In early February, I had the opportunity to speak to Bai Tong Thai Restaurant owner Noina Chanpayom and restaurant manager Aye Winmonrat about how the business was doing during the pandemic. During our conversation, Noina and Aye spoke of their sincere dedication and optimism and shared gratitude for their customers and their staff.
Did you know that Bai Tong is a family-owned business? Noina and her family live in Issaquah Highlands, having relocated from Bangkok in 2014 to open Bai Tong’s Issaquah location at Grand Ridge Plaza. Like many of us, Noina is working from home with her children while her husband is at the restaurant to ensure safety protocols are in place and the food remains high quality.
Bai Tong remains short-staffed, as many employees resigned when the pandemic began due to health concerns. Business is down 50%, with revenue only covering operating costs.
“We remain open to provide jobs for our employees and food for our community,” Noina said.
The remaining Bai Tong family of employees are exhausted but remain optimistic that business will improve as the pandemic ends. The smiling faces of their customers keep them going.
Please contact the restaurant for updated Phase 3 indoor dining details. Safety is the number one priority for both staff and customers. Don’t be surprised if they take your temperature before you are seated.
Christy Garrard is the executive director of Highlands Council.
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