The chain is notorious for staying open during natural disasters, so much so that there is a Waffle House Index. When asked how FEMA decides to handle a disaster, FEMA administrator Craig Fugate said, “If you get there and the Waffle House is closed? That’s really bad. That’s where you go to work,” quoted the Miami Herald.
On the Waffle House Index, green means that Waffle House is serving its full menu and has electricity, yellow indicates a limited menu, and red means Waffle House is closed.
“We’re a 24-hour restaurant, so oddly enough shutting down is a big deal for us,” Pat Warner, Waffle House’s vice president of culture, told Fox News. “When it comes to making the final decision, we let our operations team on the ground, like individual restaurant managers, make the final decision based on local conditions. But our job [as corporate officials] is to give them all the support they need to stay open.”