HONOLULU (KHON2) — One restaurant owner tells KHON2 sales have been down without restaurant cards and with the holiday season now over — but there may be some hope.
The Hawaii Restaurant Association (HRA) tells KHON2 the application process is open for round two of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), bringing hope to Rick Nakashima, co-owner of Ruby Tuesday, and Gyu-Kaku, who says they are hanging in there.
Gyu-Kaku restaurant sales are strong but Nakashima says that is not the case for Ruby Tuesday.
“Generally with 50% seating, you can’t expect sales to be really good. You know, you’re on a wait, but you only have half the seats filled and that just kills our sales. But beyond that we’re still doing okay,” said Nakashima.
Nakashima said, it appears many who dine in are not that concerned about eating inside or outside.
“I haven’t really seen people just diving into the outdoor seats…people are going to come in who want to just still be indoors and get the air conditioning,” Nakashima said.
Nakashima believes Hawaii is on its way to recovery despite the challenges.
“And the PPP loans coming up and potentially some restaurant help on the side, I think we’re going to be in pretty good shape if that all happens,” he said.
“The biggest relief that’s out there currently, right now that people can apply for immediately, is the PPP loan second draw,” said Victor Lim of the HRA.
Lim tells us applicants could qualify for a bigger loan amount. HRA understands the challenges restaurants face with a 50% cap, even limiting five guests to a table.
“We’ve been talking with Mayor Blangiardi that maybe that number can go up a little bit higher that makes sense for us,” said Lim.
Lim also hopes the restaurants cards will make a comeback, saying it was very successful.