NASHVILLE, Tennessee – In the South, there sometimes seems to be no more omnipresent place than the Waffle House with its yellow-and-black signs that appear near highway exits, nightclubs, and affluent suburbs and rundown rural towns
The Ubiquity Cultivated over decades with syrup-soaked waffles and strong coffee, the 24-hour chain, with its stalls and bar stools, is an all-round reflection of the South, inviting Instagram into Instagram, others in wanted photos, to any kind of story.
"There are the drunken waffle houses, the late night waffle houses, the waffle house as a house of freaks, but there is also this kind of nourishing, idealistic vision of Waffle House," said John T. Edge, of the University of Mississippi Southern cuisine and culture scholar proudly rattling as his regular order contains three eggs messed with cheese and grains.
This week, Waffle Houses stood hundreds of miles apart from a deadly tragedy and national controversy: southeast of downtown Nashville, a gunman opened the fire and killed four people; and in the south of Alabama, near Mobile, there was a dispute between a black woman and white policemen over access to cutlery and renewed debates on race and police behavior.
Hours after filming Sunday in Tennessee, a woman gave birth to a car park on a waffle house
"We are a melting pot, we are a meeting place, and we are here to serve the public," said Joe Rogers Jr ., the chairman of Waffle House, in an interview on Wednesday at the restaurant that was attacked this week.
Even before the killing spree, which also wounded four people, it was not difficult to find reports of other shootings at the Waffle House. There was last spring in Ohio, one in North Carolina in October, another in Mississippi in December, and January kills in Florida and Missouri.
"It's a public space for anyone anywhere on the I-20, and if it's a public square, you should see marriage proposals, you should see births, you should see quarrels," Edge said. "You should see a camera film that comes into focus in a Waffle House."
Brawls, like those involved in singer Kid Rock about ten years ago, are hardly universally welcomed with shrugs as surprise and robbery. In 201
Waffle House, a chain of 1,800 eateries, has also faced lawsuits against racist treatment of employees. Some plaintiffs said restaurant staff used racial names and ignored black guests while serving white customers, and the chain's restaurants got tangled up several times with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which acts as a discriminatory guard.
The company has long denied allegations of racial bias, and its laminated menus offered a healthier version of the story than critics: "America's place to work, America's place to eat."
Although officials still have the episode between the black woman and white police officers in Saraland, Alabama, Waffle House said in a statement this week that she "considered the intervention of the police to be appropriate".
"We take this matter very seriously and consider it important for anyone involved or interested. It is important to exercise caution until the facts are developed," the company said.
Waffle House has long been consensual. "We keep control of the restaurants pretty well," said Rogers, a name tag on his shirt that said he had been a "team member" since 1961. "
Waffle House is a place where newly married couples sometimes stop after their wedding, still play with tuxedos and gowns, and parents occasionally catalog a child's first waffle as if it were the first inauguration of the Tooth Fairy.
Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, John Legend, and Chrissy Teigen made a double appointment in formal wear at a Waffle House in 2015. Bruno Mars celebrated his music video there in 1997. In 1997, the Governor of Alabama wondered aloud whether the state should try Improving its efficiency and consistency by studying Waffle House activities.
Waffle House jukeboxes play in-house hits like "There Are Raisins in My Toast" soundtrack is really clinking dishes and server shouting orders to barbeque cooks Encyclopedia for the almost ritual arrangement of Hash Browns (A regular order, scattered, smothered, covered and covered – that is, with Onions, cheese and mushrooms – will give you a few dollars and 275 calories.) A T-bone may have at sunrise and a plate of maybe- a bit of burnt bacon is yours at sunset, the tab is always calculated on a yellow slip.
The company, founded in 1955 near Atlanta, is privately owned and smaller than many of its rivals. IHOP claims 1.5 percent of the full-service restaurant's market share by revenue, while Denny & # 39; s, according to Euromonitor, a market research firm, occupies 1.3 percent. Waffle House has a share of 0.6 percent.
Yet, there is plenty of money: Around 17 percent of all restaurant chain revenue in the country comes from companies specializing in pancakes, waffles, omelets, French toast and other breakfast ingredients, according to IBISWorld, a market research firm
But statistics and numbers rarely seem to play a role in the Waffle House.
Especially on Wednesday in Nashville, when Store # 2267 was reopened, the broken windows and blood stains wiped away. The grill crackled. The coffee cups clinked. The servers shouted orders through the gloom that was still in the air.
"Today is a very unusual day," a waitress said softly. "It will be different tomorrow."
A woman weighing a newborn came into the restaurant a few minutes later. The woman started crying.
She survived the shooting on Sunday.
– (The New York Times)