Waitr looks to add reservations, loyalty programs
- Newly-public delivery platform Waitr is looking to corner independent restaurants, according to Skift Table. Since buying rival Bite Squad for $321 million, Waitr plans to be a one-stop shop for its restaurant partners by offering delivery, payment processing for dine-in, loyalty programs, a system for reservations and waitlisting and a POS system.
- Between 2017 and 2018, Waitr's overall-revenue growth jumped 202% from $22.9 million to $69.3 million. The company anticipates to hit around $250 million in revenue this year, mainly due to the company's acquisition of Bite Squad.
- With the combined numbers from Bite Squad’s platform, Waitr services around 2 million diners. Waitr will operate its acquisition separately for now, but Waitr CEO Christopher Meaux said on a company earnings call that the company would "consider whether it makes sense to move to a single brand" in the future.
While the majority of restaurant delivery companies are chasing partnerships with major chains, Meaux saw single-unit and regional chain restaurants as an untapped market. Waitr's focus on these brands keeps it largely out of the way of industry heavyweights Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash, and the platform's year-over-year revenue spike show this strategy is paying off.
As it grows, however, its footprint may begin to stretch into the domain of larger aggregators. Grubhub, for example, controls more than half of the delivery segment with 80,000 restaurant partners and $1.2 billion in sales. In 2017, it raked in $683 million in revenue, compared to Waitr's projections of $250 million this year.
But the company has sustained forward momentum since its debut in 2013. Its entry into the stock market last year, following its tie-up with Lancadia Holdings, gives it an even greater opportunity to achieve its goals.
Still, Waitr might find itself butting heads with the likes of OpenTable when it rolls out a reservation system and loyalty program. The Booking Holdings company services 47,000 restaurants in 20 countries, or 26 million diners per month. Resy, Foursquare and Yelp Reservations could also be newfound competitors. Only time and strategy will tell how Waitr fares with newfound rivals as it increases its services. In the meantime, Meaux, incoming CFO Jeff Yurecko and the rest of Waitr are off to an impressively healthy start as a publicly traded company.