As a resident of the South, I particularly love that old Southern institution, the Waffle House. While every business might close during a hurricane, Waffle House has a great plan for keeping their restaurants open, and they manage to do a great job keeping their doors open, even with windows boarded up.  The FEMA director can tell how bad a disaster is by looking at how much of the menu at a Waffle House is available. He's created a sort of Waffle House natural disaster index index.

The test of the index is:

If a Waffle House store is open and offering a full menu, the index is green. If it is open but serving from a limited menu, it’s yellow. When the location has been forced to close, the index is red. Because Waffle House is well-prepared for disasters… it’s rare for the index to hit red. Incidentally, the the different state legislatures are legislating Waffle Houses out of business. My local Waffle House manager told me that business is way down at the locations nationwide because of the laws banning smoking inside the stores. Smoking bans do have unintended consequences, just ask any bar owner. Since many Waffle House customers are smokers, they are making other plans to eat.


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