Waiter With Wheels

Service brings local fare home

Five years ago Jason Westphal found himself in a situation in which food delivery became a necessity, and Georgetown was missing a solution.

After taking matters into his own hands, he opened Waiter With Wheels, a restaurant delivery service he said is as easy as shopping on Amazon.com.

What makes it unique is that you can order and pay online, he said. I had an order placed today at 5:30 in the morningso you can order in advance.

Prior to opening his own business Westphal was selling data storage for an IT company when his grandfather had a stroke that left him immobilized. As a result, he said his family members began juggling extra tasks to help, including providing food.

It was like, Whos going to go get granddad takeout? Westphal said. If he had to get delivery, his options were severely limited.

The family quickly exhausted pizza as a resource, and Westphal realized that not only would people want restaurants to deliver, but some need it.

I kept telling my parents, There should be some kind of delivery thing, he said. My dad used to own a restaurant and is now a retired financial adviser, so knowing those two worlds he basically was like, I think theres some way to charge for delivery or somehow to make money doing delivery, and youre just the middle man.

Westphal sought out a mentor and connected with a man running a similar company in Florida. Under his guidance, Westphal started Waiter With Wheels.

During the companys first few months Westphal said he noticed a bulk of his customers were in situations similar to what his family had gone through.

A lot of our customers are rehabilitating from a surgery, or theyre sick, he said. We had one customer, and his wife was dying of cancer. He became part of our lives because we were delivering to him almost every day for a month. Those were tough days for him.

Because his grandfathers ailment was a catalyst for him to start his business, Westphal said being able to help in trying situations has become satisfying for him.

Thats why Im glad I got in the service industrybecause it does make you feel good about what you do, he said. My previous job before thisits corporate sales, and there are no relationships there. That made me feel very empty; this makes me feel like Im helping everybody because I make extra money for the restaurant, and I fill that void that a lot of customers have.

Westphal has been delivering since Januarystarting with four restaurants and gradually building his way up to the more than 12 he works with now. He said his goal is to add a new restaurant every month.

Catfish Parlour owner Chris Kerbow said he was one of the first to sign on.

In Austin we have two restaurants, and theres a delivery service and its been very successful for us, Kerbow said. Its easy for our business because we dont do anything differentwe just wait for them to order, and we package it up.

Waiter With Wheels is also in the process of expanding to Round Rock, but Westphal said one of his favorite parts of the job is maintaining a relationship with his customers and he plans to keep it that way.

Our tagline is, We look forward to serving you, he said. My goal is to serve my restaurant partners and my customers just like I would serve my granddadwith the same quality, tenderness and respect.

How it works

1. Enter your zip code online.

The service delivers within a 7-mile radius of each restaurant. There is a $15 minimum order requirement and a delivery fee up to $4.99 depending on distance.

2. Place your order.

Each available restaurant based on your location is linked to a menu. Customers can choose what they want and modify their order to their liking.

3. Wait.

The restaurant will receive a fax containing your order. Westphal said he calls each restaurant when he sees an order has been placed to make sure the restaurant received the information. The wait after placing an order is usually 45 minutes to an hour, he said.

Waiter With Wheels, 512-948-1101, www.waiterwithwheels.com, Hours: Mon.Fri. 11 a.m.2:30 p.m., 4:309 p.m.; Sat.Sun. 4:309 p.m.