Businesses use popular app to boost sales amid pandemic

Central Florida businesses are using the app TikTok to market themselves amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wave Asian Bistro and Sushi started building their following on the app over the last six months, and already have nearly 300,000 followers.

Staff at the restaurant are very particular about the 60-second videos. The videos are filmed in a studio and require careful preparation.

“Going through COVID, restaurants were one of the first industries to shut down or limit capacity altogether,” said Kelly Leach, who does marketing for Wave. “It’s definitely helped over the last few months gain and gauge, I wouldn’t say back to normal, because we’re definitely not at the same place as before this all started, but it has definitely helped throughout this time.”

Restaurants aren’t the only businesses on the app. Realtor Mike Mello, founder of The Mello Group shows homes in 60 seconds on his TikTok. He has more than 60,000 followers. He tells FOX 35 News the app has helped him make sales.

“Last month alone, I closed over a million dollars worth of sales so it’s done very well for my business,” he said.

TikTok tells FOX 35 News that dozens of creators are in Central Florida and turning a profit.

"TikTok has won the hearts of hundreds of millions of people around the world, including around 100 million Americans because it's a home for entertainment, connection, and expression. In Florida, TikTok users are thriving economically in part due to their presence on the platform. Creators and small businesses are seeing great success in Orlando by leveraging new ways to connect with their communities," said a TikTok spokesperson