The Downtown Columbia Partnership and The Mall in Columbia are working together on a campaign to promote dining in Downtown Columbia. Downtown Columbia EATS!, a new loyalty app that currently includes 20 restaurants and eateries, was launched Oct. 29 to showcase one of the region’s strongest collection of dining options.  “Finally there is one place that you can go to find the restaurants in Downtown Columbia,” said Downtown Columbia Partnership Executive Director Barb Nicklas. “It’s a way to learn about great specials and get discounts. It is an information app plus a loyalty program,” she said.

Participating dining places include Auntie Anne’s, Champps, Charley’s Grilled Subs, Cinnabon, Clyde’s, Great American Cookie, JavaPharm, Kabob Connection, Nordstrom Café, Maggiano’s, Petit Louis Bistro, Seasons52, Teavana, Tomato Palace, Tutti Frutti, Union Jack’s, Uno Pizzeria & Grill, Wasabi Sushi, Waterside and Whole Foods Market.

“One of the strategic priorities of The Mall in Columbia is a loyalty program for food retailers,” said Senior General Manager Ashley Venable. “Downtown Columbia EATS! is a perfect vehicle to recognize what is one of Downtown Columbia’s major assets — its restaurants and eateries.”

Downtown Columbia’s revitalization, which includes residential, office and retail development, is intended to increase local amenities. Restaurants are seen as a major draw for businesses and residents looking to relocate in Downtown Columbia, as well as an attraction for visitors.

The Downtown Columbia EATS! app is based on mobile and location-enabled technology. It features a store list with each offering its own challenges and rewards, such as a free lunch. Customers scan a QR code that is displayed at the point of sale to record their participation in a challenge. When a customer completes a challenge, it unlocks the reward specific to that business.