When Ngoc Do moved to Sacramento to start a new life as a restaurant owner, she never expected a public health crisis would upend her plans. “We just don’t know how long it’s going to last,” said husband Ron Newman, who helped speak on Do’s behalf due to her limited English. “Every time [a shutdown happens], it’s more difficult, more damaging, [and] we accumulate more debt.” Do, whose father runs a restaurant in Elk Grove, encouraged Newman to come out of retirement to open Phở Saigon Restaurant on Stockton Boulevard in 2015. Newman says he’s never seen anyone work harder than his wife. Do never took a day off for the first three years of business. “Things were going very well before COVID,” added Newman. “It was a game-changer.” After switching to pure take-out, restaurant sales plummeted by 80%. But that wasn’t the only factor that hurt business. See more in the video above.
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