OWNER: “We’re trying so hard.” Facial Coverings Making Some Employees Sick, Difficult In Florida Heat. Some Customers “Not Nice.”
BOYNTON BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — We ran an article earlier today with a photo provided by a reader showing questionable face covering use at Hurricane Alley in Boynton Beach. The photo, while accurate, didn’t tell the whole story.
We spoke with Kim Kelly who is the 24-year owner of Hurricane Alley for details. Our initial message seeking comment was never relayed. Once she spoke with BocaNewsNow.com, it became clear that she is doing everything she can in difficult times.
“Every one of my employees has a face mask,” she said in a cordial Sunday afternoon conversation. “Every once in a while they need to take it down to breathe. I have employees getting headaches. Becoming nauseas. You just can’t wear a facial covering 24/7 in the heat.”
The photo, which we have removed out of fairness but not due to inaccuracy, depicts a worker with a face mask around her neck. Kelly says it was down for just a moment as the photo was taken.
The real problem, she says, is dealing with those customers who refuse to comply with social distancing and health codes now in effect.
“You ask people to move apart or stand somewhere. They get snappy with you. Some people are not nice.”
Kelly says she called Boynton Beach Police on Saturday when a customer refused to comply. The customer left before police arrived.
“Restaurants have really taken a hit on this,” she said. “And we are going out of our way. I am here seven days a week. I am here as much as I can.”
According to Kelly, Hurricane Alley went from fully staffed before the forced shutdown, to no employees, to now working 41 employees back onto the payroll. For a restaurant like Hurricane Alley, having those employees work their normal jobs, but also having to remind customers to follow the rules, presents extreme challenges.
“It’s very stressful,” she said. “You can only have so many staff members. You can only have so much money. We try to do our best. Hopefully (customers) act like adults and hopefully they follow the rules. A lot of them just don’t care.”
Kelly said there is nothing more important to her than food safety. Health inspectors, she said, visited the restaurant for a routine check-up since its reopening. They found nothing wrong.
“There was no violation,” she said. “I mandate that my staff members wash their hands every 15 minutes. There’s no room for error here.”
Hurricane Alley is located at 529 East Ocean Avenue in Boynton Beach. Call 561-364
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