11 Late-Night Facts About Waffle House

Waffle House has been around for 60 years, but how much do you know about this iconic southern food chain? Scatter, smother, and cover your brain with these facts. 

1. THE FOUNDERS WERE NEIGHBORS.

In the mid-1950s, Joe Rogers and Tom Forkner were neighbors working for the Toddle House chain and at a real estate agency, respectively. The two men decided they wanted to open their own restaurant, one that focused on its customers—and on Labor Day 1955, the first Waffle House opened its doors in Avondale Estates, Georgia.

The restaurant was a huge success; by 1961, there were four locations, allowing Rogers to leave his job at the Toddle House. With time, the iconic yellow sign began to pop up all over the Southeast.

2. FEMA USES A "WAFFLE HOUSE INDEX" TO DETERMINE THE SEVERITY OF A NATURAL DISASTER.

Since Waffle House prides itself on being open 24/7, FEMA uses the restaurant as an informal index to determine the impact of disasters. It has three stages: Green indicates an open restaurant with a full menu; yellow means the restaurant is serving a limited menu; and red means the Waffle House is closed. And if Waffle House is completely closed, you know things are bad: The restaurants are extremely adaptable, and their limited menu varies according to what appliances are working in the kitchen and what supplies are available.

3. EACH RESTAURANT'S KEYS ARE KEPT ABOVE GROUND.

Contrary to a widespread urban legend, Waffle House is not so confident in its ability to stay open around the clock that it buries the keys to each new location in the cement in front of the restaurant.

4. WAFFLE HOUSE BUYS 2 PERCENT OF ALL AMERICAN EGGS ANNUALLY …

According to the Waffle House website, the chain has served over 2,501,866,574 eggs since its opening in 1955. And according to a 2005 article in USA Today, the restaurant buys 2 percent of all eggs produced in the United States annually.

5. … AND IS THE WORLD'S LEADING SERVER OF T-BONE STEAKS.

Waffle House also churns out steaks at breakneck speeds. The chain serves four T-bones every minute. According to the restaurant, they serve more T-bone steaks than any other outlet in the world: The restaurant has grilled 134,842,441 T-bones since 1955.

6. IT'S MORE ROMANTIC THAN YOU'D THINK.

Not sure what to do for Valentine’s Day? No worries, Waffle House has you covered. For the past eight years, the restaurants have celebrated the holiday with white tablecloths, candles, and heart decorations.

While Valentine’s at Waffle House might seem like a last-minute decision, diners at some locations, like Atlanta’s Cheshire Bridge Road Waffle House, actually do need a reservation. "We're not fancy people," one patron told CBS46 in 2013. "We like Waffle House and its good food."

7. ATLANTA BOASTS THE MOST WAFFLE HOUSES.

The very first Waffle House opened in suburban Atlanta, so it makes sense that the most outlets can be found nearby. The Big Peach has 132 locations. The runner up—Cartersville, Georgia—only has 45.

8. MORE THAN 300 STRIPS OF BACON ARE SERVED A MINUTE.

To be more precise, it’s 341 strips every 60 seconds. The chain also serves 238 orders of hash browns, 145 waffles, 110 sausage patties, and 127 cups of coffee per minute.

9. WAFFLE HOUSE RECORDS IS A THING.

In 1984, Waffle House records released its first song, "Waffle House Family." In 2007, the chain released their first music video, called "Bert," after its chili. If you want something to listen to while driving to your nearest Waffle House, you can also pick up Waffle House Jukebox Favorites, Vol. 2.

10. YOU CAN VISIT THE ORIGINAL LOCATION, BUT YOU CAN'T GET A WAFFLE THERE.

The original location has been converted into a museum, so while you can still visit (by appointment only), you can’t sit down and order a T-bone. The museum has been renovated to look like it’s frozen in 1955. Visitors can still enjoy the retro design and buy something in its extensive gift shop, though.

11. WAFFLE HOUSE WANTS YOUR CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM.

Waffle House Test Kitchen is a division of the company that focuses on adding new menu items. "As our Regulars know, we don’t like to fix what ain’t broken," the Waffle House website explains. "But we are continually working to make sure we serve the best food available, made with the best recipes. And occasionally, we’ll introduce a new product."

After the chain releases a new food, it invites diners to fill out a survey asking what they thought. Waffle House uses those results to decide what should stay on the menu permanently.

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Bad Moods Might Make You More Productive
iStock
iStock

Being in a bad mood at work might not be such a bad thing. New research shows that foul moods can lead to better executive function—the mental processing that handles skills like focus, self-control, creative thinking, mental flexibility, and working memory. But the benefit might hinge on how you go through emotions.

As part of the study, published in Personality and Individual Differences, a pair of psychologists at the University of Waterloo in Canada subjected more than 90 undergraduate students to a battery of tests designed to measure their working memory and inhibition control, two areas of executive function. They also gave the students several questionnaires designed to measure their emotional reactivity and mood over the previous week.

They found that some people who were in slightly bad moods performed significantly better on the working memory and inhibition tasks, but the benefit depended on how the person experienced emotion. Specifically, being in a bit of a bad mood seemed to boost the performance of participants with high emotional reactivity, meaning that they’re sensitive, have intense reactions to situations, and hold on to their feelings for a long time. People with low emotional reactivity performed worse on the tasks when in a bad mood, though.

“Our results show that there are some people for whom a bad mood may actually hone the kind of thinking skills that are important for everyday life,” one of the study’s co-authors, psychology professor Tara McAuley, said in a press statement. Why people with bigger emotional responses experience this boost but people with less-intense emotions don’t is an open question. One hypothesis is that people who have high emotional reactivity are already used to experiencing intense emotions, so they aren’t as fazed by their bad moods. However, more research is necessary to tease out those factors.

[h/t Big Think]

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Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
The 10 Wildest Movie Plot Twists
Laura Harring in Mulholland Drive (2001)
Laura Harring in Mulholland Drive (2001)
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

An ending often makes or breaks a movie. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as having the rug pulled out from under you, particularly in a thriller. But too many flicks that try to shock can’t stick the landing—they’re outlandish and illogical, or signal where the plot is headed. Not all of these films are entirely successful, but they have one important attribute in common: From the classic to the cultishly beloved, they involve hard-to-predict twists that really do blow viewers’ minds, then linger there for days, if not life. (Warning: Massive spoilers below.)

1. PSYCHO (1960)

Alfred Hitchcock often constructed his movies like neat games that manipulated the audience. The Master of Suspense delved headfirst into horror with Psycho, which follows a secretary (Janet Leigh) who sneaks off with $40,000 and hides in a motel. The ensuing jolt depends on Leigh’s fame at the time: No one expected the ostensible star and protagonist to die in a gory (for the time) shower butchering only a third of the way into the running time. Hitchcock outdid that feat with the last-act revelation that Anthony Perkins’s supremely creepy Norman Bates is embodying his dead mother.

2. PLANET OF THE APES (1968)

No, not the botched Tim Burton remake that tweaked the original movie’s famous reveal in a way that left everyone scratching their heads. The Charlton Heston-starring sci-fi gem continues to stupefy anyone who comes into its orbit. Heston, of course, plays an astronaut who travels to a strange land where advanced apes lord over human slaves. It becomes clear once he finds the decrepit remains of the Statue of Liberty that he’s in fact on a future Earth. The anti-violence message, especially during the political tumult of 1968, shook people up as much as the time warp.

3. DEEP RED (1975)

It’s not rare for a horror movie to flip the script when it comes to unmasking its killer, but it’s much rarer that such a film causes a viewer to question their own perception of the world around them. Such is the case for Deep Red, Italian director Dario Argento’s (Suspiria) slasher masterpiece. A pianist living in Rome (David Hemmings) comes upon the murder of a woman in her apartment and teams up with a female reporter to find the person responsible. Argento’s whodunit is filled to the brim with gorgeous photography, ghastly sights, and delirious twists. But best of all is the final sequence, in which the pianist retraces his steps to discover that the killer had been hiding in plain sight all along. Rewind to the beginning and you’ll discover that you caught an unknowing glimpse, too.

4. SLEEPAWAY CAMP (1983)

Sleepaway Camp is notorious among horror fans for a number of reasons: the bizarre, stilted acting and dialogue; hilariously amateurish special effects; and ‘80s-to-their-core fashions. But it’s best known for the mind-bending ending, which—full disclosure—reads as possibly transphobic today, though it’s really hard to say what writer-director Robert Hiltzik had in mind. Years after a boating accident that leaves one of two siblings dead, Angela is raised by her aunt and sent to a summer camp with her cousin, where a killer wreaks havoc. In the lurid climax, we see that moody Angela is not only the murderer—she’s actually a boy. Her aunt, who always wanted a daughter, raised her as if she were her late brother. The final animalistic shot prompts as many gasps as cackles.

5. THE USUAL SUSPECTS (1995)

The Usual Suspects has left everyone who watches it breathless by the time they get to the fakeout conclusion. Roger "Verbal" Kint (Kevin Spacey), a criminal with cerebral palsy, regales an interrogator in the stories of his exploits with a band of fellow crooks, seen in flashback. Hovering over this is the mysterious villainous figure Keyser Söze. It’s not until Verbal leaves and jumps into a car that customs agent David Kujan realizes that the man fabricated details, tricking the law and the viewer into his fake reality, and is in fact the fabled Söze.

6. PRIMAL FEAR (1996)

No courtroom movie can surpass Primal Fear’s discombobulating effect. Richard Gere’s defense attorney becomes strongly convinced that his altar boy client Aaron (Edward Norton) didn’t commit the murder of an archbishop with which he’s charged. The meek, stuttering Aaron has sudden violent outbursts in which he becomes "Roy" and is diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, leading to a not guilty ruling. Gere’s lawyer visits Aaron about the news, and as he’s leaving, a wonderfully maniacal Norton reveals that he faked the multiple personalities.

7. FIGHT CLUB (1999)

Edward Norton is no stranger to taking on extremely disparate personalities in his roles, from Primal Fear to American History X. The unassuming actor can quickly turn vicious, which led to ideal casting for Fight Club, director David Fincher’s adaptation of the Chuck Palahniuk novel. Fincher cleverly keeps the audience in the dark about the connections between Norton’s timid, unnamed narrator and Brad Pitt’s hunky, aggressive Tyler Durden. After the two start the titular bruising group, the plot significantly increases the stakes, with the club turning into a sort of anarchist terrorist organization. The narrator eventually comes to grips with the fact that he is Tyler and has caused all the destruction around him.

8. THE SIXTH SENSE (1999)

Early in his career, M. Night Shyamalan was frequently (perhaps a little too frequently) compared to Hitchcock for his ability to ratchet up tension while misdirecting his audience. He hasn’t always earned stellar reviews since, but The Sixth Sense remains deservedly legendary for its final twist. At the end of the ghost story, in which little Haley Joel Osment can see dead people, it turns out that the psychologist (Bruce Willis) who’s been working with the boy is no longer living himself, the result of a gunshot wound witnessed in the opening sequence.

9. THE OTHERS (2001)

The Sixth Sense’s climax was spooky, but not nearly as unnerving as Nicole Kidman’s similarly themed ghost movie The Others, released just a couple years later. Kidman gives a superb performance in the elegantly styled film from the Spanish writer-director Alejandro Amenábar, playing a mother in a country house after World War II protecting her photosensitive children from light and, eventually, dead spirits occupying the place. Only by the end does it become clear that she’s in denial about the fact that she’s a ghost, having killed her children in a psychotic break before committing suicide. It’s a bleak capper to a genuinely haunting yarn.

10. MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001)

David Lynch’s surrealist movies may follow dream logic, but that doesn’t mean their plots can’t be readily discerned. Mulholland Drive is his most striking work precisely because, in spite of its more wacko moments, it adds up to a coherent, tragic story. The mystery starts innocently enough with the dark-haired Rita (Laura Elena Harring) waking up with amnesia from a car accident in Los Angeles and piecing together her identity alongside the plucky aspiring actress Betty (Naomi Watts). It takes a blue box to unlock the secret that Betty is in fact Diane, who is in love with and envious of Camilla (also played by Harring) and has concocted a fantasy version of their lives. The real Diane arranges for Camilla to be killed, leading to her intense guilt and suicide. Only Lynch can go from Nancy Drew to nihilism so swiftly and deftly.

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