Ky. restaurant owners face uncertain future after latest Beshear order

Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 11:43 AM EDT
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KENTUCKY (WKYT) - Kentucky’s restaurant owners face more uncertainty after Governor Andy Beshear announced a new executive order limiting capacity.

Fewer patrons means less business for most.

Luckily for owner Rich Johnson, the Rackhouse Tavern in Lexington has lots of outdoor seating. Which under Beshear’s new order, can be at 100 percent capacity as long as there’s social distancing.

But just inside the restaurant’s doors, it’s a completely different story.

Restaurants will now have to operate under 25% capacity.

Johnson says they just opened at the Campbell House Hotel in February. Then just a couple of weeks later, the pandemic hit.

Even before the new order was released Monday night, Johnson says the entire hotel and restaurant had to let go of about 65 associates.

“It’s a balancing act right? You don’t know how many guests you’re really going to get because it’s a new restaurant opening,” Johnson said. “Then you don’t want to have too many staff on because servers, you want them to make money, and the owners, you want them to be able to make some money, too. You know you want to balance that labor cost and the sever aspect of that. But I think we’re doing a pretty good job.”

Johnson says they’ve removed the stools at the bar. They’ve had to space the tables and chairs out, both inside and out, to accommodate the new orders.

Johnson says all employees will, of course, wear face coverings as well.

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