Restaurant owner and pharmacist looks at COVID from both sides now
For information about Thai So Good or to place and order, call 435-565-6989 or visit thaisogoodatkimball.com.
Danny Vo has unique perspectives on the COVID-19 shutdown.
On one hand, Vo, one of the owners of the Thai So Good restaurant in Kimball Junction, sees the impact the self-isolation has on his bills and employees’ lives. On the other hand, Vo, in his other occupation as a full time pharmacist, has seen how loss of work has put stress on his patients as they try to come up with money for their prescriptions.
“There have been drastic changes for everyone in the world due to this pandemic,” Vo said. “At the beginning of it all, there was a rush of patients who wanted to buy as much of their medication as they could, because they didn’t know how long they would be in isolation. And while things are leveling out, they still seem to be upside down right now.”
Throughout the stress, however, Vo, who works full-time at a Walgreens in Midvale, has seen the power of a positive attitude.
“Some of the medications people need are very expensive, or have a high copay, but a lot of people who come to get them are always smiling and grateful for us to serve them,” he said.
“We appreciate the understanding our patients have shown us while we all go through these hardships. It makes things seem a little better for them and for us.”
The patience and generosity of Thai So Good patrons has also framed the way Vo looks at the current situation.
Like all restaurants in Summit County, Thai So Good, which is located at 1764 Uinta Way, Unit D-1 at Kimball Junction, only offers curbside takeout and delivery right now. Customers can order at thaisogoodatkimball.com or by calling 435-565-6989.
“Before COVID, take outs usually accounted for one-third of the revenue, and now it has to be all of it,” Vo said “But the community’s support in Park City has kept the income flowing so we can support our staff and sustain the rent and utilities.”
In addition, the amount of business brought in by patrons prevented Vo and his partners — Krit Lawakorn, Alpinan Sriboran and Chatchanin “Chat” Thanaritiroj — from laying off staff, he said.
Thai So Good requires between nine to 11 people to run a shift, Vo said.
“We have five to seven people who work in the kitchen, and we have a host and someone who runs the food to the cars,” he said. “Then Chat and I will do deliveries, because we’re not allowed to do third-party deliveries.”
To make things work, Vo did have to reduce employees’ hours.
“Instead of working five to six days a week, they are now working three and two days a week, but the good thing about the community is that everyone tips very well, and that makes up a large portion of lost hours for our servers and hosts. And we are thankful for that support that keeps our workers going and us up and running.”
In addition to delivering dinners when he’s not filling orders at the pharmacy, Vo tackles Thai So Good’s paperwork and marketing.
“I’m mostly a behind the scenes guy,” he said. “Chat’s the one who runs the restaurant operations.”
Since Vo, while wearing his pharmacist hat, has felt a portion of the stress that COVID-19 had on other healthcare workers, he and his restaurant partners decided to offer a 50% discount to anyone working on the front lines of the pandemic.
“That includes fellow pharmacists, doctors, nurses and first responders,” he said. “They just need to tell us they work in healthcare when they place their orders. It’s a way for us to give something back.”
As a pharmacist, Vo has an optimistic outlook regarding COVID-19.
“I want to urge everyone to continue to stay strong, because we’ll work as a community to get through this pandemic,” he said.
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