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Local delivery service co-op closes as restaurants thrive

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A local delivery service built to serve restaurants during the pandemic has closed its doors.

937 Delivers was established in the fall of 2020 as a way to help restaurants keep their doors open when few customers were going out to eat. 937 Delivers said it worked with the nonprofit developer Co-op Dayton as well as the City of Dayton and other local organizations to build a local delivery service where all money would stay in the Dayton market.

“We are so proud that 937 Delivers was able to deliver so many tasty meals to your homes, to bring our restaurant partners hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales, to pay fair wages to employees that would otherwise have been un- or under-employed, and to keep this money in the local Dayton economy,” The company said in a social media post.

Restaurants have begun to come back, the company said, leading to fewer deliveries and less revenue for 937 Delivers. The company said they will no longer perform deliveries at this time.

“937 Delivers was created and designed as a pandemic response, but now this response is not what our restaurants and workers need. In consultation and discussion with both groups, we have decided to put 937 Delivers on a hiatus and will no longer be delivering – at least for the time being,” the company said.

Co-executive director of Co-op Dayton, Lela Klein says during the 11 months that the service was open, it achieved their goal.

“We had hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue come in for the restaurants over the course of the time that we were open and many of the restaurants have told us it was the boost that they needed to stay open,” said Klein.

And the response to their closing has encouraged members of the team that a return or re-launch would be possible and well received.

“The online response has been so overwhelmingly positive it seems people want us to come back,” said Klein. “People have said that it really meant a lot to them to get their favorite restaurant in those dark months when we were all so isolated, so if we can revamp for a post pandemic world then we want to do that.”

As the organization looks for ways to make the system more automated and efficient, leaders say they will be exploring other ways to help Dayton restaurants and employees.

“We’re proud of what we have accomplished, and realistic about what it will take to move forward,” the company said. “We feel deep love and gratitude to our loyal customers, our restaurant partners and most of all our team of drivers and dispatchers. And we are thrilled that our co-op helped this vital sector come together to weather a tough season.”