Most people across the South are familiar with the Waffle House. Whether it's the bright yellow building with black letters, waffles, "scattered, smothered and covered" hashbrowns, Bert's Chili, patty melts or anything else from the menu people from all over recognize the Waffle House brand. The famous chain that stays open 24hrs 365 days a year was originally opened in Avondale Estates, GA in 1955. Now the company is growing nationally with over 1,500 stores in 25 states (Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia) and they continue to look for new territory to exploit.
Being such a popular, fan favorite many people wonder if they can open their own franchise. As it turns out Waffle House, Inc. is currently a private company owned and operated by it's associates. Stock and options are available to employees but not outsiders. It appears the same goes for Waffle House franchises. Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner the original owners and co-founders of the restaurant decided their employees were the backbone of their success. In an effort to reward hard work, great customer service and loyalty they decided to offer stock in the company. To go along with that they discovered that the best franchise owners were those that already had inside experience. Currently Waffle House, Inc runs less than 700 of the locations with the rest being considered franchises. So it is possible to open a Waffle House franchise but you will need to join the company in some form before you buy.
Some additional information on Waffle House:
Waffle House Website
Waffle House Corporate Offices -
5986 Financial Dr
Norcross, GA 30071
CEO and Chairman - Joe Rogers Jr.
President and COO - Bert Thornton
VP Advocacy - Don Balfour