Waffle House: 7 fun facts about the widely loved Southern staple

A closer look at the iconic, all-day breakfast joint

Courtesy of Bigstock.com

If you’ve ever had the midnight munchies, you’re probably a fan of this Southern mainstay. With its iconic yellow-and-black sign luring travelers onto exit ramps all over the country, Waffle House has been serving up greasy-spoon comfort food to customers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year since it opened on Labor Day 1955.

  • The highest concentration of Waffle House locations is found in the Southeast, and Georgia takes the cake (or waffle) with more than 430 restaurants. South Carolina is second, with 169 locations and counting.
  • The original Waffle House in Avondale Estates, Georgia, is now a museum where you can view memorabilia (think original uniforms and old menus) from the past sixty-three years.
  • During the restaurant’s early days, you could feast on a filet mignon with a salad, a toasted bun, and of course, hash browns for just $1.50.
  • Every minute, Waffle Houses serve an average of 341 bacon strips, 238 orders of hash browns, 145 waffles, and 127 cups of coffee.
  • A cultural icon, Waffle House is often referenced in popular music, including Jermaine Dupri’s “Welcome to Atlanta” and Hootie & the Blowfish’s album Scattered, Smothered and Covered.
  • So beloved is this all-day breakfast joint, the cities of Oxford, Mississippi, and College Station, Texas, have groups petitioning for a local Waffle House, citing that they’re the only cities in the SEC without a location.
  • Thanks to the restaurant’s dependable round-the-clock service, FEMA uses an informal “Waffle House Index” to gauge the severity of natural disasters. Code Green means all is well and the restaurants are fully functioning; Code Yellow means a limited menu is being served and the power may be out; Code Red means the restaurant is closed and the sky might be falling.

This article appears in our Spring/Summer 2018 issue of Southbound.