Monday, January 10, 2011

The Tenacity of the Waffle House

Waffle Houses are the cockroaches of restaurant chains, and I say that with all due respect to the industructible cockroach.  On a frozen day like so many of us are experiencing in the Southeast today, I'm reminded of how often the local Waffle House has remained open and fully operational when everyone else has shut down during hurricanes, ice storms, earthquakes, and other weather emergencies.  I don't know how they do it, but the Waffle House maintains electricity and a full staff when every other business is crippled by power outage, floods, or lava flow.  Need some eggs and bacon at 4 am on Christmas Eve during a tsunami?  Waffle House will be open.  I'm convinced that, like our friend the cockroach, Waffle House will survive the fallout when we reach Defcon One.  Radioactive mutants will gather there to enjoy hash browns while plotting their civil defense against a government gone mad...much like they do now.

It also occured to me recently that Waffle House seems to be single-handedly keeping the jukebox industry afloat.  Why?  Because Waffle House steadfastly refuses to change ANYTHING about their basic operation, including the jukeboxes.  In fact, the chain only began accepting debit cards as recently as 2006!

I admire this level of dedication, this willingness to maintain their insular, cult-like integrity in the face of changing times.  "You don't like our cramped layout or limited menu selection?  Go to IHOP!  We ain't changing a damn thing!"

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