9 Things You Didn't Know About Waffle House
"Waffle House" by atmtx is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Waffle House


Originating in Georgia, Waffle House has become a staple in American dining culture. With its distinct yellow sign and 24/7 operations, it’s much more than just waffles and coffee. Here are some intriguing facts about this iconic eatery.

Origin Story

Waffle House was founded by Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner in Avondale Estates, Georgia, in 1955. While it’s now a widespread chain, its roots are deeply Southern.

The Waffle House Index

FEMA unofficially uses a “Waffle House Index” to gauge the severity of a natural disaster. If a Waffle House is closed, it’s a dire sign since they’re renowned for staying open through almost anything.

Musical Mentions

Numerous artists, especially in the country genre, have referenced Waffle House in their songs, making it a symbol of Southern life, nostalgia, and late-night tales.

Company-owned, Franchising is rare

Unlike many restaurant chains, Waffle House makes it difficult to franchise. The company prefers for its restaurants to be company-owned ensuring consistency in service and offerings. Only about 20% of Waffle House restaurants are franchises and opportunities to franchise are typically only open to existing franchise owners.

Waffle Statistics

The chain serves about 145 waffles every minute. That’s over 76 million waffles each year, proving their popularity isn’t just in the name.

A Steak Surprise

Beyond their breakfast offerings, Waffle House sells more T-bone steaks than any other U.S. establishment. Their menu caters to diverse palates.

Always Open

One of the chain’s defining traits is that it never closes, not even on holidays or during most natural disasters. It’s a beacon of reliability.

Southern Concentration

While it feels like Waffle House is everywhere, it’s primarily located in the Southeastern U.S. Of the over 2,000 locations, they’re spread across just 25 states.

The Culinary Lab

Waffle House’s test kitchen in Georgia is where the magic happens. New menu items are conceived and tested here, keeping the offerings fresh and innovative.

The next time you visit Waffle House, whether it’s in Georgia or elsewhere, remember these fun tidbits that make this chain unique in the vast landscape of American dining.

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