Chick-Fil-A started its rise in the food industry by licensing its chicken Chick-Fil-A sandwich to over fifty dining establishments. Some of those restaurants included Waffle House.
Soon after Waffle House terminated its contract with the Chick-Fil-A creator, Samuel Cathy, he slowly converted Chick-Fil-A into its very own stand-alone establishment with over 2600 stores all over the US.
The History Behind Waffle House
Waffle House is a restaurant chain for casual dining with over 2,000 locations scattered across 25 states in America. Waffle House branches are most likely seen in the Southern United States as they’ve become an icon of their culture.
The name of Waffle House originated from the fact that their waffles produced the most profit out of their 16-item menu. Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner founded the famous restaurant. The Waffle House’s history all started in 1995 on Avondale Estates, Georgia, on the Labor Day Weekend when it first opened.
Roger wanted to prioritize the need for 24/7 availability and quick table service at Waffle House, to which Forkner replied, “you build a restaurant, and I’ll show you how to run it.”
They started franchising their restaurants after opening their fourth branch in 1960. As a result, there was a steady increase in their numbers, operating 27 Waffle Houses in the late 1960s. Their growth heightened quickly, stating that they consume 2% of the eggs used in the food industry nationwide. Waffle Houses slowly expanded outside the Southeast American borders, reaching Austinburg, Goodyear, Key Largo, and Clarks Summit.
The original Waffle House in Georgia was converted into a Chinese restaurant after they’ve sold it in the early 1970s; Waffle House repurchased it and reused it as a private company museum, primarily used for internal corporate events.
Waffle Houses are open 24/7, perpetuating the rumor that they have no locks on their doors due to their constant availability. Diner lingo is also commonly used between the servers and the grill operators, in which they have their very own symbolic code.
Waffle House is consistently successful, claiming that they are the world’s largest provider of waffles, ham, pork chops, grits, and T-bone steaks. (Source: Chick-Fil-A)
Samuel Truett Cathy, the owner of the local Dwarf House, made a contract with Waffle House in the 1960s to sell his self-made sandwich, the Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich. It concluded as a loss for Waffle House as it slowly made more sales than the food from Waffle House, consequently pushing them to end the deal. Soon after, Cathy turned Chick-Fil-A into its very own food chain.
The Chick-Fil-A materialized when Samuel Cathy realized that a fast-food hamburger had the same cooking time as a chicken sandwich in a particular pressure fryer. Their slogan “We didn’t invent the chicken, just the chicken sandwich” references the making of the Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich.
Between the 1970s and early 1980s, the Chick-Fil-A chain began to extend its reach, opening in many malls’ food courts. In April 1986, the first stand-alone Chick-Fil-A was established in Atlanta, Georgia. Since then, Chick-Fil-A opened more stand-alone branches.
Chick-Fil-A’s success is evident in that they are now one of the most renowned fast-food chains in the United States. (Source: Chick-Fil-A)