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'Waffle House Index'; State of the Menu Gives Clue to Damage

'Waffle House Index'; State of the Menu Gives Clue to Damage
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  • 'Waffle House Index'; State of the Menu Gives Clue to Damage

    Post #1 - September 1st, 2011, 6:09 pm
    Post #1 - September 1st, 2011, 6:09 pm Post #1 - September 1st, 2011, 6:09 pm
    How to Measure a Storm's Fury One Breakfast at a Time Disaster Pros Look to 'Waffle House Index'; State of the Menu Gives Clue to Damage

    When a hurricane makes landfall, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency relies on a couple of metrics to assess its destructive power.

    First, there is the well-known Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale. Then there is what he calls the "Waffle House Index."

    Green means the restaurant is serving a full menu, a signal that damage in an area is limited and the lights are on. Yellow means a limited menu, indicating power from a generator, at best, and low food supplies. Red means the restaurant is closed, a sign of severe damage in the area or unsafe conditions.

    "If you get there and the Waffle House is closed?" FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate has said. "That's really bad. That's where you go to work."
    ...
    Waffle House, which spends almost nothing on advertising, has built a marketing strategy around the goodwill gained from being open when customers are most desperate.

    This is really an interesting article, well worth spending time reading.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #2 - September 1st, 2011, 6:16 pm
    Post #2 - September 1st, 2011, 6:16 pm Post #2 - September 1st, 2011, 6:16 pm
    That's an interesting metric! I used to do a lot of work for a huge retailer and their measure was the sale of strawberry pop tarts. Although they sell everyting from generators to bananas, they know whenever there was a natural disaster in a given area, sales of strawberry pop tarts would spike. In their shipments of disaster recovery supplies (bottled water, lumber, etc.), they would always double or triple the amount of SPT's that were on a given truck traveling to the affected area.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #3 - September 2nd, 2011, 12:18 am
    Post #3 - September 2nd, 2011, 12:18 am Post #3 - September 2nd, 2011, 12:18 am
    HI,

    Waffle Houses do not have locks on the door. I didn't notice this myself, it was a manager who pointed it out.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #4 - September 2nd, 2011, 8:54 am
    Post #4 - September 2nd, 2011, 8:54 am Post #4 - September 2nd, 2011, 8:54 am
    Cathy2 wrote:HI,

    Waffle Houses do not have locks on the door. I didn't notice this myself, it was a manager who pointed it out.

    I guess they padlock when absolutely necessary? (Like, a nuclear war?) Or maybe they're not even locked that way on the rare occasions they close.
  • Post #5 - September 2nd, 2011, 9:14 am
    Post #5 - September 2nd, 2011, 9:14 am Post #5 - September 2nd, 2011, 9:14 am
    riddlemay wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:HI,

    Waffle Houses do not have locks on the door. I didn't notice this myself, it was a manager who pointed it out.

    I guess they padlock when absolutely necessary? (Like, a nuclear war?) Or maybe they're not even locked that way on the rare occasions they close.


    I think they just hang a coat hanger on the door, Animal House style. :wink:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #6 - September 3rd, 2011, 12:15 am
    Post #6 - September 3rd, 2011, 12:15 am Post #6 - September 3rd, 2011, 12:15 am
    Cathy2 wrote:How to Measure a Storm's Fury One Breakfast at a Time Disaster Pros Look to 'Waffle House Index'; State of the Menu Gives Clue to Damage
    This is really an interesting article, well worth spending time reading.

    Regards,


    I saw an article after Katrina that examined the physical condition of the Waffle Houses after the hurricane. The one located next to teh beach was completely destroyed. The next one a mile inland was severely damaged. The third was two miles from the coast and was functioning in a couple of days.
  • Post #7 - September 4th, 2011, 7:45 pm
    Post #7 - September 4th, 2011, 7:45 pm Post #7 - September 4th, 2011, 7:45 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:HI,

    Waffle Houses do not have locks on the door. I didn't notice this myself, it was a manager who pointed it out.

    Regards,


    Who'd want to break in???
    Charter member of PETA - People Eating Tasty Animals
  • Post #8 - November 2nd, 2012, 5:53 am
    Post #8 - November 2nd, 2012, 5:53 am Post #8 - November 2nd, 2012, 5:53 am
    What has the index said about the Hurricane Sandy damage?
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #9 - November 2nd, 2012, 11:21 am
    Post #9 - November 2nd, 2012, 11:21 am Post #9 - November 2nd, 2012, 11:21 am
    Grizzly wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:HI,

    Waffle Houses do not have locks on the door. I didn't notice this myself, it was a manager who pointed it out.

    Regards,


    Who'd want to break in???


    They'll be sorry in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
    In the world of apples, Pink Lady runs the whorehouse. ~ James Napoli

    Late-Nite Eats Database
  • Post #10 - November 2nd, 2012, 11:45 am
    Post #10 - November 2nd, 2012, 11:45 am Post #10 - November 2nd, 2012, 11:45 am
    toria wrote:What has the index said about the Hurricane Sandy damage?


    I don't think there are many (or maybe even any) Waffle Houses in the most heavily damaged areas. I don't recall any Waffle Houses growing up in the NY/NJ area.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #11 - August 28th, 2017, 4:21 pm
    Post #11 - August 28th, 2017, 4:21 pm Post #11 - August 28th, 2017, 4:21 pm
    How Waffle House's hurricane response team prepares for disaster

    One of the ways the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) measures hurricane damage is by the Waffle House Index. Waffle House, a popular 24-hour fast food chain in the Southeast, has a unique ability to operate solely on gas if necessary, so a closed Waffle House is often tantamount to disaster.

    And while we won’t know yet how Hurricane Harvey will fare on the index, the attitude at Waffle Houses across Texas has been calm. The company’s staff has been preparing for months.

    “We have our own special disaster teams and generators waiting to be shipped,” said one Waffle House employee in Galveston, Tex. “We’re open up until the city makes us close, probably later on tonight. As soon as it’s over we’ll be right back open.”

    A sign is all that’s left of this Waffle House on the beach in Gulfport, Miss., Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005. (AP Photo/Phil Coale)
    A sign is all that’s left of this Waffle House on the beach in Gulfport, Miss., Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005. (AP Photo/Phil Coale)
    Waffle House’s resiliency is a great source of satisfaction for people. The Galveston employee told Yahoo Finance proudly, “When nothing else is open I’m going to tell you the Waffle House is open.”

    Over the years, FEMA administrator Craig Fugate noticed this phenomenon following hurricane damage and developed the Waffle House Index. “Green” is full menu, “yellow” is partial menu, and “red” means there may be no Waffle House left.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast

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