Coulter said.

"If we can supply it, we'll also include flowers and a gift basket," Coulter added. "We do wonderful bacon-infused syrup honey, so we can have that and make it into a meal that all she has to do is kind of put it in the oven or toaster oven and heat it up."
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