HONOLULU (KHON2) — COVID hit businesses and restaurants hard and many were forced to shut down. So how are some of the newer restaurants staying afloat?

Even with the struggles of COVID and inflation, new cafes are opening and some restaurants are adding new locations. “They continue to open doors; they continue to open up new concepts because they really know that people are still really much-enjoying gathering and making those special memories when you dine out,” said Sheryl Matsuoka, executive director of the Hawaii Restaurant Association.

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But with a low success rate what could they do to make sure they stay open?

HRA noted that since the pandemic, what owners think about before opening has changed. They have realized “their takeout area, their takeout processes, their app, the system they’re using has to be really easy for patrons to come in, pick up their food and get out,” said Matsuoka.

Plant-based paradise cafe opened its second location in Kaimuki recently, they said the convenience of takeout has helped their business.

The owner, Summer Rothwell said, “and we see the same people they come in and they eat in the cafe and then lunchtime, they’re getting, Uber Eats delivered to their office.”

HRA said new restaurants and cafes are now getting customers’ attention through online reviews and social media.

Summer Rothwell said, “we’ve also kind of uniquely experienced a lot of success by just posting our specials and our menu to the Facebook page Vegan on Oahu.”

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The owner of plant-based paradise said establishing a close connection between the employees helps minimize the turnover rate and helps with the customer experience.