FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 25, 2022
Contact: Press_Paul@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Recently, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, recognized Our Best Restaurant of Smithfield, Kentucky, as the Senate Small Business of the Week.
Dr. Paul entered the following into the Congressional Record:
Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, as Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, each week I recognize an outstanding Kentucky small business that exemplifies the American entrepreneurial spirit. This week, it is my privilege to recognize the small business, Our Best Restaurant of Smithfield, Kentucky, as the Senate Small Business of the Week.
In 1990, the late Kenneth Way and his wife Kay embarked on a new adventure in the autumn of their lives. After retiring from a career in the retail industry, Kenneth bought an old wheat mill in Smithfield, Kentucky, population 100. Joined by his wife Kay who had just retired from her career serving the Kentucky state government, the two opened Our Best Restaurant. Kenneth’s son Kenny Way will tell you himself that his father was not in the restaurant business, he was in the “people business.” Kenneth’s motto was that if you treat people well, your business will succeed no matter what you do. Clearly Kenneth was on to something as his restaurant and legacy continue to thrive for the past 32 years.
Kenneth’s son Kenny Way now owns and operates the business, carrying on his father’s mission of providing top quality service to everyone who walks in the door. Though Our Best Restaurant consistently serves delicious country cooking, it is the warm and friendly atmosphere that keeps people coming back time and time again. With a population as small as Smithfield’s, the restaurant cannot depend on the typical walk-in customer that other main street businesses often see; their bread and butter are the locals, and even visitors, who keep coming back. A change in ownership never stopped their “regulars” from choosing Our Best Restaurant, because Kenny learned from his late father that a loyal customer will only come back if you treat them right. That is why the staff of Our Best Restaurant put in such an effort to get to know their customers, to meet their families and their children, to ask them about their day and to show that they care about the customer’s experience, beyond just the meal.
Such high quality customer service and food have allowed Our Best Restaurant to grow and expand. Since 1990 they have expanded their dining space and have branched out to offer catering services asides from their dine-in operations. The catering business became a crucial stream of revenue for the restaurant as the COVID-19 pandemic put a temporary end to in-person dining. Local energy and utility companies turned to Our Best Restaurant to safely serve meals to their employees during the height of the pandemic. Our Best Restaurant has consistently proved to be a steadfast member of the small community of Smithfield. The restaurant maintains great relationships with the local high school, looking out for the local students and always feeding them a hearty meal of Kentucky country cooking.
The reputation of the feel-good-food and friendly atmosphere of Our Best Restaurant has allowed them to be a destination in themselves. They often have folks drive in from Jefferson County and Franklin County to enjoy their famous cooking. And of course any and all visitors receive the same small-town welcome as any Smithfield local would. Our Best Restaurant is the entrepreneurial embodiment of the late Kenneth and Kay’s dream come true and a wonderful example of a father’s mission carried on by his son. All across the country are little towns like Smithfield, areas that contain little more than a post office and a church, and it’s businesses like Our Best Restaurant that keep those small communities thriving. Congratulations to Kenny, his son Aric, and the entire Our Best Restaurant team. I wish them the best of luck and look forward to watching their continued growth and success in Kentucky.
As Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Paul continues the tradition of honoring America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship oversees proposed legislation on matters relating to the Small Business Administration and investigates all problems relating to America’s small businesses.