Here in Georgia, finding someone who’s never eaten at a Waffle House is about as common as a snowflake in July. The 24/7/365 diner chain that got its start — and is still headquartered — here is a beloved Peach State institution.
Many Georgia Waffle Houses are Walton Gas customers.
The iconic yellow-and-black Waffle House signs have been a beacon for the hungry since its first location opened in Avondale Estates north of Atlanta on Labor Day 1955. But there’s more to the chain than just bacon, eggs and smothered-and-covered hash browns. For instance, did you know many Georgia WaHos, as they are affectionately nicknamed, are Walton Gas customers just like you?
Here are eight more noteworthy tidbits about the chain that turns 66 later this year:
- Atlanta has more Waffle Houses than any other city in America. Georgia has 437 WaHos, one location for roughly every 24,000 Georgians. More than 263 of those are in the metro Atlanta area.
- They’re truly fast. Waffle House aims for no more than eight minutes to pass between order and eating.
- They serve enough bacon annually to wrap around the world. Every year, Waffle House sizzles up 25,000 miles of bacon strips. Laid end to end, that’s enough bacon to wrap all the way around the equator.
- They’re ‘eggs-ceptional.’ At 272 million annually, Waffle House serves 2 percent of all the eggs used in the food service industry. Many of those eggs are produced on farms right here in Georgia.
- There’s a Coca-Cola connection. The chain is loyal to fellow Georgia-based company Coca-Cola, serving its soft drink products consistently since the first location opened. Then, and now, the two operate on a handshake agreement.
- The cooks are stars. Also known as “Elvis on the grill,” Rock Star Grill Operator is Waffle House’s term for its best short-order cooks. After proving themselves as a good master grill operator, cooks can graduate to rock star status after taking and passing more tests and evaluations.
- The original Waffle House is a museum. The first Waffle House, at 2719 East College Avenue in Avondale Estates, has been transformed into a museum and restored to look exactly as it did in 1955. Call ahead to book a tour. Side note: The museum, as well as the Waffle House corporate office, are also served by Walton Gas.
- FEMA uses Waffle House to measure disasters. Waffle House locations are fully prepared to operate on no power and limited supplies in the event of a severe natural disaster. Because of this, FEMA officials have confirmed that they partially gauge how hard a hurricane or tornado has hit any given area by using the “Waffle House Index.” According to the scale, Code Green means the full Waffle House menu is being served and all is running normally. Code Yellow means a limited menu is being served and electricity may be cut off. Code Red means the WaHo is closed and the situation is serious.
- Every 60 seconds, Waffle House employees across the nation serve up:
- 341 strips of bacon
- 238 hash brown orders
- 145 waffles
- 127 cups of coffee (Yearly, it’s enough to fill about eight Olympic swimming pools.)
- 110 sausage patties
- 96 orders of grits
- 1,572,864: The number of possible hash brown combos, according to Waffle House.
- 25: Number of U.S. states with a Waffle House location.
- 16: The number of items on the first Waffle House menu.