Ah, Waffle House. A regional cultural icon in the south since 1955, they serve a plethora of foods (Breakfast menu / Lunch & Dinner menu) that tastes amazing but will clog your arteries by just looking at them.
Before I moved to the south, even with 20-something visits to Florida under my belt, I had never heard of Waffle House. But I was introduced to them around 1am on Christmas Day, 2007 (yup, it was such a life-changing moment that I remembered the date!) and never looked back. I heartily recommend an order of pecan waffles, with bacon and eggs.
Waffle Houses are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, almost regardless of what happens. The running joke is that they WILL BE OPEN, no matter what. In fact, as per Wikipedia:
“The Waffle House Index is an informal metric named after the Waffle House restaurant chain and is used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to determine the effect of a storm and the likely scale of assistance required for disaster recovery.
If you get there and the Waffle House is closed? That’s really bad…— Craig Fugate, Former Head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency
The measure is based on the reputation of Waffle House for having good disaster preparedness and staying open during extreme weather, or reopening quickly afterwards.
The index has three levels, based on the extent of operations and service at the restaurant following a storm:
- GREEN: full menu – restaurant has power and damage is limited or no damage at all.
- YELLOW: limited menu – no power or only power from a generator, or food supplies may be low.
- RED: the restaurant is closed – indicating severe damage or severe flooding.”
Well y’all, the time has come. S*** just got real. Because of coronavirus, Waffle Houses are closing.
Granted, we can breathe a small sigh of relief, because not ALL Waffle houses are closing. At least, not yet.
There are roughly 2000 Waffle Houses in the United States, going as far north as Ohio, as far south as Florida, as far east as the Atlantic coast, and as far west as Arizona. So far, as per their Twitter feed, 365 of them have closed.
But 1,627 of them are still open! And they’re all doing carry out only, so you can still order your Papa Joe’s pork chips & eggs with a cup of their famous Waffle House coffee and an order of hashbrowns scattered “all the way.” Just call first, just in case. And tip them well, please and thank-you.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the threat of coronavirus doesn’t get so bad that more Waffle Houses are forced to close. The more of them that are closed, the worse off we are.
*** Feature Photo (cropped): Mbrickn/Wikimedia
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and get emailed notifications of when we post. Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group – we have 12,000+ members and we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary