March 14, 2017 05:35 PM

Restaurant delivery app Waitr announced March 10 that it has landed $10 million in funding, an infusion of cash that will allow the company to more than double in size by the end of 2017 — bringing the number of cities served to more than 40 nationwide.

Waitr, which is headquartered in Lake Charles and has a technology operations center in Lafayette, says in a press release that the group of Gulf South-based investors was led by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who was first introduced to Waitr’s impact at one of his Crescent City restaurants.

“Waitr’s commitment to growth from its Louisiana roots has added hundreds of quality tech jobs to the Gulf South economy. When we launch a new city, it brings jobs and a positive impact to our restaurant partners and the community,” Brees says in a press release. "I have seen firsthand how Waitr’s software platform can give a restaurant new revenue streams they might not have otherwise. We have seen the growth in our own restaurants after signing on with Waitr.”

Brees is heavily involved in start-ups and established businesses, including a number of successful restaurants. He’s an investor in the sports-themed Walk-Ons Bistreaux & Bar, as well as many Dunkin’ Donuts locations throughout Louisiana.

Waitr says it distinguishes itself for its operational expertise, superior technology, customer support and lower costs it offers restaurant partners and consumers. It also says its food photography, go-to market strategy and efficient driver network are the cornerstones for its growth.

“It is extremely gratifying that we have investors as excited about Waitr as we are,” Chris Meaux, Waitr’s CEO and founder, says in the release. “It’s almost unheard of to obtain this much funding outside of Silicon Valley, and we’re especially thrilled to have Drew Brees leading the round. We’ll be using these funds to take our already proven business model to new locations across the country.”

Launched in 2015, the Waitr app is already being used in 16 cities across the U.S., including New Orleans and Houston — with dozens more locations set to be announced in the coming weeks.

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