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It's New Orleans: Out to Lunch

Business & Economics Podcasts

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.

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.


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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.




Count Us In

If you spend any time working with colleagues on Zoom, or other video platforms, you know there is one main goal all these products are trying to achieve: Real-time collaboration. You’re sitting at your desk, or kitchen table, and your colleagues are scattered around the country, or the world. But the conversation, the screen, and the whiteboard you’re sharing is meant to create the sense that you’re all in the same room. When you actually are in the same room as another person, unless...


Getting Ahead With Hair

There are a few famous families in New Orleans. The Nevilles. The Mannings. The Marsalis family. The Batistes. The Brennans. I could name more, and you can probably think of others too. Like mine, your list of names is likely going to be families of sports figures, musicians or restaurateurs. There are also families of business people here in New Orleans. Families that are every bit as dynastic as these other names. Like, for example, the Neill family. Hair In 1946, Harriet and Abner...


Chocolate Stocks

There’s a good chance you haven’t won the lottery. But you can probably imagine what you’d feel like if you did, because you’ve experienced a version of that kind of financial good news at some point. Maybe when you’ve gotten a bonus at work. Or when the IRS says you overpaid your taxes and sends you a refund. Everybody likes free money. For the most part, that’s why we invest in the stock market. Of course, the act of investing in the market and making money, is the same act as investing...


Holistic Health

Most of us measure our health inversely - by how infrequently we have to see a doctor. If we never have to go to the doctor, we must be super-healthy. But, if our only contact with the healthcare system is when something is wrong with us, can we really call that healthcare? Isn’t it really ill-health care? That’s the perspective that has led a recent generation of practitioners in the healthcare industry to focus on what they call “wellness.” At its most basic, wellness is an awareness of...


The North Shore

If you live in New Orleans you can go for weeks, months, even years, without having any connection to what goes on across the causeway, on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Mandeville, Covington, Madisonville, Hammond – they’re just names of places that get hammered when the weather forecast gets it wrong and storms go north of New Orleans. Ponchatoula sounds interesting. You’ve thought about checking out the strawberry festival. But when it comes right down to it, why not just get a...


The Forge In The Metaverse

Throughout history there are commonly periods of societal narcissism, in which we believe our own era is the most extreme example of whatever condition we’re considering. For example, in the 1950’s, Americans regarded the automobile as the absolute apex of human engineering, even though some thousands of years before, humans had managed to build the pyramids. Since the invention of fiction, we’ve credited contemporary creators with devising the most fantastical worlds ever imagined - from...


Hey Workaru

Even before the Covid pandemic transformed office workers into a nation of folks who sit at their dining table 3 days a week in dress shirt and yoga pants, we’ve been taking our laptops to coffee shops and hanging out there for hours, working. Today, the coffee shop is cemented permanently into our mix of alternative office spaces. Wherever you go in the United States, you see a particular breed of coffee-shop-warrior. They have ear buds in so they can’t communicate with anybody. And their...


Plant Based

“Sometimes you feel like a nut. Sometimes you don’t.” If you don’t know, or don’t remember, where that comes from, it was a 1970’s Hershey’s marketing campaign. The concept was to sell two candy bars with one ad. One candy bar was Almond Joy – made with almonds – which you ate when you felt like a nut - and the other was Mounds, which was made with coconut – which you ate when you didn’t. Despite its name, coconut isn’t technically a nut. Nevertheless, people who are allergic to tree nuts...


You Bet

Everybody likes to make money. The accumulation of wealth is so ingrained into our American way of life that wealth is synonymous with success. And for good reason. In our society, the more money you have the better access you have to pretty much everything – from healthcare to art. For some people, there are pathways to making huge amounts of money. But for most of us, there’s not. For most of us, it doesn’t matter how great we are at our job, there’s a definite ceiling to the amount of...


Wind Power

Whatever you believe is the cause of our changing climate, we seem to be living through an era of historically more storms, and more severe storms. Even if you only moved here recently, most of us in Louisiana have now lived through a major hurricane, or had one narrowly miss us. You’re no doubt all too familiar with the hurricane season ritual ahead of a storm heading in our direction. It starts about 5 Days out, with casually checking the weather forecast, and builds to obsessively...



Here’s a stupid question. Is 40% a lot? The answer, of course, is “Yes it is.” For example, if you order a pizza that has 8 slices, and you throw 40% of the pizza in the trash, you’ll only have 4.8 slices to eat. Why would you do that? You wouldn’t throw out 40% of a perfectly good pizza. That you paid for. Right? That would be a ridiculous waste of food and money. Well, believe it or not, you are in effect doing just that. And so is everybody else in the country. According to the FDA,...


Successful Exit Part II

On a recent show, we talked about Successful Exits with the founders of Turbosquid, Levelset, and Lucid. A successful exit is when your business is doing so well that someone buys it off you. In 2021 the founders of Turbosquid, Levelset and Lucid sold their New Orleans companies for $75m, $500m, and $1.1b dollars, respectively. As impressive as that is, it’s not the full story about all the successful exits that are happening in the New Orleans tech sector. On this edition of Out to Lunch...


The Quarter

For better or worse, New Orleans economy is dependent on tourism. As we’ve discussed previously on this show, critics say a tourist-dependent economy traps people in low-paid jobs. Tourism boosters say without the revenue generated by tourists we’d all be paying way more in taxes and our cost of living would be through the roof. Whichever of these positions you subscribe to, undeniably the heart of the New Orleans tourist industry - and therefore New Orleans’ vital finance generator - is...


You Know It

If you want to know the answer to a question, all you have to do is ask Alexa, Siri, or Google. If your question happens to be, “What is the capital of Latvia?” or something else pretty straightforward, Siri, Alexa, or Google will do just fine. But if you’re looking for information that’s more complex, or if you have to be absolutely certain that what you’re finding out is true, there’s another way of conducting research. There’s a vast repository of fact-checked knowledge at your local...



At some point, most of us encounter a life-altering medical condition. Either our own or someone around us. When you come face-to-face with Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, HIV, cancer, or any of the serious conditions the human body can fall victim to, it’s not uncommon to find yourself asking, “Why haven’t they found a cure for this yet?” And to hope that somebody, somewhere, right now, is working on a cure. The questions you probably don’t think about, are, who exactly are “they” who haven’t...


Pet Tourism

According to the most recent statistics, under 400,000 people live in Orleans Parish. In a regular year, around 19 million people come to visit us. These tourists spend a total of close to $10B. This reportedly contributes a massive 40% of the city’s annual tax revenue. Is having a tourist-dependent economy good for us? Or bad for us? Well, that depends who you ask. Many people who work in hospitality point out that their jobs are poorly-paid, with few if any benefits. There’s no job...


Whiskey Glass

We hear a lot about mindfulness these days. Mindfulness is, basically, not taking things for granted but instead being consciously aware of what is going on in the present moment. It’s unlikely that serious practitioners of mindfulness have a protocol for walking into a bar. But, hey, this is New Orleans. When you walk into a bar you might unconsciously be asking yourself, “What am I going to drink?” A more mindful approach might be to let your gaze fall on the bottles behind the bar. And...


21st Century Disruption

If you’re under 25 you might not be familiar with the term “disruption.” Disruption was the buzzword that drove most of the tech-boom in the early 2000’s. “Disruption” is a euphemism. It’s a combination of revolution and destruction. For example, streaming music platforms “disrupted” the recorded music industry. Uber “disrupted” the taxi industry. And in the biggest, most widespread disruption of all, e-commerce led by Amazon, disrupted the retail industry. As a result of e-commerce...


It's Education Stupid

When Louisiana native and New Orleans resident James Carville was working on Bill Clinton’s campaign for president, he famously scribbled a note and pinned it to the wall. The note read, “It’s the economy, stupid.” The implication being, that no matter what people say they care about, if they don’t have enough money, nothing else matters. Here in New Orleans, for decades, topping the list of things people say they care about, usually right under crime, is education. We also know that, with...


Cluey Claimly and the IV

A couple of decades ago, New Orleans’ business landscape was bleak. The economic decline that began with the oil bust of the 1970’s was followed by political corruption, poor education, and high crime rates. By the time we got to the 1990’s, the continually diminishing range of career opportunities here had led to a mass exodus of 25–35-year-olds. In 2002, a small group of enterprising New Orleanians had the idea that encouraging entrepreneurship might be a way to help turn the city’s...