Waffle House closes hundreds of stores

During Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Waffle House closed 107 restaurants. When Hurricane Matthew made landfall in 2016, Waffle House closed 98 restaurants. The breakfast chain’s steadfast commitment to remaining open for 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, during one natural disaster after another, inspired former FEMA administrator W. Craig Fugate to coin the term “Waffle House Index.” Green means business as usual. Yellow indicates a limited menu, sometimes cooked using backup generators. Red means closed. On Wednesday, NBC News reported Waffle House has declared an “Index Red” as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, shuttering 418 locations. It’s never good news when the griddles go cold.  

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