Waitr: Pivoting to payments

The small third-party delivery provider has always been content to zig where larger competitors like Uber Eats and DoorDash have zagged. It is continuing to do that in earnest by expanding its business to include payment processing, executives revealed on Waitr’s second quarter earnings call Monday. 

That move will be jump-started by the acquisition of three companies that process payments for merchants—ProMerchant, Cape Cod Merchant Services and Flow Payments—and an investment in Figure Technologies, which uses blockchain technology to process payments.  

“Ultimately we’re in this business now where we can’t be a mini-me of DoorDash,” Waitr CEO Carl Grimstad said on the call, according to a transcript from SeekingAlpha. “In thinking beyond just the last-mile delivery, the addition of these payment businesses is really the first big step in giving ourselves the capability to offer a full suite of payment services, not only to our installed base, but beyond that into other verticals.” 

Waitr generated revenues of $49.2 million in the quarter, down from $60.5 million in the year-ago period. Average daily orders were roughly flat quarter over quarter, as were its number of active diners. After a string of profitable periods, the company posted a net loss of $5.6 million in Q2, its second consecutive unprofitable quarter. Executives attributed that trend in part to higher labor costs. 

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