OUT TO LUNCH finds economist and Tulane finance professor Peter Ricchiuti conducting business New Orleans style: over lunch at Commander's Palace restaurant. Each week Peter invites guests from the New Orleans business renaissance to join him. The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Inc magazine have all named New Orleans the best city in the USA to be an entrepreneur. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the new New Orleans entrepreneurial movement. You can also hear the show on WWNO 89.9FM.
Photo by Rick Lineberger
For most of recorded history, we humans have had a home from which we have gone forth to find food. Now, things have changed. Today, thanks to food delivery apps like Waitr, we can stay home and have food brought to us. In the course of human activity, it’s a fundamental shift. Maybe that’s why Waitr has caused such a sensation. Starting life in Lake Charles in 2015, Waitr is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with projected revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Chris Meaux founded Waitr in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and launched the Waitr app in 2015. Today, Chris is the Chairman and CEO of Waitr, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has a capital valuation of hundreds of millions of dollars, and is talked about in some circles as following in the footprints of WalMart.
David Mesa is Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer at a company called Ballard Brands. Maybe you’ve never heard of Ballard Brands, but you’ve no doubt heard of their outlets – over 100 PJ’s Coffee shops, over 60 locations of Wow Café, the Original City Diner, Boardhouse Serious Sandwiches, and over 250 retail outlets and 750 locations where you can buy products from New Orleans Roast, a wholesale coffee and tea company. You can add to that the recently acquired 13 restaurant chain called The Garces Group that moves Ballard Brands into fine dining.