Date: July 2017
This month’s episode of 12 for 12 takes Adam behind the counter to learn the secret ingredients of Waffle House’s long history and ever-expanding Waffle Nation. Get ready to dig in with a diner doing it right since 1955. Order up! Many companies claim to put people first, but often this means “first, juuust after revenue, reputation and ROI.” For Southern staple, Waffle House, however, it’s always the people who matter most.
Whether you’re part of their Regulars Club or just looking for some comfort food after a long night, the staff at Waffle House is there to offer relief, any time of day, with a great meal, a hot cup of coffee and a warm smile.
Though currently serving up joy at over 2,000 locations across the United States, Waffle House was born from humble beginnings with a single restaurant that opened Labor Day Weekend in 1955. Founders Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner joked they only ever wanted to create a few restaurants and then go fishing. Hundreds of restaurants and millions of happy customers later, they never found time to fish, but they did accomplish something truly extraordinary.
What was behind this All-American diner’s success? Their long-running slogan of “Good Food Fast” says a lot. Their transparent marketing highlights the quality, made-to-order food and the consistent customer service experience. In all areas, Waffle House retains much of the original magic—bringing dedicated customers back time and again. Tie all that to reasonable prices and the friendliest staff you’ll find anywhere, and you have a recipe for something very special.
As such a consistent brand, one that began showing up along highways across the Southern United States, Waffle House’s popularity has continued to grow. It’s come to represent something familiar, something welcoming, and something delicious. And lovers of the restaurant are nearly fanatical in their devotion. Waffle House has inspired fan art, music, a vibrant social media community, and nods to their brand across pop culture. An impressive number of couples have even turned to Waffle House for their wedding venue.
This cultural icon is a classic for all the right reasons. For our third episode in Atlanta, we are so happy to salute a brand that has stayed true to its roots for over sixty years, bringing out the best in casual dining and forever showing its community a little scattered, smothered, and covered love.