Local restaurants square off against each other in sweet-16-style bracket

The Dayton-based 937 Delivers restaurant meal-delivery service will launch its own version of a sweet-16-like bracket on Monday, Feb. 28, 2021. CONTRIBUTED
The Dayton-based 937 Delivers restaurant meal-delivery service will launch its own version of a sweet-16-like bracket on Monday, Feb. 28, 2021. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

‘937 Delivers’ promotion will reward customers of the winning restaurant with free delivery

The locally based “937 Delivers” meal-delivery service is launching its own version of a sweet-16-like bracket today that pits restaurants against each other in a friendly competition to see which eatery can score the most deliveries.

The overall winner of the “tournament " will be announced March 29 and will earn free delivery for its customers for a day.

The founders of 937 Delivers were looking for a way to help restaurants make up for the loss of the First Four tournament that is normally held at University of Dayton Arena in mid-March. Each year, prior to COVIID-19, the play-in tournament brought in thousands of fans from across the country to watch their teams compete for a spot in the “Big Dance” NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament.

This year, however, the NCAA decided to hold its entire tournament, including the First Four play-in games normally held in Dayton, in and around Indianapolis, to help lessen the potential spread of coronavirus. That decision cost Dayton-area hotels and restaurants hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential revenue.

“We figured, why not do our own sweet 16-like promotion featuring 16 restaurants?” said Shanon Morgan, a co-founder of 937 Delivers and the former president of the Miami Valley Restaurant Association. “We hope to take one small step toward making up for the loss of the First Four while also boosting awareness of a local delivery service that helps save restaurants money by keeping delivery money local.”

The cooperatively owned food-delivery option launched in November 2020 with seven restaurants, and it has already more than doubled the number of member restaurants since its inception. It is designed to help its member-owner restaurants and delivery drivers financially survive the coronavirus pandemic while providing a safe dine-at-home option for Dayton-area residents. Third-party delivery services such as DoorDash and GrubHub charge restaurants up to 30 percent for delivering meals, the founders of 937 Delivers say.

One of the most intriguing — perhaps even Machiavellian — matchups in the first round of the 937 Delivers tournament pits family members against one another. Blind Bob’s, the Oregon District restaurant and bar founded by Bob and Lisa Mendenhall and managed by their son Nate, is pitted against Lily’s Dayton, a restaurant across the street founded by Emily Mendenhall, Nate’s sister.

The 937 promotion is co-sponsored by David Roth Veterans Home Team, a local realty company, and Fidelity Lawyers Title Agency, a Dayton-based title company.

To monitor the results of the matchups, go to www.facebook.com/937delivers.

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