Here’s how you know the coronavirus pandemic is really serious: Waffle House is closed. On Tuesday, the company announced on their Facebook page that they were closing an unprecedented 365 locations nationwide — over three times more than were closed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The other 1,627 locations remain open, for now. The 24-hour restaurant chain famous for their “scattered, smothered, & covered” hash browns and, of course, waffles, has a well-established reputation of weathering the storm — literally.
About a decade ago, Craig Fugate, who was the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator at the time, started using a “Waffle House Index” as an informal metric to assess how well a community was functioning and recovering after a natural disaster like a hurricane.
— Waffle House (@WaffleHouse) March 24, 2020