Why Is Waffle House so Popular? — Cult Following

- [Narrator] People go to great lengths

to eat at Waffle House.

Loyal followers ride motorcycles across the country.

Choreograph dances

or simply show up and order the same thing

everyday for 50 years.

Waffle House is so enduringly popular

that the chain serves 341 strips of bacon,

238 orders of hash browns

and 145 waffles every minute.

And so many eggs

that two percent of all those produced in the U.S.

for food service,

end up on a Waffle House plate.

But as anyone whose eaten at Waffle House quickly discovers,

it's not actually the waffles that draw people in.

So what sets this southern favorite apart from

other chains like Denny's and IHOP?

- You've gotta do the Waffle House when you come

to the A town.

It's only right.

- Happy Birthday from Waffle House.

- Oh, thank you.


- [Narrator] Waffle House isn't exactly pushing

any culinary boundaries.

But from the waffles to the hash browns

all the food is cooked to order

exactly how you want it.

Over the years

the chain has devised some quirky was to make

its food as consistent a possible.

Its got its own secret language.

- Smothered, covered, chopped, diced,

peppered, cap, topped and country.

- [Narrator] Which is code for different toppings

on hash browns like onions,

ham, jalapenos and melted cheese.

They also have a complex system that servers

and cooks use to mark plates.

Servers place condiments in specific positions

on a plate to indicate to the cook

how exactly the customer wants their order.

For example,

jelly placed on the left side of the plate signals

that the eggs are to be cooked over easy.

The sheer amount of love for Waffle House

has turned it into an iconic pop culture touch stone.

- Hi, welcome to the Waffle House.

May I take your order?

- [Narrator] Today on Judge Faith.

A trip to the Waffle House

ends in a battle between best friends.

- You don't come here expecting

The French Laundry.

- This is better than The French Laundry man.

- Oops. (laughing)

- [Narrator] Waffle House is frequented by celebrities

from Kim Kardashian

to Kobe Bryant.

And FEMA even uses the restaurants

to evaluate how hard hit disaster areas are.

- If you get there and the Waffle House is closed?

That's really bad.

- [Narrator] And the fact that it literally never closes

also means that late at night

things can get a little out of control.

(yelling and banging)

- Whoa.

- Maple syrup.

No, no.

Oh my god.

- [Narrator] But that's hardly enough to keep people away.

- This is the same type of stuff I can make at home,

only I don't have to make it.

And I don't have to go to the store to get it.

- It's like Denny's.

I've been raised,

born and bred in Atlanta.


this is a part of our culture,

if you will.

You know what I mean?

- I've been getting the same thing

to eat for like

12 years.

Like, they know my order

like when I walk in.

My coffee and my coke are ready to go, so.

- [Narrator] For better or for worse

you'll always get exactly what you order

at Waffle House.

And for us in the south

it's a fixture.

24 hours a day.