BATON ROUGE — Waitr, the restaurant delivery on-demand platform, is giving aspiring chefs the chance to create a brand and design their menus inside a newly formed Restaurant Incubator Lab.
The lab is located in Waitr’s just-opened Baton Rouge office.
“The Waitr Restaurant Incubator Lab is centered on accelerating restaurant start-ups, offering access to expertise on menu choices that restaurateurs would otherwise not have access to as an early stage business,” said Chris Meaux, CEO of Waitr. “We can provide invaluable feedback to help drive the best possible end product because these restaurants-to-be are being mentored by Waitr and because the menu is being engineered using scientific data we constantly acquire.”
Founded in Lake Charles about three years ago, Waitr has quickly grown to serve more than 150 cities across the Southeast, including Baton Rouge. It currently has 3,000 employees and partners with more than 4,000 restaurants nationwide.
“We are constantly looking for ways to help restaurants succeed as they are one of the foundations of our business,” Meaux explained. “The Incubator Lab launch helps ensure future restaurant partners for us.”
Waitr’s new Baton Rouge office was formerly occupied by Baton Rouge meal kit company Indie Plate. Waitr has acquired select assets from Indie Plate, including a full commercial kitchen to launch the restaurant incubator program. The employees of Indie Plate have all been hired by Waitr and will be integral in working on the program’s development, as well as other elements of Waitr’s core business.
“We’re thrilled to be part of this new enterprise by Waitr,” said Peru Sharma. “Everyone on our team has invested many hours in the food delivery business … and with this new venture, the staff is genuinely excited to be a hub for such an innovative idea.