Waffle House shut down 21 of its eating places in Florida forward of Hurricane Ian’s landfall Wednesday afternoon in what’s being seen as a testomony to the Class 4 storm’s forecast power and severity.

The affected eating places, from Bradenton to Naples, have been all within the direct path of the storm “with a couple of positioned in low-lying, flood-prone areas,” Njeri Boss, Waffle Home’s vice chairman of public relations, mentioned in an announcement to HuffPost.

“We proceed to watch climate situations, work intently with native authorities officers, emergency administration groups and our native management within the area to make applicable selections primarily based on the circumstances in every location,” Boss mentioned.

Waffle House's commitment to staying open 24/7 led to the creation of the so-called “Waffle House Index,” which gauges the severity of a storm based on the number of Waffle House restaurants closed in the area.
Waffle Home’s dedication to staying open 24/7 led to the creation of the so-called “Waffle Home Index,” which gauges the severity of a storm primarily based on the variety of Waffle Home eating places closed within the space.

John Greim through Getty Pictures

The closures may come as a shock to many as a result of enterprise’s long-standing repute for reliability, with the 24-hour diners open seven days every week, throughout main holidays, and generally working with out electrical energy resulting from unhealthy climate occasions, resulting in the false belief that “Waffle Home doorways don’t have any locks.” Waffle Home addressed this falsehood in 2018, stating that locks are added to doors however that they’re hardly ever ever used.

FEMA acknowledged the corporate’s resolve to stay open in 2017 with a weblog put up that highlighted the so-called “Waffle Home Index,” which informally gauges the severity of storm injury relying on whether or not Waffle Home eating places stay open within the storm affected areas.

“If a Waffle Home can serve a full menu, they’ve possible obtained energy (or are operating on a generator),” FEMA acknowledged within the weblog put up. “A restricted menu means an space could not have operating water or electrical energy, however there’s gasoline for the range to make bacon, eggs, and low: precisely what hungry, weary individuals want.”

Waffle Home beefed up its post-disaster enterprise technique and crisis-management processes after seeing excessive buyer demand at its eating places positioned in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, in response to a 2011 report in The Wall Street Journal.

Waffle Home managers advised the Journal that gross sales quantity can double or triple within the aftermath of a storm.

Hurricane Katrina, a Class 5 storm, destroyed seven Waffle Home eating places and briefly shut down 100 others, however the areas that shortly reopened ― some with restricted assets, together with no electrical energy or ice ― have been swarmed with clients who could possibly be supplied an emergency grill-only menu, the Journal reported.

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