Waitr changing name, paying $4.7 million as part of legal settlement

William Taylor Potter
Lafayette Daily Advertiser
Lafayette-based food delivery service Waitr recorded an $8 million profit in the second quarter of 2020, the company announced.

Lafayette-based delivery food service Waitr is paying out $4.7 million and must change the name of its delivery app as part of a settlement with the California-based

The settlement information was released Monday when the company announced its second quarter financial results. The company lost $5.6 million in the second quarter of 2021 after posting a profit of $10.7 million in the second quarter of 2020.

As a result of the settlement, Waitr must stop using the Waitr name and its trademark, though it can continue using Waitr Holdings as its corporate name. Under the settlement agreement, Waitr will have a 12-month period where it can continue operations as Waitr, but it cannot add new restaurants under the Waitr brand in certain West Coast markets during that time.

Waitr has the option to extend the licensing period with for another eight months for $800,000. was founded in 1995, pioneering online restaurant ordering in the Silicon Valley area. The company's services are concentrated on the West Coast with operations in California, Washington, and Oregon, though it also operates in North Carolina, Texas, and Ontario, Canada.

The lawsuit began in 2016, and the settlement was reached near the end of June. In early June, Waitr announced it would be undergoing a comprehensive rebrand and name change that would take place in the next 12 to 18 months.

When the rebrand was announced, Waitr said the rebranding effort was to better align with the company's decision to expand into other services.

Over the last year, Waitr has added new delivery services outside of its traditional restaurant-to-customer model. In March, the company announced it was partnering with Flow Payments to create a marketplace, delivery and payment solution for cannabis dispensaries.

The result of the partnership would be a specialized platform for the sale and delivery of cannabis while complying with federal and state laws.

In November, Waitr began offering alcohol deliveries in some markets, and in March 2020 — which saw the COVID-19 pandemic begin to rage across the U.S. — the company began delivering groceries.

"The rebranding strategy reflects our ongoing commitment to innovation, continued expansion into new delivery verticals and new business ventures," Waitr CEO Carl Grimstad said during the earnings call.

Waitr's revenue in the second quarter was $49.2 million, down from $50.9 million in the first quarter and $60.5 million in the second quarter of 2020. Waitr had average of 38,583 diners each day, up from 37,627 in the first quarter.

The company's second quarter loss of $5.6 million came after it lost $3.7 million in the first quarter. Through the first half of the year, Waitr's financial results have contrasted from its success in 2020, when it recorded multiple profitable quarters for the first time since going public.

Waitr's share price has also taken a tumble over the last six months as states and local governments nationwide have eased COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants. Over the last six months, the company's share price has fallen from around $4.04 to around $1.59.

The company was expected to see revenues drop, according to Zacks Equity Research. Zacks estimated Waitr's revenue to be around $50.3 million — about $1.1 million more than Waitr reported.