Isabel Milan uploaded the first video on December 8, which included the caption, “I wish I could give her customers for Christmas.” The clip showed Milan’s mother sitting at a table in her empty restaurant with a text overlay that said, “It breaks my heart to see my mom watching the door every day waiting for a customer to walk in.”
The video went viral on the social media platform, quickly racking up nearly 44 million views. According to multiple updated videos, business at the little taco place is booming and shows no signs of slowing down.
Taco-Bout-Joy is located in Glenview, Illinois. The restaurant belongs to sisters Joy Milan and Kack Keomanivong, who came to the U.S. as refugees from Laos in the 1980s, per Newsweek. The siblings had grown up in poverty and like so many small business owners, they were looking to achieve the American dream. They opened their taco joint in October.
Kack’s daughter Jordyn told the publication that shortly after the video was posted, “cars flooded in and customers came to visit us to support the restaurant.”
She went on to say how her cousin Isabel “didn’t think much about it” when she posted the TikTok video, but after a few hours business was absolutely booming.
“Originally Joy and Kack had no idea what was happening,” Jordyn said. “It wasn’t until they got to the restaurant and we explained the situation that they realized.”
“We sold over 150 birria tacos alone,” Jordyn added. “We ended up selling out of birria, shrimp, guacamole, and sent out relatives to purchase more steak. I would say over 500 tacos were sold alone, not including burritos and tortas.”
“Thank you for helping and spreading the word about my mom and aunt’s restaurant,” Jordyn told the publication. “To go out and do something to support your community is very appreciated. Giving the recognition my family deserves is one of the best gifts to ever come from anyone!”
She further described the outcome as “a Christmas miracle” and attributed it to the positive impact social media can have.
“We’re amazed by the support and we’re just taking it all in,” Isabel shared in an update video post showing the restaurant’s kitchen bustling with activity. “If you found tears in your tacos, I’m sorry,” she added in the caption.