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Palm Beach Gardens restaurants say their real problem is a lack of workers

Ways PGA Blvd. venues are hoping to attract the Honda Classic crowds
Michelle Lefkowitz, owner, Salute Market, said she is having trouble finding qualified employees.
Posted at 3:15 PM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 09:26:27-04

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Businesses on PGA Blvd. in Palm Beach Gardens are anticipating being busy during this year's The Honda Classic.

"Timing couldn't be better. Especially this year," said Mark DeAtley, General Manager of Scusi Trattoria.

"Typically, it doubles our business," said Tenaette Schumaker, lead bartender at The Cooper.

"It brings a lot of local traffic to the area but it also brings a lot of people from out of Palm Beach County," said DeAtley.

But with attendance limited to 10,000 a day at the tournament, restaurants don't think that will affect their business.

"We don't anticipate a drop-off at all," said DeAtley.

The Cooper plans to be busy too but has gotten creative to entice crowds to visit.

Tenaette said, "We have cocktails just for the "Honda" and when the "Honda" is over we will not have them on the menu again."

The Cooper has crafted a line of The Honda Classic cocktails that are only available during play.

Posted by Taste and See South Florida on Wednesday, March 17, 2021

"We will just be celebrating The Honda Classic every night this week with live entertainment," said Michelle Lefkowitz, owner of Salute Market.

So how important is The Honda Classic to the economic impact of Palm Beach County?

"Well, it's enormous. The Honda Classic last year was over $62 million measured back into our local economy which is phenomenal," said Ken Kennerly, Executive Director of The Honda Classic

DeAtley said there are other factors helping to increase traffic, "I think with the vaccination program in full-force we see a lot of our customers coming out."

Restaurants saying the real problem at all the restaurants on PGA Blvd. is finding qualified employees.

"And everybody is having trouble finding people that wanna work," said Lefkowitz.

The venue is having to limit the number of reservations.

"We can't handle the business coming through the doors sometimes because we don't have enough staff," Lefkowitz said.

But if you are hoping to watch The Honda Classic in person instead of at home or at a restaurant time, is running out. And Saturday is sold out.

"So there are still some tickets available but for those that want to come out they've got to get them right away," said Kennerly.