100 episodes

OUT TO LUNCH finds economist and Tulane finance professor Peter Ricchiuti conducting business New Orleans style: over lunch at Commander’s Palace restaurant. In his 9th year in the host seat, Ricchiuti’s learned but uniquely NOLA informal perspective has established Out to Lunch as the voice of Crescent City business. You can also hear the show on WWNO 89.9FM.

It's New Orleans: Out to Lunc‪h‬ itsneworleans.com

    • Business News
    • 4.8 • 20 Ratings

OUT TO LUNCH finds economist and Tulane finance professor Peter Ricchiuti conducting business New Orleans style: over lunch at Commander’s Palace restaurant. In his 9th year in the host seat, Ricchiuti’s learned but uniquely NOLA informal perspective has established Out to Lunch as the voice of Crescent City business. You can also hear the show on WWNO 89.9FM.

    Hot Design

    Hot Design

    If you live in New Orleans, you know how this goes. You’re out one night, having a few drinks, when someone says, “You know what would be a great idea…”

    In the morning – or maybe later in the week when you go to do the laundry - you find the napkin in your pocket with this great idea sketched out on it. What do you do then? Do you put the clothes in the laundry and the napkin in the trash? Or do you decide to actually do something with the napkin?

    Suppose you choose the latter. Who do you ask if this really is a good idea? Who can advise you and get you to the next step? In New Orleans that person might be Luke Hooper.

    Luke is the founder of Factor 10 Design. Taking ideas from the cocktail napkin stage through design and manufacture is what they do at Factor 10.

    Jaime Glas is one of those people who had a great idea that is now a product. Her idea might not have started out on a cocktail napkin, but it did start out on an oil rig.

    In 2010 Jaime was an engineer working for Chevron. She found that the coveralls that she had to wear - which were designed for men - looked bad and were dangerous to wear because they weren’t designed for a body like hers. So Jaime started a company that makes flame resistant safety wear, for women. Safety wear that fits. Looks good. And works.

    The company is called Haute Work, and if you’ll pardon the metaphor and pun, the company is on fire. 

    Of all the super powers you could have, there’s nothing quite as powerful as a great idea. Everything from democracy to the toothpick started out as just an idea. People with great ideas, and the ability to turn those ideas into real things, are not the sole province of Silicon Valley. We have our fair share of talented creators and manufacturers right here in New Orleans. Jaime Glas and Luke Hooper are ample proof of that.

    Photos over lunch at Commander’s Palace by Jill Lafleur.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 23 min
    Fit and Frozen

    Fit and Frozen

    These days it’s hard to read the news, or even have a conversation with members of your own family, without being confronted by the many things that separate us. But there is one basic thing we all have in common. We all have a body.

    Now, that might sound so obvious as to be hardly worth pointing out. But the fact is, if we don’t take care of our body, and stay fit and healthy, everything else in our life is compromised.


    With this basic fact in mind, we’ve turned keeping fit into a major economic component of American life. We may be more or less successful at actually being in shape, but in 2020 we Americans spent almost $40 billion trying to get in shape.

    And that was in the throes of a pandemic, when fitness classes and gyms were closed or severely restricted, for months. But, even with 40 billion dollars’ worth of mass enthusiasm, keeping a gym up and running these days is not as easy as it used to be, Before Covid.

    Case in point - F45. F45 is one of the fastest growing fitness franchises in the world. The fitness chain has a total of 1,760 studios globally, spread across 50 countries.

    Locally, the F45 studio on Magazine Street went from having full membership and multiple classes a day Before Covid, to having no members at all – zero - in the middle of 2020.

    Things at F45 have gotten a lot better, but the struggle to stay in business is not over.

    The co-owner of F45 in the Garden District is Sal Figueroa.


    Working out is not the only path to health and wellness. In recent years we’ve come to embrace other regimens, like yoga, Pilates, and diets. Some of these turn out to be passing fads – remember Sugarbusters? Others become a mainstream method of getting, and staying, healthy.

    The latest addition to the list of alternative methods for improving your health is cryotherapy. Cryotherapy is the use of sub-freezing temperatures to make you feel better and look better.

    New Orleans’ first cryotherapy clinic is NOLA Chill – Cryotherapy and Wellness.

    The owner of NOLA Chill is Walt Marcus.

    We all know that working out and consciously taking care of ourselves is good for us. But, before 2020, most of us assumed that even if we didn’t make it to the gym as often as we intended, if we just went about our normal lives we’d stay healthy.

    The emergence of a widespread deadly virus changed all that.

    Fit and Frozen

    One of the many results of the global Covid 19 pandemic has been to make us aware of the importance of maintaining base-level good health. And so, for our own health and wellness, it’s in all of our interests that the health and wellness industry remains healthy and well.

    Within the wellness world, Sal Figueroa and Walt Marcus are both dedicated to doing what they truly believe in. That kind of passion is not only an inspiration to people who need to be inspired to stay healthy, it also strengthens their own resolve and fuels their businesses in the face of challenges.

    You can see photos by Jill Lafleur from this show at our website. And here's more lunchtime conversation about NOLA health and fitness.


    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 27 min
    Alternative Mardi Gras

    Alternative Mardi Gras

    For a long time, the word “alternative” has meant “substitute”. For example, you can drink soy milk as an alternative to regular milk. Somewhere along the line we also started using the word “alternative” to mean something that exists alongside something else that is more mainstream. Alternative music is a sort of artsy parallel to pop and rock. Alternative fashion – like emo and Goth – exists alongside mainstream fashion.

    In New Orleans, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, we’re experiencing an alternative that, until 2021, was inconceivable. Alternative Mardi Gras.

    Mardi Gras has traditionally been the single most unifying event that underpins our definition of ourselves as New Orleanians. Even with the occasional political and social differences that have been aired over the years, Mardi Gras parades and Mardi Gras day are a level playing field of joy and exuberance that unites us. It simply doesn’t exist in any other American city.

    And then there’s the extraordinary impact that Mardi Gras has on our local economy. 

    Well, none of that is happening this year. 2021 is the year of Alternative Mardi Gras.

    Peter Ricchiuti's guests on this edition of Out to Lunch are finding ways to cope with the new reality. And to create Alternative Mardi Gras.

    Devin de Wulf is founder of Krewe of Red Beans.

    Krewe of Red Beans started out as a traditional Mardi Gras Krewe in 2008. But it wasn’t till the Pandemic of 2020 that it matured into a unique arts-activist version of a New Orleans social aid and pleasure club.

    Devin deWulf and his krewe figured out a way to support shuttered restaurants, over-worked front line medical workers, and out-of-work musicians. They raised money and paid it to struggling restaurants to make meals, that they then paid out of work musicians to deliver, as donations to frontline medical workers.

    Then, when Mardi Gras was effectively canceled, Devin and his Krewe of Red beans created a project called Hire a Mardi Gras Artist, which does just that. They again used donated funds, this time to hire Mardi Gras artists to turn New Orleans houses into works of art that resemble stationary Mardi Gras parade floats.

    Seeing there are no Mardi Gras parades to go to this year, how are you going to end up with bags of beads? You know, all those beads that seem like a must-have item – till Ash Wednesday when you suddenly wonder, “What am I going to do with all these beads?”

    Well, this year, the year of Alternative Mardi Gras, you can go through that process in reverse. You can start out with bags of beads, and use them to decorate your house. Where do you  get our beads? The Mardi Gras Recycle Center.

    The Mardi Gras Recycle Center is a part of an organization that’s been around since 1953, called ArcGNO. ArcGNO is centered around providing care and employing people with disabilities or developmental delays, like Autism or Down Syndrome.

    The Manager of ArcGNO’s Mardi Gras Recycle Center is Sherrana McGee Stemley.

    Mardi Gras 2021 is unlike any Mardi Gras that has come before it, but the lack of organized parades and the cancelation of balls and parties is only fueling the Mardi Gras spirit in the city.

    You can see photos from this show by Jill Lafleur at our website. And check out the genesis of Katrina Brees' Bearded Oysters Mardi Gras Krewe on this iconic episode of Out to Lunch.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 28 min
    Tech Transfer

    Tech Transfer

    If you’ve been to college, you’ll know that although colleges are ostensibly places where students get an education, the teaching staff do not spend a majority of their day teaching. What, exactly, you might wonder, do college professors do all day?

    Well, one thing they do is research. And sometimes that research can turn into more than just an article in an academic journal.

    Many universities now have a department called Technology Transfer. Folks in the Technology Transfer department take the ideas that professors and researchers have, and turn these ideas into commercial products.

    For example, the Office of Technology Transfer at Tulane University has commercialized a diagnostic test for Lyme disease, an obstetric device that cuts and clamps the umbilical cord, and a mosquito trap. Among many others.

    The Executive Director of the Office of Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Development at Tulane University is John Christie.

    There’s an even more specialized approach to technology transfer at LSU, where it is broken into smaller divisions.

    In Baton Rouge, LSU has a big, and very successful, tech transfer department.

    Here in New Orleans, the LSU Health Services Center has its own department dedicated to technology transfer.

    the LSU Health Services Center Office of Technology Transfer Management commercializes research that comes out of the medical school, as well as the departments of nursing, public health and dentistry.

    The Director of the LSU Health Services Center Office of Technology Transfer Management is Patrick Reed.

    If each one of us listening to this conversation had a dollar for every great idea we’ve had - we’d probably each have about ten bucks. It’s one thing to think you’ve got a great idea. It’s another thing to actually have a great idea. But it’s something of a whole other magnitude to turn an idea into an invention that makes money.

    Photos from this show at Commander's Palace by Jill Lafleur,  are at our website.

    You can find more brilliant ideas at The Idea Village.


    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 23 min
    Movie Music

    Movie Music

    All of us are looking for happiness. Some of us believe we’ll achieve it when we get something - like a new job. Partly, it’s human nature to think like this. It gives us hope. But it’s also a kind of jealousy. To some extent we all want what we haven’t got.

    For example, have you ever noticed when you meet someone new and find out what they do, you find yourself thinking their job seems way more exciting than whatever you do? And probably pays more too.

    Universally, the very pinnacle of this job-envy, is showbiz. The music business and the film business appear to be far more glamorous than anything else any of us do for a living. Sure, not everybody can be a rock star or a movie star, but it seems - from the outside at least - that going to work making movies, records, or concerts has got to be a great way to make a living.

    On this edition of Out to Lunch we get a chance to find out what it’s really like in the enviable and glamorous world of movies and music. Both of Peter's guests are people who are instrumental in creating the local film and music business.


    Tavia Osbey might not be a familiar name to you. But the musical artists she manages are. Tavia guides the careers of Tank and the Bangas, Big Freedia, Sweet Crude, Naughty Professor, and others. Tavia is co-founder and owner of the local music management company, Mid Citizen Entertainment.  


    Jason Waggenspack is probably another name you don’t recognize, unless you stick around for the final credits of movies like Terminator Genisys, The True Don Quixote, Bill & Ted Face The Music, When The Bough Breaks, and many more over the past 13 years or so.

    Jason’s job title is one of the greatest examples you can find of job-envy. He’s CEO & Head of Possibilities at The Ranch Film Studios.

    The Ranch is the 2nd biggest film studio in Louisiana, on a 22-acre complex that started out life in a less glamorous role, as a Lowes, in Chalmette.

    Making music and making movies have their own challenges. Life in the trenches of the film business and the music industry is no picnic. But there are people like Tavia and Jason who seem to be born to work in these businesses, who thrive in the unique highs and lows of these industries, and who wouldn’t be happy doing anything else.

    Photos from this show by Jill Lafleur are at our website. Here's more lunchtime conversation about New Orleans film business. 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 27 min


    If you’re like most people, once a month or so you take a look at your credit-card statement and your bills. If you’re paying out more each month than your income, you have trouble sleeping at night.

    Then you hear about people who are celebrities in our society because of the amount of money they make with their earth-shattering businesses - like Amazon, Tesla, Uber, and Spotify.

    Amazon lost billions of dollars a year, for years, before it became profitable. Tesla is barely profitable today. And Uber and Spotify are losing millions every month. But apparently the people who run these companies don’t have any problem sleeping at night. And shareholders and investors continue to believe in them in a way that your credit card company doesn’t believe in you.

    What’s going on here is not injustice. It’s not “One law for the rich and another for the poor.” What is going on here is all about a relationship. Our relationship to money.

    I’m not suggesting that you can just change your perspective about money and you’ll miraculously make more of it like Jeff Bezos. But what I am saying is, if you know where to get money, a whole new world of business and a chance to make money opens up to you.

    So, where do you get money? Well, you may have heard of the infamous bank robber Willie Sutton, who explained why he robbed banks by saying, “That’s where the money is.” And he’s right.

    Locally, you don’t need to rob Hancock Whitney Bank to get a hold of their money. They’re primarily focused on giving it to you. You do, at some point, have to give it back, but the theory is that if they make it easy for you to access capital, you’ll make enough to pay them back and make plenty for yourself too.

    Because Hancock Whitney is a sponsor of Out to Lunch, we’re taking advantage of that relationship today by having Billy Hoffman join us. Billy is Senior Vice President of Corporate Banking at Hancock Whitney.

    When you think about business investment, you probably think about cities. Cities are where the money is. That’s where you find employees. And that’s where the concentrations of customers are. But, the reality is, 97% of the landmass of the United States is rural. 

    Now check this out. 80% of our population lives in the 3% of the country that is not rural. If you’re one of the 20% of the population who lives in the vastness of rural America, you need access to the same services and amenities as your counterparts in the city. Things like broadband. And capital to start and run a business.

    And that’s what Caitlin Cain provides as Vice President & Director of Rural America at an organization called Local Initiative Support Corporation, or LISC.

    LISC is one of the largest lenders in the US. They also invest money. They’re the first real estate investment fund to specialize in affordable housing. And they give money away as grants. Caitlin runs the rural division of LISC from her office in New Orleans.

    We learn in this conversation that your relationship to money can determine your opportunity to take risks that, if managed correctly, will make money. Having access to capital and credit is the lifeblood of American business and our economy. Billy Hoffman and Caitlin Cain demonstrate that access is not just for the privileged few, or people with a business background. Investment capital is accessible and has a human face.

     See photos from this show by Jill Lafleur at our website. Check out Caitlin's previous appearance on Out to Lunch alongside The Cajun Ninja.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 Ratings

Thurnis Rollie ,

Great way to learn about the city

Always entertaining and interesting guests that cover all aspects of business.

DouglasRyan ,

Always Entertaining

Peter Ricchiuti is a popular business professor at Tulane University who founded the Burkenroad Report. More importantly for podcast listeners, he is always entertaining, no matter the subject matter. Each week he entertains successful entrepreneurs over lunch at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. He is witty, creative and informative and his podcast rarely disappoints. New Orleans is a hotbed of entrepreneurship and startups, and Peter’s podcast shines a light on all the good things going on there.

EnzoNola ,

changing face of new orleans

hard to believe this show comes out of NO. Reminds me of the kind of entrepreneur tales from years ago in NYC or SiliconV. but with total New Orleans treatment - irreverent and fun with tons of personality tho manages to be NPR quality. it's actually on WWNO the NPR station in NO

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