A Vietnamese restaurant in California went viral after the owner’s daughter shared a video of her father waiting for customers in their empty business on TikTok.
Jennifer Lee, 21, was reportedly home from graduate school and helping her parents at their family business, Lee’s Noodle House on Hopper Avenue in Santa Rosa.
In a video, Lee records her father Vuong, who is wearing a red winter jacket and leaning on the counter of their empty restaurant. Vuong can be seen staring out the restaurant’s front door, appearing to be in a sad and pensive mood due to the lack of customers.
Lee shared the video of her father on TikTok on Jan. 18, and it has since garnered more than 900,000 views and over 111,000 likes.
“It makes me so sad to see my parents just wait for customers to walk through the door to eat at their Vietnamese restaurant,” Lee wrote in the video’s caption.
TikTok do your thing and help support my parents’ Vietnamese restaurant. My parents haven’t been having that many customers and been feeling stressed dealing with financial issues. If you want to check it out, they make delicious Vietnamese food
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After the TikTok video went viral, Lee’s Noodle House has received a rush of new customers.
Following the overwhelming support on social media, Lee made three more TikTok videos to provide more information on their restaurant, including videos and photos of their Vietnamese dishes.
In the caption for a video shared on Thursday, she wrote:
The amount of love and responses from the TikTok community has been insane! Also, thank you to the customers who have been coming for years, too! The comment section has brought my parents and I to tears. We are so grateful for all the support, and for everyone who is coming out! We hope you can continue to spread the word for our small family business. My parents are the hardest workers I know, and I just want happiness and good health for them. Please remember to be patient, as they are the only ones working!
In an interview with The Press Democrat, Vuong said that his family’s business went downhill in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Explaining that he was surprised by his daughter’s video, Vuong admitted that the moment she captured was one of sadness.
She surprised me a lot. I didn’t know she did that. But it’s a fact. How come at nighttime nobody dines in? It’s so stressful. We usually close at 9, but now we close at 7:30 because you can’t afford to pay PG&E gas and electric and all that and you cannot wait for customers.
The Lee family first opened their restaurant in 2003. Lee’s mom, Ha Tran, is the head chef, while her father also cooks and serves. Her older sister worked at the restaurant for years before she became a nurse.
As for the 21-year-old, she also worked at the family business all throughout high school. The family expressed hope that they can sustain the success they’ve discovered through TikTok.