Local Restaurant Uses Stimulus to Entice Potential Employees

It’s not quite what professional sports leagues offer when a coveted player signs a multi-million-dollar contract, but a shortage of workers has caused one Palm Beach restaurant to implement alternatives to find qualified workers to fill its hiring needs. As eateries across the nation struggle to staff server, bartender and kitchen positions, the Farmer’s Table in Boca Raton is now offering a $400 sign-on bonus after 90 days of employment.

“Before we began offering the stimulus package, we had a hard time getting interviews,” Joey Giannuzzi says, co-owner of Farmer’s Table. “People would submit applications, we would reach out and then we would never hear back.”

As a result, the restaurant has closed sections and removed 100 seats from its two Palm Beach locations and has taken nearly two-thirds less of normal reservations compared to previous years.

With the employee shortage impacting the entire industry, the Grove Bay Hospitality Group and Breakwater Hospitality Group are offering a $1,000 sign-up bonus at CH’I in Brickell City Centre, which is set to open in the coming weeks.

“At this point, we’re just trying to get through the summer and cultivate a really great work culture that is a learning environment where people want to come to work to have a good time and make money,” Giannuzzi says. “Our goal with the stimulus is that those first 90 days, we can get staff back up and in turn, get the culture back up where people actually want to work.”

New applications for unemployment assistance in Florida fell from 28,017 to 18,355, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Luckily for Farmer’s Table, the stimulus sign-on bonus has generated more interest in workers looking for employment.

“Now, the number has increased significantly of not only applications but people actually coming in for interviews and starting working with us,” Giannuzzi says. “There has been a huge turnaround.”

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.