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Houston Rockets Owner and Restaurateur Tilman Fertitta Buys Food Delivery Startup

The mogul purchased Waitr for $308 million

2016 NBCUniversal Summer Press Day Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Houston Rockets owner and mega-restaurateur Tilman Fertitta is staking his place in the food world even further with the purchase of Waitr, a food delivery startup.

Fertitta purchased the Louisiana-based company last week for $308 million, according to CNBC. Waitr is a decidedly smaller food delivery company than industry giants like Postmates and UberEats, but it currently operates in upwards of 200 midsize cities across the United States, including Lake Charles, Louisiana, Savannah, Georgia, and of course, Houston and Galveston.

According to Fertitta, it was Waitr’s focus on smaller cities that made it so attractive. “You wanna be the Pac-Man and eat up all the small companies and see what happens,” Fertitta said in an interview with CNBC. “We’re going to be in the acquisition mode. We want to eat up a lot of the competition.”

Fertitta has always been a fixture of the country’s restaurant scene, but he’s been more intent than ever on staking his place in Houston in recent months, especially after his purchase of the Houston Rockets. The opening of his ritzy Post Oak Hotel brought a bona fide dining destination — complete with multiple restaurants, bars, and a pastry shop — to the neighborhood.

Once the sale is complete, Fertitta will take a role as director at Waitr Holdings, and the company will soon become only one of two publicly-traded food delivery services, joining Grubhub.

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