Ah, Christmas Day. Wake up and open presents. Spend time with family. Head to your favorite Waffle House? Christmas is one of the busiest days of the year for the breakfast chain—and not just because it’s about the only restaurant open. “We have customers who come out that day just to see their favorite servers,” says Pat Warner, WaHo’s vice president of culture. “Families showing up in their pajamas after getting up and opening their gifts.” The camaraderie extends to WaHo execs, all of whom work alongside cashiers and cooks on Christmas. Years ago Warner watched as a regular customer acted as a greeter, offering a rose to every woman who entered. Last year he saw a Griffin pastor and his daughter do the same (minus the roses). “It goes back to the passion our customers and our associates have for that little shoe box of a restaurant,” Warner says.
This article originally appeared in our December 2015 issue.