OUT TO LUNCH finds creative business consultant Aileen Bennett conducting business Acadiana style: over lunch. Each week Aileen invites guests from Acadiana's business community to join her. Beyond the foundations of the Acadiana economy - oil, cuisine, music - there is a vast network of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and even some of the country's largest companies who call Acadiana home. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the wider Acadiana business community. You can also hear the show on KRVS 88.7FM.
I’m sure that – like most folks around here - living in Acadiana has advantages that you wouldn’t trade for anything. But, despite the great food, music, and generally unbeatable lifestyle, I’m sure you also assume there’s only so much you can achieve here. Especially in business. Things like technology innovations. They come from Silicon Valley. Right? Nationally known alcohol distilleries are in places like Kentucky and New Jersey.
It’s time to change our assumptions.
Chris Meaux has created and launched what is turning out to be a revolutionary piece of technology. It’s a phone app. Called Waitr. Waitr, very simply, allows any restaurant – even white tablecloth fine dining establishments – to deliver food to you at home. Or work. Chris started Waitr in 2013 with five people. Today he has 126 fulltime employees and another 350 part-time or contract workers. And Waitr is just getting warmed up.
Trey Littel started building his company in 2011. In 2016, the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association named it the State’s number one tourist attraction. It’s not a museum. Or a plantation home. It’s a rum distillery. It’s called Louisiana Spirits, the home of Bayou Rum. Louisiana Spirits is the largest privately owned rum distillery in the United States. The huge numbers of tourists who stop in at the distillery have gone home and spread the word across America. Now Bayou Rum is growing in popularity across the country.
Trey Litel and Chris Meaux's kids went to the same school, Chris and Trey went to the same school, and they live pretty close to each other. But this is the first time ever they've gotten to sit down and talk about business. Pretty soon you can expect to see Chris's Waitrs delivering Trey's rum. A very productive, informative, and super-fun, lunch.