To boost the hospitality industry’s return to in-person dining service, Louisville restaurants can utilize new outdoor options enabling more alfresco seating to complement the return to indoor service, albeit at a reduced capacity.

In-person dining options will resume in Louisville as the Governor’s Phase 2 plans allow restaurant openings beginning May 22. Restaurants will be following state and CDC guidelines adhering to strict cleaning schedules as well limiting indoor capacity to 33 percent.

Additionally, Louisville’s Mayor Greg Fischer has waived fees and restrictions related to outdoor permits and alcohol service to encourage restaurants to get creative in order to expand open-air dining options. Restaurants can now use sidewalks, parking lots and other opportunities to expand their alfresco dining footprint in order to meet social distance safety guidelines.

The Kentucky Restaurant Association has been focused on helping Louisville’s culinary scene since in-person dining was suspended in March and is working as a resource for restaurants as they gear up for additional safety measures to keep customers and employees safe.

“Our restaurants can’t wait to welcome guests back beginning Friday. We are cleaned, sanitized, trained, stocked up and full of the hospitality Kentucky is known for,” says Stacy Roof, President and CEO of the Kentucky Restaurant Association. “Cities are working with our operators on outdoor dining options and guests are making reservations. We look forward to seeing our dining rooms buzzing with activity.”

Louisville is home to over 2,500 independent restaurants and has been named one of the “South’s Best Food Cities” by Southern Living, one of “America’s Favorite Cities for Food” by Travel + Leisure and one of the “Top Local Food Scenes” by USA Today.

Consumer Trends, Industry News