Business model

Waitr adds chief information officer as it expands its business model

Diving brief:

  • Waitr named restaurant industry veteran Matthew Coy as chief information officer on Monday. Coy most recently served as VP of Technology at Donatos Pizza. Prior to that, Coy was the CIO of Chipotle. It looks like Coy will be the first to serve as CIO at Waitr.
  • Coy’s experience includes transitioning the businesses of Donatos and Chipotle to the cloud. His work has cut costs, added functionality and reduced risk at the companies he worked for, according to a press release from Waitr.
  • Coy’s hiring follows Waitr’s addition of Timothy Newton as its first chief technology officer in January. Waitr also announced that it would rebrand itself ASAP to highlight the company’s expansion into delivery categories beyond restaurants. This rebranding is expected to take effect later this year.

Overview of the dive:

The role of the CIO has grown across industries as the need to embrace and integrate digital technologies increases. This shift is evident in the restaurant space, which has seen rapid growth in consumer and operator adoption of technology throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. A A recent IBM survey found that CEOs expect CIOs and CTOs to be the most critical C-suite roles over the next few years.

Coy’s background in cloud-based solutions and efficiency could help position Waitr for growth as the company expands its business model into new verticals, like cannabis. In 2021, the company announced its intention to acquire two cannabis dispensary point of sale companies, cova and flow of payments.

By adding a CIO and CTO, Waitr shows its focus on integrating acquisitions while building core competencies in delivery services and new payment processing businesses.

“Matthew brings the insight and experience needed to advance the digital and technology outlook of the organization as we move into multiple delivery verticals,” Waitr CEO Carl Grimstad said in a statement.

CIOs could help delivery companies ensure increasingly essential data security. In 2019, a data breach within DoorDash affected 4.9 million people. Uber and Chowbus have also experienced breaches, and the space is particularly vulnerable to hackers, according to a recent FBI warning. An AARP-sponsored study found that 18% of non-financial identity fraud cases in 2020 occurred in the delivery services space.

Since its launch in 2014, Waitr has struggled to gain much market share in the competitive foodservice delivery space, claiming less than 1% share alongside other smaller players. The company went public in 2018, but faces delisting from the Nasdaq market if its stock doesn’t hit $1 by July.