On Labor Day 1955, Mr. Joe Rogers Sr. debuted the first-ever Waffle House restaurant with Avondale Estates neighbor Tom Forkner. Since opening day on Monday, Sept. 5, the beloved late-night, all-day breakfast chain has expanded to more than 1,900 restaurants nationwide, serving up more than 2 billion eggs and 1.8 billion orders of its signature hash browns. According to the company, every 60 seconds, employees dish out 341 strips of bacon, 145 waffles and 127 cups of coffee.
Here’s more Waffle House trivia by the numbers (pre-pandemic, of course):
More than 1,900 restaurants across 25 states: The states without a single Waffle House are Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
439: The number of locations in Georgia.
263: The number of locations in metro Atlanta. The area is home to the original Avondale Estates Waffle House at 2719 E. College Ave. founded by Rogers and Forkner in 1955. Today, the address is home to the Waffle House Museum.
Roughly 80,000: The number of customers served daily at metro Atlanta locations.
16: The number of items on the first Waffle House menu.
1,572,864: The number of possible hash brown combos. Waffle House claims there are more than 1 million ways to enjoy its hash browns. It’s not exactly a lie. The number considers Waffle House’s four hash brown preparation methods (plain with oil, seared well, steamed with ice or dry), three sizes (regular, large, triple) and 18 additional ingredients (think ketchup, jalapenos, etc.). If you only consider the three possible sizes and eight “scattered” hash brown styles (smothered, covered, chunked, topped, diced, peppered, country and capped), you might conclude there are actually 768 different combinations available.
Every 60 seconds, Waffle House employees across the nation serve up:
341 strips of bacon (When laid out, that’s over 25,000 miles each year!)
238 hash brown orders
127 cups of coffee (Yearly, Waffle House serves about eight Olympic swimming pools — or 19,994,638 liters — of coffee.)
110 sausage patties
96 orders of grits
In metro Atlanta, restaurants average:
110 servings of waffles daily
112 servings of grits daily
140 servings of hash browns daily
55 cups of coffee (not including refills) daily
Since 1955, the franchise has served:
2,501,866,574 eggs (Fact: Waffle House serves about 2% of the food industry’s eggs.)
1,800,286,157 orders of hash browns
1,684,212,442 bacon strips
1,359,881,590 orders of grits
1,289,801,887 cups of coffee
729,065,401 glasses of Coca-Cola
661,031,274 sausage patties
201,228,687 quarter hamburgers
164,980,986 orders of Cheese N’ Eggs
134,842,441 T-bone steaks
32,215,481 slices of pie
29,898,595 slices of ham
At least 10: The number of rap or hip-hop songs that give a shout to Waffle House, from "30 Hours" by Kanye West to "Big Amount" by 2 Chainz.
29: The number of waffles Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti devoured in 10 minutes to win the last World Waffle-Eating Championships in 2007.
40: The number of songs on Waffle House’s record label, Waffle Records. (Yes, that’s a thing!)
At least 4: The number of films that have featured a Waffle House restaurant on screen, including “Tin Cup” (1996), “ATL” (2006), “Due Date” (2010) and “Love, Simon” (2018).
More than $1 billion: The chain’s annual revenue.
$35,000: That’s the franchise fee to own your own Waffle House, but simply having the cash on hand won’t cut it. The list of people trying to snag their own restaurant is “very long and very distinguished,” Waffle House’s vice chairman emeritus Bert Thornton told Atlanta Magazine in 2016.
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Credit: American battle monuments commission