Local restaurants rely on delivery services to keep business
COLUMBIA - There are new, local options on delivery apps as restaurants try to combat the economic effects of COVID-19 and social distancing.
Shortwave Coffee in downtown Columbia is one local shop seizing the opportunity to stay in touch with customers by delivering coffee to people's front doors.
Owner Munir Mohammad said he's seen a significant drop in business within the last week as people are staying home and college students go home early.
"Everything was fine until this week," Mohammad said. "We're doing our best to keep the doors open, but keep us safe at the same time."
Shortwave is fighting the decline in foot traffic by now offering coffee delivery through Uber Eats and DoorDash. An unconventional way of getting a morning cup of coffee, but Mohammad said people are already trying it out.
"People have been ordering online, like the whole beans, drinks to-go," Mohammad said. "Use the online delivery if you're self-quarantined."
Mohammad also said he is worried about the future of his businesses if more and more people stay home and start making coffee in their kitchens.
"We still have to pay rent and there's a lot of other expenses, whether we're open or not, and so we're doing our best work," he said. "We're changing our model a little bit, so we can still keep the employees on payroll and then make sales. So we're doing our best to keep that going."
Thursday, The District announced the city would not be enforcing parking meters downtown to make curbside delivery even easier.
Huge thank you to the City of Columbia for making it easier to support local businesses! They are temporarily suspending the enforcement of parking meters so order curbside or carry out from your favorite local retailers and restaurants! #shoplocal pic.twitter.com/icEbQwZPXp— The District (@the_district) March 19, 2020
And Delivery apps are also offering incentives to customers and restaurants.
Uber Eats is offering free delivery on local businesses like Shortwave. Grubhub and DoorDash suspended commission fees for places, so restaurants will receive more money from each order. If you want to avoid contact with the delivery driver, just put in the delivery instructions to leave the food at the door.
To see a full list of what restaurants are offering delivery and curb-side, look here.