Out To Lunch

Thursdays at 1:00 p.m. and Fridays at 6:30 p.m.

When you tune in to Out to Lunch, you'll find economist and Tulane finance professor Peter Ricchiuti conducting business New Orleans style: over lunch at Commander's Palace restaurant.

Each week Peter invites guests from the new world of the New Orleans business renaissance to join him. The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Inc. magazine have all named New Orleans the best city in the U.S. to be an entrepreneur, and Out to Lunch is at the forefront of the new New Orleans.

Out to Lunch is also available on the It's New Orleans website.

Major support for Out to Lunch comes from Jones Walker and IBERIABANK. Additional support comes from LUBA Workers' Comp.

Cheryl DalPozzal / It's New Orleans

If you live in New Orleans you're familiar with this scenario: You're having a perfectly normal day when suddenly you groan, "Oh noooo." You're not watching the Saints' defense — it's that other sinking feeling you get as a New Orleanian: when the power goes off.

On this week's Out to Lunch Peter takes a look at the other 364 days, 23 hours in the life of New Orleans' Fortune 500 company, Entergy, with Mark Kleehammer, Entergy's Vice President of Business Development Services.

Cheryl DalPozzal / It's New Orleans

Whatever era of boom or bust we’re in, it seems we never stop working on healthcare, or on education.

Locally, in education, New Orleans is the only city in the United States where 100 percent of our public schools are charter schools. What started out as a post-Katrina experiment has become a nationwide trend setting model. The Executive Director of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools, Caroline Roemer Shirley, explains the revolutionary new business model to Peter Ricchiuti on this episode of Out to Lunch.

When you're the CEO of a company you're principally required to make money. Then there's a whole other kind of business leadership, where things aren't quite so black and white.

Peter's guests on this episode of Out to Lunch inhabit a business world where they're supposed to make money and juggle often conflicting demands of politics, the local and tourist economy, the public good, urban history, and entertainment.

Cheryl DalPozzal / It's New Orleans

If you grew up in New Orleans there are two things you learned early on: where to make groceries, and how to make red beans.

If you moved here as an adult it doesn't take long to find a favorite grocery store — but making beans is a little more difficult. Maybe you secretly buy canned beans. If you do, you're not alone. Locals do it too. They've been doing it since 1950. That's when the canning company now called Blue Runner started up.

Richard Thomas, President of Blue Runner Foods, is Peter's guest on Out to Lunch.

Cheryl delPozzal / It's New Orleans

Over the last few years the word "disrupt" has found its way into the American business vocabulary. On today's Out to Lunch, Peter Ricchiuti introduces us to two local disrupters.

Tom Hayes is New Orleans General Manager of Uber. Uber is an international and nationwide car service that disrupts the taxi business — which it is in the process of doing here in New Orleans.

Steve Beatty is Editor of The Lens. The Lens is an investigative reporting organization that is disrupting local news media.

Rick Lineberger

In the New Orleans entrepreneurial community there’s a conversation that comes up fairly regularly. It’s speculation about who’s going to be the first company in the new wave of startups to break out. To hit the big time. To be our version of Google, Facebook, or Twitter.

Two of the company names that surface near the top of everybody’s list are Federated Sample and 365 Connect.

Cheryl delPozzal / It's New Orleans

If you've ever been in business, or been employed by a company of more than three people, you'll know that one of the hallmarks of every organization is well, organization. The best laid plans of small companies and big corporations can easily get lost in the mess of daily duties and decisions. Being able to identify and execute your intentions clearly is a vital part of any successful business.

Grant Morris / It's New Orleans


New Orleans is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. There is no specific reason — there's no amusement park or beach — but like other great cities such as Paris and Manhattan, people come here to spend time just living like we do.

Cheryl DalPozzal / It's New Orleans

A few years ago, for most of us "start up" was a verb — it was something you did to a car. These days it's a noun. A startup is a new business, typically based on a new and untested idea.

One of the toughest things about a startup, the noun, is the verb — starting it up. The main obstacles are figuring out the best way to go about it, and how to pay for it. One place startups turn to start up is an angel investor. Having an angel investor is kind of like having a successful uncle who believes in you enough to give you some capital and guidance.

Cheryl DalPozzal / It's New Orleans

Human beings love doing things in groups. It starts off with fun birthday parties when we're kids, and goes all the way to desperate attempts to have fun at conferences — which is why so many of them come to New Orleans.

While folks are here at a conference, Teddy Nathan's company, Crescent City Connections, rounds them up and puts them to work volunteering for local non-profits.