Batten Down the Hatches, Waffle House Just Closed!

In 2011, the Director of FEMA referred to the “Waffle House Index,” something they used to measure how hard a natural disaster hit an area.

“It’s a point of pride that we do so well to keep our restaurants open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, in almost any situation” -Waffle House CEO, Walt Ehmer

Waffle House’s claim to fame is that they will stay open 24/7 as long as it’s possible. There’s even a myth that Waffle House restaurants have no lock on their doors because they never lock up.

Where Hurricane Katrina once stomped, a lone Waffle House stands by cgkinla
Where Hurricane Katrina once stomped, a lone Waffle House stands by cgkinla

FEMA states that when a Waffle House location is closed they know that area needs aid.
It’s true!

The Waffle Disaster Plan

Your local Waffle House is prepared to work without power and low food supplies. In extreme cases some locations have a “Mobile Command Center,” which is just a fancy term for food truck.

The restaurant chain is so ready for disasters that most chains have emergency menus already printed for cases where they either don’t have power or are low on supplies. And when the see an imminent disaster (usually a storm or hurricane) local restaurants will start to stock up on necessities like ice and eggs to feed people even if new food can’t reach them.

The Official Waffle Scale

To measure how bad an area is affected this scale is used.

  • Green: The full menu is being served. Everything is running normally.
  • Yellow: A reduced menu is being served. The restaurant may be lacking supplies or electricity.
  • Red: The Waffle House is Closed.

Still don’t believe us?


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