NFL’s Drew Brees backs Waitr to make takeout easy in anytown USA

Food delivery startups abound in the U.S., but few of them deliver to customers in second cities and smaller towns. From early pioneers like Grubhub to newer services like DoorDash, food delivery businesses have tended to focus onurban areas with a high concentration of restaurants and people who frequentlyorder takeout. Now, New Orleans Saints Quarterback, philanthropist and angel investor Drew Brees is backing astartup called Waitr to make takeout more convenient outside of the biggest cities. Waitr, which is based in Lake Charles and Lafayette, Louisiana, has been delivering food from restaurants to customers homes since 2014 in places like Lafayette, New Orleans, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Sacramento, California and Beaumont, Texas. Brees, who has been investing in startups for about five years, said, The first thing that grabbed my attention about Waitr was the impact it had on one of our companies, Walk-Ons Bistreaux and Bar. It was increasing our sales at each location by 10 percent or more. As I began to learn more about the company, there was no doubt in my mind it would be a leader in food delivery. The athlete-investor said Waitr proved the fastest and most efficient delivery system, versus competitors. Altogether, Waitr now delivers to 18 cities in four states, said CEO and founder Chris Meaux, filling more than 50,000 orders each week for delivery or carry out. The company has signed white tablecloth restaurants and big franchises alike. Besides working with Brees-backed Walk-Ons, Waitr has deals with theLandrys Inc. hospitality group andBuffalo Wild Wings, to name a few. Waitr is a food delivery app operating in towns that Grubhub forgot. The Waitrapp asks you to select your city, take a look at the list of restaurants andcuisine available near you and then drill down to the menu to place your order.Waitr employs its own drivers, and that allows it to have enough people on-hand to fulfill delivery orders in smaller towns or when demand spikes, as it does around certain holidays and on the weekends.

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