TikTok video saves struggling Vietnamese pho restaurant
“It makes me so sad to see my parents wait for customers to walk through the door to eat at their Vietnamese restaurant,” reads the caption of a video Le posted on Jan. 19.
Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup dish (broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat) that has become popular across the world.
The 7-second video depicts her father Vuong Le, proprietor of Lee’s Noodle Restaurant in Santa Rosa, waiting at the counter with an expressionless face.
Seven seconds into the video, Jennifer made an emotional appeal that many people found moving:
“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.”
More than 1.2 million people have now watched the video, and the eatery is flooded with customers.
“There are so many phone calls, that when you pick up the phone, it’s still ringing on the other side,” Le said.
Le claimed that in an effort to keep up with demand, her parents are now working a 12-hour day and running out of ingredients.
“I wanted to share the video because their food is so good and put in a lot of work for it, very authentic,” she said in an interview with KRON4 on Feb. 12.
In 2003, the eatery launched with Le’s mother working as the head chef. Father Le assisted in the kitchen and served diners. Up to the Covid epidemic, business was going well, according to Fortune.
The family’s restaurant has fought to stay afloat for the past two years. Yet, the 7-second video fundamentally altered their lives. Le remarked, “My dad is so happy, so grateful.”