A Year of Change
I have been remiss in updating my website. (So sorry!) Some of you may notice that I have taken down my store. That was a “pandemic experiment,” designed to drive sales of my stock when things were slow. I am fortunate to say now that things are beginning to look up once again!
Last year (2020) at this time, I was completely shuttered due to the pandemic. During this time of year, I am usually booked with fundraisers for schools and churches and other non-profit groups. However, last year the Directed Health Measures capped gatherings at no more than 50. When you have a business model that requires a 200 person minimum for a fundraisers, that pretty much puts the kibosh on that!
So, I held on by doing small parties and by selling my wares to local people who wished to support me (and THANK YOU ALL for that!) The GOOD news is that the food trailer business was booming last year and I booked I believe 26 out of 31 days in July. I expect numbers this year to be similar as I am targeting more community celebrations and county fairs this year. So if you are wanting The Waffleman in your neighborhood or small gathering, NOW is the time to book!
I also ended up replacing my truck this year. The food trailer was just too much weight for the ol’ Tundra to pull, so I ended up getting a Ram diesel. I am hoping to get it decked out with my logos at some point this year, so fingers crossed for that!
I hope that your New Year is great, and that I get to see each of you at least once this year…either at my trailer or at a fundraiser for your favorite charity.
Book early and often!
Hello, friends and fans! Waffleman is beginning to roar back as the pandemic begins to wane! Many of you who know me well know that it was a tough slog at times. A BIG thank you goes to both the Lincoln and Nebraska community for rallying their support…not just around me, but around ALL small and community-based businesses.
As many of you may have heard, I basically went “dark” for just about 5 months this winter as the DHM’s limited group gatherings to 50 people or less. Since holding a Waffleman fundraiser requires a 200 person minimum. that meant that fundraisers completely went away from November 2020 to March 2021. (Thank you to Aurora and Wahoo Bishop Neumann which were my first two fundraisers of the year that brought me back from the brink!) As it turns out, our new food trailer which was originally intended to be just an “extra” source of bookings and income suddenly became my ONLY source of bookings and income!
That being said, I’m happy to say that bookings are returning stronger than ever now that I have multiple avenues to serve my customers (fundraisers, food trailer, Waffleman Express for small parties)! Toward that end, I would like to highly recommend that if you would like for me to serve your business, private event, neighborhood, wedding, graduation party or other event that you book me as early as you can! I am SO fortunate that demand is becoming high enough that I tend to book out about 2 1/2 months in advance at this point. So August is nearly full, September is starting to fill, so most of my open slots don’t begin until October 2021 at this point.
I am so grateful and fortunate that so many of you have come out to support us both at fundraisers and at our food trailer. Stay tuned to my social media and my website for upcoming NEW menu items that will be offered at the food trailer very soon!
Gearing up for the new season!
“Little darling, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter!”
The light is starting the show at the end of the tunnel for this pandemic. I just now signed up to get my CoVid shot when it becomes available, and the numbers in Lincoln are on the decline! So it got me thinking about starting up again in the springtime. My goal is mid-March, so if you or anyone you know would like for me to come to your neighborhood or special event, NOW is the time to get on my calendar!
Toward that end, I am also looking to bring on a person or two as assistants to help me with my fundraising activities and running the food trailer. The job will run part-time, 3-4 days per week (15-20 hours) on average and entails mixing, prepping, cooking, taking orders, and of course, excellent customer service. Come and learn The Waffleman way of doing things and get a warm, fuzzy feeling by helping your community at the same time!
If you are interested in working with us, please send your information to: email@example.com We would love to have you!
The Light at the end of the tunnel
Hello to all of my waffle fans!
I am excited to announce a new look to my website which includes a new online store so that you can purchase the same Golden Malted products that I use to make my waffles (along with the secret instructions on how to make them at home just like I do) as well as syrups and other products to come! They make great gifts! If you need many, please contact me about a case purchase at a discounted price (6-8 bags per case!) If you live in Lincoln NE, message me directly through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Messenger, and I will deliver or meet you personally rather than buying through the website. I offer cash discounts for those who can order that way.
It has been a difficult year for all of us, and I’m sure we are all craving a return to normal when we can get together and fundraise again for schools, churches and other needy groups. As you prepare for the holidays, please think of those who are struggling and do what you can for them. The “pay it forward” tab idea for local bars is one of the greatest ideas ever!
Take care of each other and watch out for the Waffleman trailer to roll out again in the spring. I will update my Facebook and website with the schedule once that happens. If you want to book me for your company or event in the meantime, please do!
Take care and mask up!
Learning as we go…
Hello, to all my waffle friends, fans, and new visitors! As I write this, I am getting ready to wrap up my first season with our new food trailer. It has been a wonderful, hard, hot, and meaningful experience as we get used to working from a trailer and cooking to order! Trying new recipes and coming up with new and fun items has been a blast, and I’m still brainstorming new ideas all the time!
For those of you who came out to support us in our first year, we want to say a big THANK YOU! We really appreciate everyone’s patience and willingness to wait as we worked out bugs and kinks in our ordering system. We have it down MUCH better than we did at the beginning of the season and during the down time, I will be experimenting with ways to step it up even more.
To all of the neighborhoods associations that had us out, again…THANK YOU! You are the main thing that has kept us afloat this year during the pandemic! Thank goodness for being able to socially distance with an outdoor trailer! And while I’m at it…thank you to Morrie Enders at Lincoln Community Playhouse for letting us kick off our season there back in April. We may be coming back in October for an encore performance! Stay tuned here or on my Facebook page for the schedule!
Speaking of upcoming schedules, here is one quick announcement: We will be serving at Home Depot South on September 23rd and 24th from 830am-730pm! Tell your friends and neighbors!
To be completely honest, he pandemic hit The Waffleman really hard. I had 6 bookings at the end of March, plus 12 bookings in April that all vanished entirely when the pandemic hit. All of my May graduation parties postponed (though thankfully, only one cancelled). So in April and May, the food trailer became our sole source of operating. Thankfully about that time, many Facebook and social media groups popped up in support of local small business. So a thank you to those moderators who sent customers to me and other small businesses in an effort to keep us afloat.
We will tuck the food trailer away for the season after Halloween weekend at the end of October, which means that without the fundraisers I would usually be doing, we will “go dark,” from November through February.
How can you help? Hire me for a “Waffleman Express” event this winter! I will come feed your office or small group an all you can eat waffle meal! When the “large group restrictions,” lift, we will be back on it and ready for fundraisers and fun!
Bring on The Waffles!
Hey, Waffle fans! We are proud to announce that The Waffleman has partnered with Lincoln Community Playhouse (56th and Normal, next to Gere Library) to give our waffle trailer a semi-permanent home for the foreseeable future! Starting this Wednesday, April 22nd, we will be at LCP every week from Wed-Sat. from 800 am until 1:30 pm for breakfast and lunch, and again from 4:30-7:30 for drive-up/carry out supper!
We will have our full menu available (see Facebook for details) including the original (everybody’s favorite!), plus flavored waffles and waffles on a stick for the kids or if you are just not that hungry!
15% of our sales will go back to support the Lincoln Community PLayhouse, plus we will be collecting donations to support LCP to help them continue their mission of providing quality live theater to Lincoln. 100% of tips and donations will go to LCP.
If you are still wanting to purchase our waffle mix, we will also have that available at LCP for $15 per bag. So please, stop by and support us and LCP and enjoy our waffles once again! Mention our “family special,” to receive 4 original waffles and sausage for just $20! (Usually $24)
A Time of Need
Hello, to all Waffle fans! I hope you are doing well and not going too stir crazy just yet. Many people have contacted me and have asked how they support The Waffleman during this time. Here is what I have come up with:
Since I can’t make waffles for you live right now (the food trailer will be up and running as soon as we are able), you can help support The Waffleman by buying a bulk bag of mix from us, so you can enjoy The Waffleman right in your own home! $15 will buy you a nearly 4lb bag of our special waffle flour, plus the secrets on how to make waffles at home “The Waffleman Way.” Call or text 402-560-0938 to make an order, or email us at email@example.com
One bag of mix will make 32-40 home waffles, and I even tell you how to divide things out so you don’t have to make them all at once! This way, you can support your favorite local business 🙂 and still enjoy the waffles that you wish I was making for you! We will deliver to your door, or set up a time to meet you at my offices. at 3900 S. 6th St #5
The name of this post is “A Time of Need.” I realize that many people out there are food insecure. If you (or someone you know) falls into this category, have them get a hold of me and I will GIVE their family a bag of mix with presentation of a SNAP card.
So there you have it! Buy a bag of waffle flour and continue to support our mission to help Nebraska fundraise and grow. We will get through this together. In the mean time, get some comfort food! I am on Venmo @wafflemanbill and on Paypal at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Current Craziness
Many people have asked me about the current pandemic and whether I see it affecting my business. When a national emergency like this comes along, it makes everyone step back and take a look at many aspects of their lives. All I can tell you is: this is big. Really big.
For those of us who have been around for a while, this will be to the younger generation their 9/11, their Kennedy Assassination, and their Great Depression. The kind of event they will be telling their kids and grand-kids alike.
But when major tragedies like this happen, I think of Mister Rogers who once told one of his viewers: “In times of tragedy, look for the helpers. The police, the doctors, the fire fighters, even regular people will step up to help out.”
That is what is so great about our state: the helpers. Our University Medical Center prepared themselves when news first broke and said: “Send us the sick. We are ready.” Just like we did with SARS and Ebola. Our state tends to stick together to make it through tough times. We proved it with the floods, and we will prove it again.
So remember to be kind to each other as always. When things return to normal, help those who are deeply affected by this turn of events by going out to eat, seeing a live show, and going to a sporting event. It will take time for all of us to recoup our losses from this pandemic. We may never fully recoup in fact. But we will perservere.
So wash your hands, and try to donate extra to your local food banks and pantries. Remember…poor people can’t afford to stock up and will need our help in the coming weeks more than ever.
A New Year + Musings on turning 50
Another year has nearly passed us by. So it is normal for us to look back on the past year with fondness and wistfulness, and to look ahead to new and exciting adventures coming to us in a new decade. This New Year is particularly meaningful to me because I will turn 50 years young in just a few short weeks, so I will share with you some of the the things I have learned in a half century on this planet.
First of all, I am grateful. Grateful to everyone in Lincoln and the entire state of Nebraska, as well as the good folks of Iowa, Kansas and South Dakota for having me come into your lives to serve you and help you raise money for your causes. It is because of you all that I have been able to expand my offerings and my business so quickly.
Second, I am proud of who we are as a country and as a people. If there is one thing that the recent divisiveness in this country has shown me, it’s that we are a lot more the same than we are different. Sometimes divisions make our families stronger and I see it every day. Since Mr. Rogers is getting so much attention lately, I will use one of his quotes: “When bad things happen, look for the helpers.” You see them every day. Just keep an eye out and help each other whenever possible.
Finally, here are some words of wisdom that I (and others) have come up with. I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self some of these things, but we all must learn at our own pace.
- ‘Tis better to keep your mouth shut and allow people to think you an idiot than to open it and remove all doubt – Mark Twain
- Pepperoni Totino’s pizza rolls are the only good ones – don’t even waste your time with other flavors/brands
- When you are dissatisfied and wish to go back to your youth, think of algebra. – Will Rogers
- At my age, I won’t even buy green bananas! – Larry Miller
- When I was a boy, the Dead Sea was only sick – George Burns
- I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I wan to achieve it through not dying – Woody Allen
- Waffleman waffles are the best around! I couldn’t do any of this without my assistant Cameron, and the guidance of Doug M.
The Next Chapter
The word is out! The Waffleman has added a new food trailer to my assortment of offerings. Don’t worry, the recipe has not changed and neither has the fundraising. But the food trailer will allow for even more fun!
Two years in the design and execution, The Waffleman Food Trailer will not only offer our traditional 9″ Belgian waffles and sausage, but it will also offer up to two specialty flavors of waffles at each location which will be available as a 9″ Belgian waffles or as a Waffle Dawg (a waffle on a stick!)
Flavors will include: Strawberry, Chocolate, Banana Nut, Cinnamon Roll, Red Velvet, Maple Cinnamon, Pumpkin Spice and Apple (seasonal). Premium waffles may include real strawberry, blueberry and apple toppings. Want to try more than one? You will have to follow us on social media (Facebook and Twitter) to find out where we will be each week!
I want to thank the people of Nebraska for supporting my business and allowing for this expansion. I hope to keep your stomachs full of our deliciousness for many years to come! Also, thank you again to Doug McCallum for starting this whole thing back in 2002. We wouldn’t be the same without you, Doug! Finally, thank you to Cameron (my kitchen manager) and Mark for always being willing to help make The Waffleman successful!