Waitr

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ASAP Inc.
TypePublic
NasdaqWTRH
IndustryOnline food ordering Online grocery delivery
Founded2013; 9 years ago (2013)[1]
FounderChristopher Meaux (chairman)
HeadquartersLake Charles, Louisiana[1]
Area served
United States
Key people
Carl Grimstad (CEO)
OwnerFertitta Entertainment (majority)
Subsidiaries
Websiteasap.com

ASAP Inc. is an American online and mobile prepared food ordering and delivery and Grocery delivery company. It originated in Lake Charles, Louisiana where it was founded by Chris Meaux with support from McNeese State University.[2]

History[edit]

Waitr, Inc. was founded at McNeese State University as a project lead by Chris Meaux. It quickly spread throughout Louisiana and across the southern United States. In 2015, Waitr hired Griff’s Hamburger Executive Cory Griffin as Chief Operating Officer.[3]

In 2018, the company was acquired through a $308 million reverse takeover by Tilman Fertitta's Lancadia holdings, which is part of the Fertitta Entertainment portfolio.[3] In January 2019, Waitr acquired Minneapolis-based Bite Squad for $321 million which effectively doubled Waitr's size. Bite Squad founder Kian Salehi stayed on for several months post-acquisition before leaving the company.[4]

In 2019, the company announced it would lay-off all of its employed drivers, and move to a contract-only model, similar to Grubhub and DoorDash.[5] The move resulted in 2,300 drivers being laid off.[6]

Carl Grimstad was appointed Waitr's CEO in 2020 and tasked with recovering the company after a US$291 million net loss in 2019. Despite the significant increase in footprint it gained from the Bite Squad acquisition, Waitr still only had a 3% share of the US food delivery market. Grimstad focused on differentiating the company from its competitors, especially DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub.[6]

In 2021, Waitr made several major acquisitions. It bought Florida-based food delivery service Delivery Dudes in March for about US$23 million.[7] It acquired three payment processing companies and a point of sale (POS) software company all focused on cannabis dispensaries: ProMerchant, Flow Payments in March, Cape Cod Merchant Services, and Retail Innovation Labs Inc, makers of the Cova POS and inventory platforms, for US$90 million in December.[8]

The company announced in January 2022 that later in the year it would be rebranding itself ASAP and shift focus to non-restaurant deliveries, particularly cannabis. [9] The company expected to begin cannabis deliveries in Canada by the end of the year.[6] The renaming and a payment of US$4.7 million were part of a settlement with Waiter.com who had sued Waitr over trademark infringement. Waiter.com had been founded in 1995 and trademarked its name in 2000, 8 years before Waitr's founding.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Waitr. "Corporate Profile".
  2. ^ Daigle, Hannah (December 12, 2018). "SWLA based company, Waitr, expanding with new partnership". KPLC. Archived from the original on February 29, 2020. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Barinka, Alex. "Houston Rockets Owner's Blank-Check Company Buys Waitr". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 2018-05-17. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  4. ^ Ramstad, Evan (November 7, 2019). "Company that bought Bite Squad signals it paid way too much". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on October 14, 2021. Retrieved March 5, 2022.
  5. ^ "Changes coming for Waitr drivers". KATC. February 17, 2020. Archived from the original on February 29, 2020. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c Luna, Nancy (January 7, 2022). "Why Waitr's CEO stopped chasing DoorDash and Uber Eats and went into the 'messier' business of cannabis delivery". Business Insider. Archived from the original on January 12, 2022. Retrieved March 5, 2022.
  7. ^ Cukier, Eileen (March 9, 2021). "Delivery Dudes will sell its assets to publicly traded company Waitr". South Florida Business Journal. Business Journals. Archived from the original on March 10, 2021. Retrieved March 5, 2022.
  8. ^ Kelso, Alicia (December 20, 2021). "Waitr plans to acquire a cannabis dispensary POS company for $90M". Restaurant Dive. Archived from the original on December 27, 2021. Retrieved March 5, 2022.
  9. ^ Canham-Clyne, Aneurin (January 12, 2022). "Waitr will rebrand to ASAP, cannabis will be a key focus". Restaurant Dive. Archived from the original on January 12, 2022. Retrieved March 5, 2022.
  10. ^ Mosbrucker, Kristen (June 28, 2021). "Waitr will soon get a new name after settling $4.7M trademark lawsuit". Acadiana Advocate. Archived from the original on July 3, 2021. Retrieved March 5, 2022.

External links[edit]