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Waitr wants to take a bite out of Uber Eats

Brooke DiPalma
Associate Producer

Waitr (WTRH) wants to give Uber Eats a run for its money. Founded in 2013, the app-based online food delivery company now operates in about 700 U.S. cities in mainly small or medium-sized markets.

But Waitr differs from Uber (UBER) in a key way: Rather than hiring drivers as independent contractors, the Louisiana-based company employs all of its delivery people.

“We felt like it’s important that the drivers feel like they’re a part of the company and inclusive in the operations of the business,” Waitr founder and CEO Chris Meaux told Yahoo Finance, “It allows us some flexibility in how we schedule drivers so that we can ensure the driver supply always meets the demand of orders that we have.”

The “W-2” model

In January, Waitr acquired delivery service Bite Squad, a which helped boost the company’s reach and revenue. In the first quarter of 2019, its revenue increased 287% to $48.0 million compared to $12.4 million in the first quarter of 2018.

Despite that, Waitr’s stock price lags behind that of Uber and GrubHub (GRUB). Meaux believes that many investors “don’t fully understand the advantage” Waitr has in the markets it serves or its “W-2 driver model.”

“In the coming weeks and months we’ll be able to lay that out more clearly for investors,” he said. “And I think the stock price will take care of itself. I tell my team often there’s only one thing we can control and that’s how we execute the business.”

Brooke DiPalma is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her @BrookeDiPalma

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