“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” — the famous creed is usually associated with the US Postal Service. But you might be able to apply it to the employees of another American institution: Waffle House.
The iconic chain of diners with over 2,000 locations primarily in the South prides itself on always being open. In fact, on its FAQ page, the brand even poses the question, “Are all Waffle House locations open 24-hours a day?” The answer, simply, “Every Waffle House restaurant is open 24 hours, 365 days a year.” Apparently that even includes those locations that may be under imminent threat from a Category 4 hurricane.
According to Eater, Waffle House vice president and director of culture Pat Warner said the company plans to do everything it can to keep all of its location open before, after and even during Hurricane Matthew which is predicted to approach Florida on Thursday night, potentially as an extremely vicious Category 4 event, before moving up America’s East Coast and turning back out to sea at the end of the weekend. As Florida Governor Rick Scott has activated the National Guard, Waffle House says it’s readying itself as well – working on plans to keep locations open or, if any mandatory evacuations are called for, getting those locations back open as quickly as possible.
Reportedly, Waffle House has a number or strategies in place, including “jump teams” and “go teams” that travel in Waffle House-branded vans and RVs to supply whatever help may be required at affected restaurants. These teams can aid with everything from generators to extra workers to construction to IT support. The chain also has a food safety team at the ready to give the greenlight that all waffles are good to eat from a health perspective.
Though such commitment to its 24-hour policy may seem over the top considering the circumstances, Waffle House sees these actions as a community service, giving locals somewhere to go if they are impacted by the massive storm.