Trucker favorite celebrates 50 years in the breakfast business

| 8/17/2005

Think you can name the roadside breakfast house that uses 2 percent of all eggs produced in the United States each year?

If you said Waffle House, you’re correct.

In September 1955, restaurant founders Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner opened the first Waffle House restaurant in Avondale Estates, GA, with the goal of being able to serve a hot, tasty and low-priced breakfast to their friends and neighbors.

Now, the Waffle House chain – which has grown into 1,500 restaurants in 25 states – is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary next month.

According to Waffle House’s Web site, the company still tries to maintain its southern traditions, which include a simple menu, a cash-only policy, meals that cost less than $5, and stock options for its employees.

“Tom and I are not the ones who made this happen,” said Rogers in a press release. “It was the folks behind the counter taking care of the customer. We just provided an opportunity for them to be successful.”

In its 50 years, Waffle House has accumulated some pretty astounding statistics. Nearly half a billion waffles and almost a billion cups of coffee have been served, and the amount of bacon fried up in a year, laid end-to-end, would stretch from Atlanta to Los Angeles seven times – more than 21,000 miles.

And then there are the eggs.

Waffle House uses more than 185 million each year – 500,000 a day, 20,833 an hour, 347 a minute, or five for every second of the day.