HONOLULU, HI — While many small businesses struggle with surviving during the pandemic, local restaurant Shay’s Filipino Cafe decided to take a leap of faith and open a second location after running their first brick and mortar in Honolulu for four years.
“We’re a little bit worried opening during the pandemic, but at the same time excited just because it gives us the opportunity to kind of share the Filipino culture on this side,” says general manager Bryson Dalmacio.
The owner hopes that this new location will expand their clientele to cater to other ethnicities and tourists.
During the first two weeks of the pandemic, their overall sales dropped to eighty percent but went back up to about eighty-five percent with the help of GrubHub and Uber Eats. In its first week, the second location only made 75 percent of what the first location usually makes.
But Dalmacio remains hopeful.
“The second location is a little burden, the first location is kind of carrying it a little, but you look at the people that’s in line to just receive food, I mean, you’re talking for hours. I was thinking, if we can help some people and spread the word for the flavor of Filipino food, I think it’s more of a win-win situation. Yeah we are taking a chance but I believe if we could make it in this economy, I believe we probably could make it when everything starts to open up.”
While the pandemic is still happening, Shay’s Filipino Cafe will only be offering takeout but plans to be fully present with their customers, offering as much information as they can to educate people about Filipino cuisine.