Ky. Restaurant owners face some of the toughest times they’ve seen during the pandemic


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – We used to see opening hours or daily specials, and now restaurants are plagued by ‘now hire’ and ‘apply online’ signs, announcing despair rather than meals.

“For years, the company has told people in the restaurant industry to go get real jobs. It took a pandemic for people to find out that there are jobs there, you don’t work weekends, you don’t work nights, you don’t work all major holidays, ”said Kevin Heathcoat, owner of Bourbon n ‘Toulouse.

And because of the pandemic, Heathcoat said people were actually listening.

“It’s the fact that sometimes it’s not the best industry in the world, and people have found that out, Heathcoat said.

While Heathcoat is fortunate not to have too many problems hiring, the industry as a whole is not so lucky. Not only are restaurateurs losing employees or unable to hire, but now they have to cross out menu options.

“When we order things, we don’t know what’s going to come out of the truck that day. It’s roulette every day. We place an order for what we want, we don’t know what we’re going to get, ”Heathcoat said.

One problem, again related to personnel issues.

“From the production facilities, with no one to get them into the truck, no driver to drive the truck,” Heathcoat said.

Because of this, Heathcoat is asking for help.

Sixty-four percent of eligible restaurant owners who apply for federal assistance through the Restaurant Revitalization Act have not secured funding. Now Heathcoat and other local restaurateurs are asking for more help.

“We accompany you in your birthday parties, your birthdays. We mourn with you at your vigils, but now is the time we had to ask for help, ”said Heathcoat.

You can follow this link and email your representatives on behalf of local restaurateurs.

There is good news for Heathcoat as his business gears up for ‘Christmas and New Years’. Bourbon N ‘Toulouse has some of its biggest sales of the year when Kentucky faces Florida and LSU. These two matches take place this Saturday and the next.

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