SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- The pandemic hit small businesses especially hard and many restaurants are still feeling the lasting impact.
A daughter took to social media in hopes that a few people might come back to her family's restaurant, Lee's Noodle House, in Santa Rosa, California.
Twenty-one-year-old Jennifer Le posted a seven-second video on TikTok showing her dad leaning against the counter. She wrote, "It makes me so sad to see my parents just wait for customers to walk through the door to eat at their Vietnamese restaurant." She added music and the lyrics said, "I don't care how long it takes."
"It's been like really slow, and I think a lot of people left because of the pandemic and the fires so I felt really sorry for them," Le told ABC7 News in the Bay Area.
And it was that short video that got quite a response. Three weeks later and the place is packed.
"His daughter was on TikTok pleading to the public to help her dad because he was running out of business because of the COVID thing. I saw it and it broke my heart," said Kelly Smith, who was eating lunch at the restaurant.
"My dad always talks about how he is stressed and tired of waiting around, where we have to close early, so I kind of just made the video to help them out a little bit," said Le. "I just didn't expect it to blow up. I just thought, oh a couple people will see it."
As of late Wednesday, the video has racked up more than 987,000 views.
Digital marketers say it just shows that TikTok, Instagram and YouTube videos aren't just for entertainment purposes anymore, people are on there searching for information.
"All of us came out of the pandemic discovering that the restaurants we used to go to may not be open anymore," said digital marketer Greg Jarboe. "A huge percentage of them just disappeared in the last couple of years so finding a restaurant near me is one of the top search terms."
Jennifer's dad has gone from waiting to packing orders and says he's grateful for the support.
"A lot of people from the community come out and support us and I'm really thankful," said Vuong Le.
"I jumped in the car and headed down here to say congratulations, and that he is going to be OK and this place is going to be here for another 15-20 years," said Smith.