Wait Staff On Wheels is a new business formed in response to two distinct needs in The Valley. First, local waitstaff have been sidelined by lack of in-person dining at local restaurants and secondly, there’s no unified delivery service to help visitors and residents support local restaurants via takeout.
Enter Jenna Rossbauch, a local server, and Mimi Bain, co-owner of Stoke Ramen in Waitsfield, and Wait Staff On Wheels was born.
“The delivery service is an idea that I had, but a lot of people contributed to it. I’d been waitressing in Stowe and they were going to an all takeout model for winter, then called me back and said they were going to go back to dining in. I said no,” Rossbach said.
Given that many local restaurants have gone to a takeout only model, she got to talking to Bain and others and realizing that The Valley doesn’t have Ubereats or any services available. They came up with the idea of using unemployed waitstaff to collect and deliver meals from centrally-located restaurants.
The first week was busy and hectic as they worked out the details. Last weekend -- the service is available Thursday through Sunday, 4 to 8 p.m. – things were busy enough for three drivers, Rossbach said.
“Two big things right now, we aren’t delivering alcohol until we know that it’s legal to do so and we’re now delivering in Moretown,” she said.
The service is available for Warren, Waitsfield, Fayston and Moretown residents in zip codes 05673, 05674 and 05660.
“Teaming up with restaurants in close proximity made the most sense. We had interest from restaurants not in the downtown Waitsfield area, but for now we’re working in this area,” Rossbach said.
There are six restaurants participating: American Flatbread, Mad Taco, Worthy Burger Too, Stoke Ramen, Canteen Creemee and Pizza Soul.
Rossbach is excited that so far, they have created seven jobs for unemployed servers. They’re working with three to four drivers and a dispatch person each night. The Wait Staff on Wheels entity is not making any money on the deliveries. It is all going to the drivers and the dispatcher who gets tipped out by the drivers.
Wait Staff On Wheels is paying the credit card fees and taxes, Rossbach noted and said local restaurants operate on a different point-of-sale system so she and Bain decided to be a completely separate service.
“You call the restaurant and order food and then call Wait Staff On Wheels and give us your time and the dispatcher coordinates it so that, say, three to five orders, all at 5 p.m. are going to Sugarbush Village. We do a lot of texting,” she said noting that one of her drivers met a Roxbury resident at the East Warren Market for a delivery.
“So far, all our deliveries have been after 6 p.m. and we’re open starting at 4 p.m. We may offer tailgate service or lunch service to Sugarbush so people can each lunch or enjoy a hot flatbread for après at their car. We’re also considering this a way to support people who have arrived in Vermont and are quarantining and want to follow the travel restrictions,” she said.
Wait Staff On Wheels is offering contactless delivery and has had several people taking them up on that offer.
“I think the demand is there. It’s a little complicated to coordinate things, but we’re figuring it out,” she said.
Here’s the how to section from the website: https://waitstaffonwheels.square.site/product/waitstaffonwheels/1.
And here is the number to call or text: (802) 370-3005.S