Food trucks making slow transit into restaurant market

Thursday , May 14, 2015 - 3:47 PM

By CALEB LARKIN
Standard-Examiner correspondent

LAYTON – Food trucks are dotting the landscape throughout Davis and Weber county. 

Restaurant Hospitality magazine suggested the recent food truck trend will only increase.

Ogden’s food truck market skyrocketed in the last year as several restaurants have dipped into the market to stay ahead of the game. The city will host an Esteem Food Truck Round Up planned for May 30 at 56th Street and Harrison Blvd to showcase the expanding industry.

For one Layton family the food truck venture was too good an opportunity to pass up.

Thomas Timothy shares ownership in the Waffle Wagon food truck with his two sons, Travis and Greg. They started the Waffle Wagon in May 2014 and revenue surpassed their expectations.

“My dad has always worked long days. He is self-employed and doesn’t have any retirement, so my brother and I decided to take on this venture as a kind of ‘retired-job’ for my dad,” Greg Timothy said, the younger of the two sons.

No one in the family had previous experience in the food industry. They took to it quickly once they decided on a product.

“We simply thought waffles was the best product we could come up with,” Thomas Timothy said. “We decided on a food truck because we thought we could be successful with it.”

And they have been.

Waffle Wagon already turned a significant profit its first year in business, the Timothy family said. The Timothy family expects to more than double their revenue next year.

They also plan to move a second truck into Weber County.

The Timothys said a lot of their business comes from catering for special events such as weddings, business luncheons and grand openings. But the greatest source of revenue comes from customers off the street.

The Waffle Wagon primarily does business in Davis County and sets up shop wherever it can.

“It would make it easier for businesses to operate if there was less red tape,” Greg Timothy said.

They noted that because it’s a new industry cities each have their own food truck regulations. Permission also need to be obtained from each county’s health department. The process to obtain permits, locations to setup, and business licenses becomes lengthy. Cities are learning to better accommodate food trucks and they expect regulation will improve soon.

Yet the advantages of the food trucks outweigh the negative.

“Food trucks have lower overhead and it’s mobile. The biggest advantage is being able to move to the event instead of the event coming to you,” Thomas Timothy said.

Advertisement cost is nearly non-existent. They market the waffles exclusively through social media and word of mouth. The mobility of the truck works as a self-advertisement.

“Sometimes food trucks have a negative connotation with cleanliness. But most of the kitchens in the trucks are actually cleaner than your average home or restaurant kitchen,” Greg Timothy said.

The Waffle Wagon’s one year anniversary is May 17. As the business continues to grow, they hope to eventually open a brick and mortar place as a stationary location.

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