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With Mother's Day business blooming flower shops are struggling to hire staff

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BATON ROUGE - At Billy Heroman's, Mother’s Day is one of their busiest days of the year. Last year they saw record sales and they are expecting the same this year, but they are struggling to find the help to meet that demand.

If you go to Billy Heroman's you'll have rooms full of people snipping and arranging bouquets for Mother's Day.

You’ll also see freezers full of flowers and deliveries ready to go. Mother’s day is so busy that they have to hire 100 extra hands just to work the week ahead. This year customers are coming in, but job applications aren't.

"We can't find help it has literally been the most challenging year, the most challenging holiday we've had, to try to find help,” said co-owner, Robert Heroman.

Jessica Nabors, Billy Heroman's Team Support and Talent Manager, has worked in recruiting for nearly 20 years and she has never seen it this bad.

"We're struggling to find people,” said Nabors.

Saying they are at least 25 drivers short, she tells WBRZ they have gone to new measures, posting on social media reaching out to schools and even offering incentives to customers to order their flowers days ahead.

"We would give them a discount on their delivery fee if they chose to be delivered on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday of Mother's day week," said Nabors.

Also working with staffing agencies who told her they need to pay more to match unemployment rates.

"They told me that I would have double the amount we paid for Valentine day to get anyone to come in for Mother's day,” said Nabors.

Robert like many business owners tying the labor shortage to federal assistance.

"There are certain people hurting out there and we respect that, there are people that need help during the pandemic, but we're trying to get the orders out and take care of the customer, it just makes it challenging we need people back to work,” Robert said.

The shortages don't stop there.

"This Mother's day has been the most challenging from a product standpoint as well as the labor,” said Robert.

Saying growers across the country have also been shorthanded so certain flowers aren't widely available.

"So it takes many months for their supply chain to catch up,” Robert said.

But they aren’t worried.

"Like most business owners we are resilient so we find it,” said Robert.

Saying even understaffed they'll work a few late nights and get the job done. Billy Heroman's won’t be open for Mother's day in honor of the mothers that work there so deliveries will go Saturday. They ask for patience just in case your flowers are a little late.

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