Whether you work a third shift job, you drank too much to drive, or you’re without wheels and just can’t justify calling a Lyft to bring you to the Taco Bell drive thru at 1:30 a.m. on a Wednesday, Jeff Lampton knows your pain. Since 1999, the Milwaukee area comedian has padded his income as a part-time delivery driver (the past eight years with China Chef in South Milwaukee). Between his extensive delivery experience and regularly being faced with few, if any, late night food options after out of town performances, Lampton recently set out to fill a very specific gap in Milwaukee’s southeast suburbs by officially starting Hey Food Dude on St. Patrick’s Day.
From 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. every night of the week, the self-appointed Food Dude can be reached on his toll free number (844-FOOD-DUDE) to bring food that couldn’t otherwise be delivered to people in Oak Creek, Cudahy, South Milwaukee, parts of St. Francis, and airport-adjacent portions of Milwaukee proper who are unable or unwilling to get it on their own. Despite his comic background, Lampton is dead serious about serving prospective late night diners.
“It’s always been in the back of my mind to go for the fast food delivery idea and specifically cater it towards third shifters and night owls,” Lampton says.
For the food’s menu price (including tax), and an additional fee that factors in mileage and number of stops (and “hopefully tip”), the late night hero will brave the drive thru for you. Beyond traditional fast food joints, Lampton says he’ll also get carry out food from traditional late night restaurants and bars that don’t offer delivery, and even grab items from convenience stores. If you’re in his coverage area and the business is open, Hey Food Dude will strive to help you.
“I will have absolutely no delivery minimum,” Lampton says. “If you want a $1 package of donuts from the gas station, as long as you are willing to pay the delivery fee and surcharge, I will go and get you the donuts.”
A former third-shifter himself, Lampton is more than willing to sacrifice his nights and weekends to give late night workers more options than just pizza, and to help limit drunk driving.
“Obviously, first and foremost, I need to make this financially successful. But I am the type of person that no matter what I do, I try to find a way to help other people in the process,” Lampton says.
Though Lampton says he wants to take his time developing his unique and useful endeavor, he hopes to be able to offer 24-hour service (including breakfast delivery) by winter, and slowly expand his delivery radius if and when he’s able to bring on another driver thereafter. So the next time you’re over-served or working overnight in Milwaukee’s southeast suburbs and find yourself, once again, tormented by Culver’s downright selfish decision not to deliver, the Food Dude’s there for you.