With Hurricane Matthew projected to be major storm that affects East Coast of the United States, Waffle House is getting ready to stay open for those in need of a hot meal. The Norcross, Georgia-based diner chain is monitoring the hurricane’s path, and it is planning to do everything necessary to keep restaurants up and running in the aftermath.
Waffle House is famous for its 24-7-365 service, and the company is proud of that old-reliable status across the Southeast. Employees at multiple locations in Florida and South Carolina, two states that may be hit by Matthew, were quick to shoot down the notion that their restaurants would close because of the storm. Only those in areas where mandatory evacuations are in effect will be shut down.
Reached by phone, Waffle House vice president and director of culture Pat Warner explained the company’s plans to keep restaurants open — or get them back up and running as quickly as possible after the storm hits. Executive vice presidents in specific markets determine what aid is needed, and Waffle House deploys what it calls "jump teams" and "go teams."
These response units, complete with Waffle House-branded vans and RVs, provide whatever might be needed at a restaurant damaged by the storm. In addition to obvious support in the form of generators and extra manpower to help run the restaurant, they’ll be ready to assist with construction and IT support. And, Waffle House has a food safety team to make sure its food is actually safe to eat once the restaurant is serving again.
The extensive preparations are all made to make sure the chain can offer refuge for anyone impacted by the hurricane.
Matthew is projected to make landfall as a Category 4 storm in southeast Florida by late Thursday, and it’s expected to work its way up the East Coast in the following days, bringing powerful winds and heavy rain. It’s already hit Haiti, causing damage and an unconfirmed number of deaths and injuries.