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Foodservice families' heirs launch food truck company

Foodservice families' heirs launch food truck company

The scions of two foodservice companies have teamed up to create The Butcher’s Son food truck in Dallas, and expect to have five trucks rolling by February.

Jon Wagner, grandson of Johnsonsville Sausage founder Ralph Stayer, and Dain B. Pool, son of Lawrenceville, Ga.-based Pool’s Restaurant Group founder Dan Pool, have formed Two Trucks LLC. The company’s first Butcher’s Son truck debuted Oct. 5, and a second truck is scheduled to deploy on Oct. 17.

“Powered by Johnsonville” is printed on the side of the truck, but the menu goes beyond sausage to include breakfast dishes, such as pastrami with eggs and cheese on a roll. It also offers sandwiches, sausage plates, quesadillas, sliders, fries, and fried Oreo cookies and cake pops for dessert.

In the first week of operations, Pool said the most popular items have been a trio of sliders, a stuffed pepper, a double-bratwurst sandwich, a beef-andouille sausage po’boy and a braised-beef quesadilla.

Breakfast checks have averaged $3 to $5 during that time, and lunch checks have averaged $6 to $9, Wagner said.

Pool said the company envisions having as many as 200 company-owned trucks nationwide by 2014.

He also said teaming with an established sausage purveyor like Johnsonsville “offers us the highest quality products with the legendary flavor, also it gives the customer the peace of mind of a trusted brand.”

Hear more from Wagner and Pool about the food truck business; story continues on next page

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Pool said Pool’s Restaurant Group is providing a “background corporate structure, operational systems, accounting systems, training systems and a home-base headquarters.”

Pool’s Restaurant Group already has a number of food trucks on the road. It operates eight Gandolfo’s New York Deli trucks to complement its 50 brick-and-mortar locations in 15 states. Pool’s also owns the Petro’s Chili & Chips brand, which has 16 brick-and-mortar locations and one truck. Petro’s has three more trucks on the way.

Pool noted the growing food truck niche has a number of obstacles, including keeping the routes new and not saturating a certain location. In addition, finding employees to work a food truck can be a challenge.

“There is a ton of interaction with the customer, as well with the food. It takes a certain type of employee who can handle both,” Pool said.

Opportunities for the brand include a wide array of untapped areas for development and being mobile instead of in one location, Pool added. The truck, he said, is “a constant moving billboard for marketing and brand penetration.”

Two Trucks selected the Dallas area because of its foodie market and growing popularity of food trucks, Pool said.

“Customers are seeking gourmet options for a lower price because we do not have the overhead of many brick-and-mortars,” he said.

The Butcher’s Son’s target demographic spans 21- to 35-year-old male and female professionals, Pool said.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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