Ky. restaurants continue to struggle with reduced capacity as other states fully reopen

Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 4:03 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky restaurants have been at 50 percent capacity for quite some time now, and, by the looks of it, that won’t change anytime soon.

Monday, Governor Andy Beshear commented on Florida reopening restaurants to full capacity.

“What Florida is doing is reckless, and it’s dumb,” Beshear said.

He noted that Kentucky restaurant and bar capacity levels will stay at reduced capacity as COVID-19 cases spike across the state. Restaurant owners, though, say they’re struggling to stay afloat.

“It’s kind of like you’re in a chess game and you’re really not the one in control," said Mark Fichtner, Carson’s owner. "You’re trying to make a move and then they make another move and knock you out.

Fichtner, whose been in the business for over 40 years, says he was able to still pay his employees when the restaurant closed. But for the couple that opened the restaurant a few blocks down, keeping employees will depend on the traffic flow.

“We’re preparing ourselves and our dining staff, starting to have conversations with them if we have to cut our personnel down because we won’t have anybody coming inside," said Tiffany Bellfield, El-Amin, Alfalfa’s owner. "What does that look like for them?”

The struggle continues.

Restaurant owners are anticipating reduced capacity as they lose outdoor seating to cooler weather.

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