Melvin Rodrigue is the president of Galatoire's Restaurant. In 2006, Rodrigue introduced an innovation that patrons of Galatoire's quickly embraced: the restaurant began auctioning off tables for lunch on the Friday before Christmas and the Friday before Mardi Gras. Because of Galatoire's first-come, first-served policy, people were lining up as early as Monday to secure seats for lunch. Rodrigue realized that an auction for coveted tables on these dates made sense. The money from the auctions goes to the Galatoire's Foundation; proceeds from this year's auction will help Cafe Reconcile and the Idea Village. To date, the auctions have raised $900,000 and Melvin hopes this 2014 year will push the total over the $1 million mark. The 2014 Mardi Gras auction will be on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at Galatoire's 33 Bar & Steak (215 Bourbon St.). Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will start at 5 p.m. and the auction will begin at 6 p.m. In this podcast, Rodrigue shares information about the auction and describes Galatoire's exciting expansion, including the restaurant's popular new steakhouse.

Listen to the podcast here.