Local woman uses TikTok to boost business for minority owned Washington restaurants

One local woman is using TikTok to build awareness for minority-owned businesses that are struggling due to the pandemic.

The pandemic continues to impact local businesses. New restrictions continue to be announced or extended.

Restaurants are one of the hardest-hit industries due to COVID-19.

So, Teena Thach took action.

“Right now, a lot of these restaurants and small business need the help,” she said.

A few months back, Thach came up with the idea of making TikTok videos to highlight local, minority-owned restaurants.

“I never thought I could make such a difference with 58 seconds,” she said. That short amount of time is standard for the maximum length of a single TikTok video.

Thach goes to different restaurants around the area and not only highlights the food, but also the people who make it.

“The food taste so much better when you know who cooked it,” she said.

In four months, she’s made about 20 videos. Her TikTok profile has tens of thousands of followers, and several of her videos have more than 200k views.

On Saturday, Thach traveled from Seattle to Lakewood to make a new video at Birreria y Mariscos La Cocina in Lakewood.

For Rosy Diaz, this opportunity comes at the perfect time.

“She was about to sell the restaurant, but the offer didn’t go through,” said Manny Tello.

Tello is Diaz’s nephew and helped to translate for her.

He says the video will be a light for the family, in what has been a dark time.

“She was really struggling. Hearing this, and Teena doing this for us, means a lot because it gave her that little extra push, like ‘no, don’t sell it. You can do this,” said Tello.

For Thach, these videos also are helping her get through a difficult time.

“My dad had passed away in April. In the beginning of the pandemic. It was tough. it was traumatizing,” she said.

Thach says her father had Meningitis B. She says it was especially difficult, because the pandemic made it impossible for her to visit him in the hospital in-person, during his last days.

Thach got on TikTok for an outlet of fun, to keep her mind off of the pain she was dealing with.

In just a few short months, she turned that outlet into a valuable resource, helping out minority-owned businesses in the area.

“I think he would be proud of me. I’m helping other people with things I know I’m good at,” she said.

Thach is on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok with the handle @Teena_Thach.