When Kenneth Chu took on a second doughnut shop, he worked round the clock to revamp Rose Donuts, whose sugar-dusted treats have long been popular with its clientele in the Linda Vista neighborhood of San Diego and beyond.
For Myanmar-born Chu, taking over Rose Donuts was more than a business opportunity. It meant he could honor the memory of his cousin Randy Taing, who had run the shop for 25 years before being killed in a home invasion in 2019.
But Chu’s expansion hopes came crashing down when COVID-19 hit. As revenue nosedived, he was forced to sell the doughnut shop he originally owned to keep his cousin’s store open and pay its three employees. The location he kept, however, across the street from Kearny High School and its thousand-plus carb-craving students, struggled — the school didn’t reopen fully until last fall. Inflation became another challenge this year. He’s now grappling with soaring costs for the oil and flour needed to bake more than 1,000 doughnuts each night. “Almost everything I buy has gone up 100%,” Chu says.
He has been able to make some changes to position his business for the future. Among them: dispensing with the store’s long-time cash-only policy as people during the pandemic sought touch-free options. Cards now make up 95% of purchases.
“A sale’s a sale,” Chu says. “I’ll take anything.”
Changes like these hint that recovery could be within reach for entrepreneurs who find ways to access credit, embrace new ways to pay and bolster their e-commerce reach. These efforts could be especially helpful for San Diego’s Asian-owned restaurants, nail salons and dry cleaners, since they were among those hit hardest by the pandemic as they struggled to get the loans and relief funds they needed to stay afloat.
Like Chu, many owners quickly turned to card payments for items as small as a single doughnut to avoid handling cash.
Many of these businesses, however, had little experience with payment terminals and technology, so Mastercard teamed with Asian Business Association of San Diego to share its Digital Doors education and training toolkit. Digital Doors teaches entrepreneurs everything they need to know about accepting digital payments, bolstering cybersecurity and expanding their e-commerce reach to grow their businesses.
Read more at mastercard.com.