Notable & quotable: Waffles

Staff Columnist

Ethan Wolff-Mann, writing August 25 at Yahoo Finance:

“Hurricane preparation for many can be a scramble, but for Waffle House, it’s a game of chess with military-style strategy and execution.  Before a storm hits, and even before hurricane season, the company makes storm checklists for each location, meets with local authorities, and educates new employees, though many have been through 15 hurricanes.

‘We’ve already done all that,’ Waffle House’s director of external affairs Pat Warner told Yahoo Finance.  ‘Right now we’re getting jump teams ready.’

A Waffle House jump team consists of a small team of restaurant operators from outside the hurricane zone.  These employees swoop in at the first possible moment after a storm to restore service and get things open.  Typically after a storm, demand for food is high and functioning restaurants are in low supply, and things get extremely busy.

‘There’s a jump team outside of Nashville ready to go on Sunday.  Jump  teams are {also} ready in Louisiana,’ said Warner.  ‘Then we can deploy from the main office some teams that may or may not go depending on severity.’”

(As printed in The Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, August 30, 2017)


A Brief Retrospective

After Hurricane Katrina your Columnist was privileged to attend, as we usually did, the National Hurricane Conference.  That year the venue was, as was appropriate New Orleans.  The visit to that City left me with lasting impressions of just what a storm can, and did, do.  Another year later Pat and I visited New Orleans  .  We flew to New Orleans, then drove along the coast through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida.  The devastation visible to coastal communities was obvious.

What we both noticed visible from the car windshield was that some structures fared better than others.  Like the house in the story of the Three Little Pigs, brick structures seemed to do better than others. We also noticed that common in most coastal Gulfside communities  was a Waffle House.  All of these were open, and seemingly undamaged.  Just an observation that has stuck with us.

Maybe now we know one of the reasons for their success.

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