Pierre Vandamme, Co-Founder
Pierre Vandamme serves as the co-CEO of Bruges Franchising and co-founder of Bruges Waffles & Frites. He also is the owner and CEO of the four Utah Bruges Waffles & Frites locations. His contributions have been invaluable in helping adapt the concept for franchise restaurants, and he will continue to play an integral role in the development of new franchise locations. Before embarking on his restaurant adventure, he worked for more than 20 years as a pilot, developing his experience building relationships and delivering exceptional customer service.
Before coming to the U.S., Mr. Vandamme worked as a pilot in his native country of Belgium. He gained valuable customer service skills that have carried through to his work with Bruges Waffles & Frites, helping him effectively lead his teams and charm his customers. Pierre and his wife, Marie, moved their family to America in 1994, when she was given the opportunity to work at a company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. His pilot certification allowed him to be based out of any country, and the couple jumped at the chance. After settling into life in the states, Vandamme continued his pilot profession working with cargo companies, and eventually moved to SkyWest Airlines.
In 2002, Vandamme had been laid off and made the decision to reinvent himself, and pursue his interest in the food industry. It was then that he met fellow Belgian, Philippe Wyffels and the two recreated the Liège waffle they remembered from their youth. Together, they founded Bruges Waffles & Frites, offering their authentic creation in the streets of downtown Salt Lake City via a waffle cart. Demand was high, and business grew rapidly allowing the company to open a year-round restaurant location in downtown Salt Lake City. Since that time Bruges has opened 3 additional restaurant locations, and is currently offering opportunities for franchise restaurants throughout the western U.S.
When not involved with the restaurants, Pierre enjoys travelling, and spending time with his family.