Doing double duty to keep my business alive
‘I think it will never be as normal as it was before.’
By Ching Daranuwat, as told to Julia Smith
Ching Daranuwat, 41, runs a Thai restaurant on Tremont Street.
My mom, my family, and I moved to Boston from Bangkok, Thailand, in 2015. We were looking to open a small takeout business. This area of Boston fit my space and my needs. We opened Bangkok Pinto on Jan. 28, 2016. Over the years, it grew quite popular.
Coronavirus has affected our small business a lot. I had to reduce our expenses. On top of managing the restaurant, I have been working as a cashier, and my partner has been working in the kitchen. Right now, I have to work six days a week. It would be seven, but we’re closed on Mondays. There are times when I’m managing the telephone, the online orders, and in-person customers all at once, so I have to run back and forth and it’s very busy. I sometimes even have to help my partner by picking up the vegetables to help her make the orders more quickly. Even though it’s stressful, I think cutting down on our labor can make us survive. After everything is back to normal, we hope to hire some more people.
But I think it will never be as normal as it was before. Everybody has gotten used to online classes and Zoom meetings. They don’t need their retail space and don’t need to come back at full capacity in the office anymore.
Even so, we will keep running Bangkok Pinto because we love it here. We are not just a business — we’re more like a community. During COVID, our loyal customers helped me a lot. Some people came almost every day to support us. Some customers would leave very big tips or tell their friends to come.
Everyone that has been supporting me has become like my friends and family. That’s why I would stay. Because this is so precious to me, and I’m so grateful for our loyal customers’ support. They make me fight. We will do our best to survive for them.