No 24-hour diner chain inspires quite the same popularity as Waffle menu. Since its founding in Atlanta some 60 years ago, the restaurant has been elevated to cultural touchstone, now expansive across 25 U.S. states with over 2,000 locations. Slinging humble breakfast fare around the clock, 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 – call it 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 In accordance with Waffle House. The chain, which claims to have sold its billionth waffle sometime in 2015, recently saw both its founders, Tom Forkner and Joe Rogers Sr., die within just 2 months of merely one another. Here now, a look back at the legend, as well as for fans near and far, everything you need to learn about Waffle House.
Your First Step – The very first Waffle House made its debut in 1955 in 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 had 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, whatever they most wanted customers to order).
The initial Waffle Property is now a museum. The business began franchising in 1960 and initially grew slowly, but expansion acquired inside the ’70s and ’80s. Its empire now spans across a complete half of the 50 continental states, despite the fact that it’s concentrated inside the South, Waffle Houses are available as far north as Ohio so when far west as Arizona. Waffle House remains a privately held company today – Rogers’s son, Joe Rogers Jr., is currently the chairman – and fails to disclose annual sales figures, however in 2005 the organization claimed that it uses two percent of all eggs created in the U.S.
The Key Waffle House Language. Eating at Waffle House for 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 hash brown orders dedicated to memory, however for everybody else, the menu translates each esoteric term: “Scattered” identifies spreading the hash browns out over the grill so that they get crispy all around – 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.” One 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 could also just say to hell by using it and order them “all the way in which.”
Hash browns scattered, smothered, and covered. Like most every other diner, orders at Waffle House are subjected to plenty of customization, through the various egg preparations (over easy, scrambled, et al) to those signature hash browns. To ensure 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, and other condiments such as mayo packets and pickles in various, highly specific arrangements, servers can communicate to cooks what food should be equipped for each plate. For instance, to indicate a purchase of scrambled eggs with wheat toast, a tub of jelly is put on a larger oval plate upside down in the six o’clock position. (All the best memorizing this system except if you actually work there; average folks will surely must look up with awe.)
Famous Everyone Loves Waffle House. Though Waffle Home is prized being a refuge for the common people, a lot of celebrities have likewise pledged their allegiance. Prominently located just off busy interstates, waffle house breakfast menu has played host to numerous traveling musicians and earned itself a lot of references: Inside the track “Welcome to Atlanta,” Jermaine Dupri raps, “After jpgpiy party it’s the Waffle House/Should you ever been here you know what I’m talkin’ about.” One or more rap music video continues to be filmed in a Waffle House parking lot, and nineties sensation/current butt of endless jokes Hootie and also the Blowfish use a cover album titled “Scattered, Smothered, and Covered.” Oddly enough, WH also has its own record label, breakfast-themed cuts (think “Make Mine With Cheese” and “There’s Raisins within my Toast”) from which can be heard playing on the jukeboxes that occupy each location.