Local restaurants rely on delivery services to keep business

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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.