No 24-hour diner chain inspires quite the same popularity as Waffle House near me. Since its founding in Atlanta some 60 years back, the restaurant has been elevated to cultural touchstone, now expansive across 25 U.S. states using more than 2,000 locations. Slinging humble breakfast fare 24 hours a day, Waffle House inspires deep and unyielding loyalty in diners like few restaurant chains (except maybe Whataburger) can. Is it the cheap prices? The no-frills atmosphere? Those illustrious hash browns that somehow taste better when you’re intoxicated? The waitresses that undoubtedly call you “honey”? Likely some combination of all of the above, plus a little bit of that inexplicable Southern diner magic – call it the Waffle House je ne sais quoi.
The chain has inspired numerous books, together with a first-person narrative from the former line cook titled As the Waffle Burns along with one by a pastor called – naturally – The Gospel Based on Waffle House. The chain, which states to have sold its billionth waffle sometime in 2015, recently saw each of its founders, Tom Forkner and Joe Rogers Sr., die within just 2 months of one another. Here now, a look back at the legend, as well as for fans near and far, everything you need to know about Waffle House.
The Start – The very first Waffle House made its debut in 1955 inside the Atlanta suburb of Avondale Estates. The vision: combine fast food, available round the clock, with table service. Co-founder Forkner once explained how he and Rogers, who have been neighbors, started the chain: “He said, ‘You create a restaurant and I’ll explain to you how to run it.’” They named it Waffle House because waffles were the most profitable menu item (and for that reason, what they most wanted customers to order).
The initial Waffle Home is now a museum. The business began franchising in 1960 and at first grew slowly, but expansion found within the ’70s and ’80s. Its empire now spans across an entire one half of the 50 continental states, and though it’s concentrated in the South, Waffle Houses can be obtained as far north as Ohio so that as far west as Arizona. Waffle House remains a privately owned company today – Rogers’s son, Joe Rogers Jr., is now the chairman – and fails to disclose annual sales figures, but in 2005 the business claimed that it uses two percent of all eggs produced in the U.S.
The Key Waffle House Language. Eating at Waffle House the first time requires becoming versed in a new vernacular – just what the hell does “scattered, smothered, and covered” mean? True Waffle House devotees have their own hash brown orders focused on memory, but also for everybody else, the menu translates each esoteric term: “Scattered” identifies spreading the hash browns out across the grill therefore they get crispy throughout – otherwise, they’re cooked within a steel ring – and is one of the mostly commonly heard terms thrown around at WH; many also order them “well-done.” Another topping choices are smothered (sautéed onions), covered (melted American cheese), chunked (pieces of ham), diced (tomatoes), peppered (jalapeños), capped (grilled mushrooms), topped (chili), or country (smothered in sausage gravy). Diners can also just say to hell with it and order them “all just how.”
Hash browns scattered, smothered, and covered. Like the majority of every other diner, orders at Waffle House are subjected to a lot of customization, from the various egg preparations (over easy, scrambled, et al) to the people signature hash browns. To make certain order accuracy and kitchen efficiency, Waffle House staff have their own highly esoteric visual coding system. By marking plates with butter pats, mini tubs of grape jelly, as well as other condiments including mayo packets and pickles in a variety of, highly specific arrangements, servers have the ability to communicate to cooks what food should be ready for each plate. For instance, to indicate a purchase of scrambled eggs with wheat toast, a tub of jelly is placed over a larger oval plate upside down in the six o’clock position. (All the best memorizing this technique until you actually work there; everyone else will simply need to look up with awe.)
Famous People Like Waffle House. Though Waffle Home is prized as a refuge for that common people, plenty of celebrities also have pledged their allegiance. Prominently located just off busy interstates, https://wafflehouse.com/waffle-house-menu/ has played host to many traveling musicians and earned itself plenty of references: Within the track “Welcome to Atlanta,” Jermaine Dupri raps, “After jpgpiy party it’s the Waffle House/Should you ever been here do you know what I’m talkin’ about.” At least one rap music video continues to be filmed in a Waffle House parking area, and nineties sensation/current butt of endless jokes Hootie and the Blowfish have a cover album titled “Scattered, Smothered, and Covered.” Oddly enough, WH also features its own record label, breakfast-themed cuts (think “Make Mine With Cheese” and “There’s Raisins inside my Toast”) from which may be heard playing on the jukeboxes that occupy each location.