Konan Pi runs Hom Korean Kitchen, a casual Korean restaurant with three locations in Santa Cruz, San Jose and San Francisco. He received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan in late April, but he is burning through that money to keep his restaurants afloat.
"$10,000 really doesn't go far," Pi said. "I think we'll probably use the rest here in [June]. I don't see it lasting much longer."
The restaurant industry has suffered heavily under the pandemic's shelter-in-place restrictions, and even as the state slowly reopens, restaurants like Hom Korean Kitchen may not be able to survive long enough to bounce back.
Already, Pi is preparing to permanently close his weakest location in Santa Cruz by the end of June because the restaurant can't make enough money.
"We had to go into debt to get through the winter," Pi said. "We were really hoping for a summer that would help us push forward." The summer season is typically a strong one for the chain, but it's not clear how many people will return to eating at restaurants even after local guidelines allow them to do so.