Waitr adds chief technology officer as it expands into new verticals

  • Waitr has named Timothy Newton as its chief technology officer, the company announced Tuesday. Newton served as CTO at Fat Tuesday & New Orleans Original Daiquiris. Before that, Newton was vice president of global technology operations at Papa John’s.
  • Newton led the implementation of a new point-of-sale system across 40 Fat Tuesday locations and developed performance improvement processes and service-level metrics for Papa John’s domestic online ordering system.
  • This executive appointment coincides with Waitr’s growth in new markets and verticals. He appears to be Waitr’s first CTO.

Dive Insight:

Newton will likely play a critical role as Waitr rebrands itself to ASAP later this year. The rebrand will emphasize the company’s expansion into delivery verticals outside of restaurants, including cannabis and alcohol. Waitr is also focused on growing its virtual kitchen footprint, and announced a partnership with Virtual Dining Concepts earlier in January.

Waitr’s larger rivals have relied on chief technology officers to develop solutions to the challenging logistical problems that come with third-party restaurant delivery and additional verticals like grocery. DoorDash’s co-founder Andy Fang is also the company’s first CTO. Uber has not yet replaced its CTO, who left in September 2021.

Newton’s previous experience should be advantageous for Waitr. His work spearheading a new POS system at Fat Tuesday dovetails with Waitr’s acquisition of Cova, a cannabis dispensary POS company. Waitr also recently announced a partnership with Flow Payments to create a compliant marketplace, delivery and payment solution for dispensaries selling cannabis. As ASAP, Waitr plans to expand into payment solutions.

Waitr has also been busy integrating different POS technologies, such as Olo and Harbortouch, as it adds restaurant partners.

Newton’s familiarity with Papa John’s vast digital infrastructure could also be a benefit. The pizza chain has long been a delivery leader, introducing online ordering in 2001. Since partnering with third-party aggregators, Papa John’s digital mix has reached about 70%.

Newton’s tenure at Papa John’s saw the company’s online ordering system achieve 99.99% uptime, according to a press release. Such reliability could be an advantage as competition in the foodservice delivery market intensifies.

“Tim has a dynamic skillset, and we are eager to tap into his wealth of knowledge,” Waitr CEO Carl Grimstad said in a statement. “The credibility, expertise and insight he’s gained through previous employment with well-known companies should benefit us as we plan to move into multiple delivery verticals.”

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