No 24-hour diner chain inspires quite exactly the same popularity as Waffle House prices. Since its founding in Atlanta some 60 years ago, the restaurant has been elevated to cultural touchstone, now sprawling across 25 U.S. states with over 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 the above, plus a little bit of that inexplicable Southern diner magic – refer to it as the Waffle House je ne sais quoi.
The chain has inspired numerous books, including a first-person narrative coming from a former line cook titled As the Waffle Burns as well as one with a pastor called – naturally – The Gospel According to Waffle House. The chain, which claims to have sold its billionth waffle sometime in 2015, recently saw both of its founders, Tom Forkner and Joe Rogers Sr., die in just two months of a single another. Here now, a look back at the legend, and for fans near and far, all you need to find out about Waffle House.
Your First Step – The initial Waffle House made its debut in 1955 within the Atlanta suburb of Avondale Estates. The vision: combine fast food, available twenty-four hours a day, with table service. Co-founder Forkner once explained how he and Rogers, who have been neighbors, started the chain: “He said, ‘You build a restaurant and I’ll show you the best way 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 House is now a museum. The organization began franchising in 1960 and initially grew slowly, but expansion found in the ’70s and ’80s. Its empire now spans across an entire half of the 50 continental states, despite the fact that it’s concentrated in the South, Waffle Houses can be found as far north as Ohio so that as far west as Arizona. Waffle House remains a privately held company today – Rogers’s son, Joe Rogers Jr., has become the chairman – and will not disclose annual sales figures, but in 2005 the company claimed which it uses two percent of all eggs created in the U.S.
The Trick Waffle House Language. Eating at Waffle House the very first time requires becoming versed in a new vernacular – exactly what the hell does “scattered, smothered, and covered” mean? True Waffle House devotees have their own hash brown orders dedicated to memory, but also for everyone else, the menu translates each esoteric term: “Scattered” identifies spreading the hash browns out across the grill so that they get crispy all around – otherwise, they’re cooked within a steel ring – and is probably the mostly commonly heard terms thrown around at WH; many also order them “well-done.” The other topping options are smothered (sautéed onions), covered (melted American cheese), chunked (bits 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. Similar to most any other diner, orders at Waffle House are subject to lots 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 own highly esoteric visual coding system. By marking plates with butter pats, mini tubs of grape jelly, and other condiments including mayo packets and pickles in a variety of, highly specific arrangements, servers can communicate to cooks what food should be ready for each plate. For example, 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 unless you actually work there; average folks will simply must look on with awe.)
Famous Everyone Loves Waffle House. Though Waffle House is prized as a refuge for your common people, a lot of celebrities have also pledged their allegiance. Prominently located just off busy interstates, https://www.storeholidayhours.org/waffle-house-menu-prices/ has played host to numerous traveling musicians and earned itself a lot of references: Within the track “Welcome to Atlanta,” Jermaine Dupri raps, “After jpgpiy party it’s the Waffle House/If you happen to been here do you know what I’m talkin’ about.” A minumum of one rap music video has been filmed in a Waffle House car park, and nineties sensation/current butt of endless jokes Hootie and the Blowfish use 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 is often heard playing on the jukeboxes that occupy each location.