Waitr, the Louisiana-based company that acquired Bite Squad and went public in 2018, shared some strong results ahead of its quarterly release after several difficult, money-losing quarters.
According to Carl Grimstad, Waitr’s chairman and CEO, the strong performance is part COVID-19 and part sweeping changes the company undertook in late 2019 and early 2020. Those changes included a new CEO and numerous layoffs.
“We are pleased to present a preliminary look at our second quarter results and we are excited to deliver strong revenue growth and profitability, driven, in part, by an uptick in new diners and orders. While the events of the last several months have accelerated the adoption of our platform by consumers, we believe the important steps we adopted early this year, pre-pandemic, to supercharge our business are starting to be recognized in our financial results,” Grimstad said.
The company reported revenue of $60 million, up from $51.3 million year-over-year. The big news is the company’s income is moving into positive territory after years of major losses. Waitr reported net income at $8 million, an incredible swing from a loss of $24.9 million in the second quarter of 2019. The surge in earnings was on par, too, as the company reported second quarter earnings (EBITDA) of $15 million compared to negative $14.9 million last year.
The company also paid down $12.5 million in debt.
“Over the course of the last six months, we have reinforced our presence in our most important markets by increasing delivery areas, adding grocery and alcohol delivery services, and expanding our customer service and dispatch teams. All these growth initiatives are being supported by a leaner cost structure and with an eye on efficiencies and appropriate returns on deployed capital,” said Grimstad.
He added that the pandemic served as a flywheel where increased delivery demand in the smaller communities in which Waitr operates brought in more drivers, which ultimately increased delivery capacity for restaurants.
Full results are planned for an August 6 disclosure, but this is certainly good news for a company that was looking rough at the end of 2019. Shares of Waitr Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: WTRH) surged from the $2.60 range to about $3.39 where it has settled—a 30 percent jump compared to the previous several months.