- Waitr has tapped Carl Grimstad as CEO and member of the board effective immediately, according to a company release.This is the company's third chief executive hire in less than two years.
- Former chief executive officer Adam Price, who became CEO in August 2019, has resigned from the position and from his seat on the board.
- Grimstad most recently served as the chief manager of his family's private investment company, C. Grimstad Associates, and co-founded payment processing company iPayment in 1999.
Price's departure is just the latest signal of Waitr's decline, and his barely four-month tenure reflects continued corporate turmoil at the delivery platform.
Company founder Chris Meaux passed Price the baton in August 2019, and he remains chairman of the board. At that point the company was already struggling — in June Waitr laid off around two dozen office employees at its Louisiana office following its purchase of Bite Squad, and was met with serious backlash when it changed its flat 15% restaurant commission to a performance-based, sliding scale commission of up to 25%.
Though the size of the fee isn't unusual for the delivery market — Uber Eats charged Los Angeles restaurants 40% commissions in 2018 — some partner restaurants boycotted the firm.
Waitr also lost an estimated $775 million in market value in a five-month period. Just a few weeks after Price became CEO, Waitr redesigned its app in an attempt to drive more traffic by making order flow more efficient and engaging for users. The revamp was also likely a bid for frustrated partner restaurants to stick around instead of moving on to bigger competitors.
It doesn't seem to have helped. In its most recent quarter, Waitr reported a net loss of $220 million and revenue of $49.2 million.
Whether or not Grimstad can right the ship is unclear, but he certainly has a tough road ahead. Still, Meaux seems confident in his background.
"We believe that the combination of his extensive operational, executive and leadership experience, including as a successful president of a public company, as well as his career focus of providing small and medium-sized merchants payment and technology solutions, will create substantial shareholder value," Meaux said in a statement.
It's possible that an outside hire will bring Waitr the fresh eyes it needs to make improvements before things get even worse. Regardless, the company will need to fight to keep its head above water. Even then, the delivery pool is crowded with much bigger, more competitive fish.