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Kentucky restaurants prepare for indoor dining ban to expire next week

Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 11:18 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - All indications are, come Monday, restaurants will be able to have people back inside.

Stacy Roof, the president of the Kentucky Restaurant Association, told us missing out on a lot of holiday business has been pretty tough.

Monday, Governor Andy Beshear said he has no plans to extend his latest mandate, preventing restaurants from offering indoor dining. This means on December 14, they could go back to business, at 50 percent capacity.

We’ve seen restaurants get pretty creative when it comes to heating tents, so customers can eat outside, which was still allowed. A group of restaurant owners in Louisville had started a petition saying they were reopening on that day, no matter what the governor said.

Roof told us, typically, the increased holiday business from Thanksgiving to New Years, was important to give restaurants a buffer, when business dropped again in January.

So, they had already missed out on several important weeks. She said some of them couldn’t miss out on anymore.

“To take the whole month of December out of the equation was terrifying,” Roof said. “And operators have said ‘you know, I don’t have a few more weeks in us. We aren’t capable of living through that.’”

Roof said another issue with that mandate was that it was announced on a Wednesday and went into effect Friday evening, meaning owners had already ordered product and scheduled for a weekend, that didn’t happen.

If there ever is another ban on indoor dining, she hopes it would go into effect on a Sunday night.

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