With the influx of money and exposure from the deal, Waitr will be better positioned to compete as Grubhub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats rapidly expand into the second and third tier markets that Waitr previously dominated.
— Erika Adams
In the latest news out of the delivery services’ race to gain market share, Waitr, a mid-tier delivery company headquartered in Lake Charles, Louisiana, will be acquired by Landcadia Holdings, Inc. Landcadia is owned by Tilman Fertitta, the billionaire CEO of Landry’s Inc., which includes a grab bag of restaurant chains, casinos, and hotels across the U.S. (Fertitta also owns the Houston Rockets and hosts the reality TV show Billion Dollar Buyer.)
Under the terms of the agreement, Waitr will function as a subsidiary of Landcadia, and the company will continue trade publicly under the new name Waitr Holdings, Inc. Landcadia acquired Waitr for $308 million in cash and stock.
Waitr is six years old at this point, and has a delivery presence in 200 markets across the country. Similar to Bite Squad, Waitr focuses on second and third tier delivery markets mostly spread across the southeastern U.S. Unlike Uber Eats, Grubhub, or Doordash, Waitr’s 5,800 delivery drivers are not contracted, but rather W2-categorized employees of the company.
Waitr currently has 540,000 active diners on its platform and partners with over 5,000 restaurants. (For comparison, Grubhub has more than 15 million active diners and works with more than 80,000 restaurants.)
Waitr CEO and founder Chris Meaux will continue to lead the company following the acquisition. On an investor call following the acquisition announcement, Meux explained that the deal will help accelerate Waitr’s growth on a much larger scale, as the company will have the support of all of Fertitta’s various business empires as the main delivery partner.
“Access to Landry’s portfolio of over 600 restaurants as a delivery partner, promotion of Waitr to over four million loyalty members across Landry’s restaurants and Golden Nugget Casinos, the opportunity for partnership with the Houston Rockets and its more than nine million Facebook followers and also the ability to drive elevated traditional and social media exposure both nationally and in strategic markets creates an exciting opportunity to accelerate customer acquisition,” Meaux said in a statement.