Kentucky Restaurants Prepare for May 22 Reopening Day

As people all across Kentucky get ready to return to restaurant dining rooms next week, the Kentucky Restaurant Association and their members are ready and optimistic. On May 6, Governor Andy Beshear expedited the timeline for reopening restaurants to May 22, offering a bit of good news for a key Kentucky industry.

“The timeline is quicker than we anticipated, and we’ll need to work through the details of the new guidelines,” said Stacy Roof, KRA President/CEO. “However, our members have long experience following the most rigorous health and safety guidelines. They’ll be ready.”

KRA is a not-for-profit membership organization which has supported the entire food service industry in the Commonwealth for more than 50 years.

On the heels of Beshear’s announcement, cities and their leaders across the state prepared for the reopening, offering modified policies to both support the industry and enhance safety protocols. On Tuesday, May 12, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced several regulatory changes, including expedited, no-fee applications for outdoor dining. Roof also noted a statewide effort, led by Jefferstown Mayor Bill Dieruf, for mayors to issue executive orders to make it easier for restaurants to expand outdoors.

“Over several weeks now, we’ve seen cities, their leaders, and citizens get creative in how they can support our restaurateurs. It’s been very inspiring,” said Roof. “Restaurants are an important part of bringing people together and that hasn’t changed just because of COVID-19. We hope and expect we will see the ingenuity continue as we prep for next week and beyond.”

Collectively, restaurants are the second-largest private employer in Kentucky. To support this critical industry, KRA has suspended membership dues and has partnered with Fleur de Lis Communications on the “Welcome Forward” campaign, designed to build public confidence and support in advance of the May 22 opening day. The first step in that campaign is the public service announcement below:

For more information on the steps restaurants are taking to protect the public or to learn more about KRA’s role, visit

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