HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) – After the state rolled out the Hawaii Restaurant Card program, and dining restrictions were eased in tier 2, businesses say they’ve felt a must needed boost from hungry patrons.
Well over 100,000 cards were passed out mid-October to unemployed workers. Each card pre-loaded with $500.
Businesses said people with the cards were spending more than the average sale, and that they’re feeling more comfortable treating themselves and their family.
The L & L Hawaiian BBQ inside of Walmart on Keeaumoku said it sees a high volume of people using these cards.
“We were starting to see a lull in business,” said Bryan Andaya, the President of L & L Franchises. “I would say it’s averaging one in 10 at this location.”
Andaya said during lunch periods and on the weekend, almost half of the transactions are being paid with the cards.
Liliha Bakery has also seen a decent number of people using the cards. They report that their Nimitz Highway location sees about 25 people per day paying with the cards.
Nico’s at Pier 38 sees about 15 users daily.
The cards can be used at any Hawaii restaurant, bakery or catering business. There are restrictions however: The card cannot be used to purchase alcoholic beverages.
Restaurant owners want to make sure users have an additional form of payment in case the card had reached its limit.
Money on the cards will need to be spent by Dec. 15.
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