Waitr Holdings officially files for bankruptcy

Waitr Holdings Inc., the parent company of ASAP (formerly Waitr), has filed for bankruptcy, according to a Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

The Lafayette-based food ordering platform has “ceased substantially all of its operations,” according to regulatory filings. The company had already ceased operations with respect to carryout and delivery services.

A Chapter 7 trustee will be appointed by the Office of the U.S. Trustee for the District of Delaware to assume control over the assets and liabilities of Waitr Holdings and its subsidiaries, effectively eliminating the authority and powers of the company’s board of directors and executive officers.

The assets of Waitr Holdings and its subsidiaries will be liquidated and claims will be paid in accordance with bankruptcy code. It is unlikely that holders of the company’s common stock will receive any payment or other distribution.

While the full amount of debt amassed by Waitr Holdings is unknown, regulatory filings indicate that the company defaulted with various lenders, including Luxor Capital Group, the hedge fund that reportedly invested some $85 million into Waitr as it transitioned from a company privately owned by hospitality industry magnate and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta into a publicly traded one. That agreement was dated Nov. 15, 2018—one day prior to the company’s listing on the Nasdaq.

Concurrent with or prior to Waitr Holdings’ bankruptcy filings, all executive officers were terminated. The company and its subsidiaries currently have no employees or officers, and no members are currently serving on its board of directors.

According to regulatory filings, Waitr Holdings’ longtime board member Steven Scheinthal resigned from his position on Jan. 30, roughly two weeks before the company ceased delivery services.

Waitr, which rebranded as ASAP in August 2022, was at one point considered a Louisiana success story.

Founded in Lake Charles in 2013, Waitr was purchased by Fertitta for $308 million in May 2018, just before the company was listed on the Nasdaq. Waitr went on to essentially double its footprint later that year when it acquired Minneapolis-based Bite Squad, a move that expanded the company’s reach to more than 500 cities across 22 states.

That momentum proved difficult to sustain, however. In 2019, three high-profile resignations—including founder and CEO Chris Meaux—caused Waitr’s share price to plummet. The company fell out of compliance with the Nasdaq shortly thereafter, and while it did regain compliance in 2020 following a surge in business from the COVID-19 pandemic, it was never quite able to regain its footing.

Waitr fell out of compliance with the Nasdaq once more in January 2022, and in February 2023, the company was delisted from the Nasdaq after struggling for months to raise its share price above $1.