Bill will lower age that employees can serve alcohol in Kentucky

April 8, 2022

By Jeremy Tombs
April 8, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – Lexington restaurants are seeing a boost in business with the return of races at Keeneland, Thursday Night Live, and more.

But they’ll need the workforce to support that surge and some restaurant owners said House Bill 252 could offer them more opportunities to add valuable members to their teams. It lowers the age for workers serving alcohol to 18.

The past couple years have challenged restaurants not just to get customers through their doors, but also to get them served.

“People are walking in and seeing empty tables but they’re still being put on a wait because there weren’t enough servers to take care of those tables,” said Josh Brown with J. Render’s.

And with businesses starting to bustle again, Brown said more help is needed.

“Now we’re going into the season where it’s going to be all hands on deck and we’re going to need more bodies for sure,” Brown said.

He hopes House Bill 252 will aid Lexington’s hospitality industry as it tries to push past the pressures of the pandemic.

“It allows us to hire the best person for that position as opposed to just trying to get somebody in here just so we can get through,” Brown said.

Brown says it will make them more flexible when they’re hiring seasonal help as well.

“When we close that patio we know they’re going off to college and we’re not having to let people go,” Brown said.

It’s a potential expansion of the workforce he is hoping will give them more staffing options and more seats filled in turn.

Brown mentioned that he’s had a ton of high school and college age kids applying to jobs, and couldn’t offer them a job even though he needed to fill server positions.

So for him, House Bill 252 both addresses the dilemma and creates a better environment for his guests.

Brown said this change will also help them out with large events, like weddings, that have been pushed back because of the pandemic.

Read the original here.