KENNEWICK, Wash.- For Mother's Day the preparation starts weeks ahead. Preparing brunch menus, ordering fresh flowers and that's before reservations are barely made and flower arraignments are even ordered. For the business owners, Mother's Day is a gamble.
If you don't have a reservation you're going to have to wait a while. The parking lot was packed at the Country Gentleman restaurant in Kennewick. An estimated 900 people went through from 9am to 3pm Sunday, all to celebrate their mothers.
"If you're in the restaurant business it is your busiest day of the year," explained the owner, Shirley Simmons. Her staff was rolling hundreds of napkin settings the day before and the chefs came in to work at 3am on the big day. Lots of money was spent on the preparations before she even profited from the holiday.
"The Tri-Citians sort of wait till the last minute to make their reservations which we know and anticipate and the phone's just been ringing non-stop this morning, yesterday and all last week." Simmons hoped that the last minute reservations matched the amount of customers she expected. If not, it'll be hard to gauge a profit.
"Flowers are perishable," explained Jackie Brown, the owner of Shelby's Floral in Kennewick. "You order too many and you throw them away. You order too few and you lose orders, so it's a real gamble." The holiday was a great chance for her business to bloom, but if she didn't get the amount of orders she estimated, her flowers would be left to wilt away.
"We started on Monday being busy, so they send flowers all week long. They panic on Sunday." It's those panicky last minute purchases that bring in the final sales for the owners.
At the end of the day, the hands are dealt and the cards fall where they may. The gamble either pays off or they readjust and hope that the next holiday is a bit more profitable.