Waitr founder Chris Meaux out as CEO; company to consider merger, sale, other options

Chris Meaux is out as the CEO of Waitr, the popular restaurant-delivery company he founded in 2013, and the company’s chief operations officer is in.

The company said as part of its earnings report Thursday that Adam Price will lead the publicly traded company, with Meaux staying on as chairman of the board and focusing on long-term strategy. The company also said it would consider becoming privately held once again, among options that include a sale or merger, as the number of firms in the food delivery business shrinks.

It said in its report that its options include, “among others, continuing to execute the company’s business plan, including an increased focus on certain standalone strategic initiatives, the disposition of certain assets, a strategic business combination, a transaction that results in private ownership or a sale of the company, or some combination of these.”

Waitr has been in the spotlight this summer after laying off an undisclosed number of employees and rolling out a new “performance-based rate structure” that could mean slimmer profit margins for restaurants.

The recent changes have come as a shock to south Louisiana, where many people still see Waitr as a small tech company known for helping local restaurants instead of as the publicly-traded company that sold for $308 million last year.

Waitr stock hovered around $12 per share in November when it was first listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Waitr stock was trading at about $3 per share Thursday afternoon.

The company’s new CEO announced on Thursday lowered financial expectations through the end of the year.

“Given delays in the roll-out of our planned revenue initiatives, the additional time needed to integrate the Bite Squad merger, as well as current competitive dynamics, we are lowering our full year 2019 revenue guidance to a range of $210 to $220 million,” Price said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Waitr developed a Path to Profitability initiative that will continue into 2020 with the “expectation of improved annual operating cash flows in excess of $10 million,” according to the company’s second-quarter earnings report.

Waitr saw a 218% increase in revenue year-over-year. That’s a revenue of $51.3 million for the quarter that ended June 30 compared to revenue of $16.2 million in the second quarter of 2018. Three analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $54.2 million in revenue. Revenue related to Waitr’s January acquisition of Bite Squad totaled $26.1 million during the second quarter. 

Waitr’s net loss for the quarter was $24.9 million, or 32 cents per share, compared to a loss of $7.4 million, or 74 cents per share, in second-quarter 2018. 

Price joined Waitr in February as chief logistics officer and was later named the company’s chief operations officer. Before joining Waitr, he spent over five years as CEO of Homer Logistics, a New York-based provider of local delivery solutions for businesses using logistics technology. 

“I am very appreciative of the support that Chris and the Board of Directors have provided to me and excited to lead this exceptional business,” Price said in a statement. “I look forward to working closely with the entire team and executing on our vision to be the most convenient way to discover, order and serve great food in local communities. Food delivery is in its infancy and having clear market leadership in most of our markets in addition to a well-regarded brand with restaurants, consumers and drivers sets us up well for future growth.”


The food delivery app company posted revenue of $51.3 million in the period, falling short of Street forecasts. Three analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $54.2 million.

Waitr expects full-year revenue in the range of $210 million to $220 million, a reduction from its earlier estimate of $250 million. In his statement, Price noted “delays” with the $321 million acquisition of competitor Bite Squad, which occured in late 2018.



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