Anybody that has been around me for more than a day knows how much I truly love the Waffle House. When I lived in Chicago it absolutely killed me to be away from the All-Star Special, and where else can you get a waffle and chili at 3am. But I’m tired of the abuse I take from my friends that it is not right to love a place like Waffle House. There are only a handful of friends that will oblige and head to the golden encased letters and retro outfitted restaurant that line I-10.
So here is my dilemma… I like hanging out with friends but my companions hate my greasy mistress. Half of the problem is the inaccurate opinions of Waffle House outsiders. Jim Ridley once wrote:
” The Waffle House is everywhere in the South. It has inspired country songs, comedy routines, loving editorials, a scene in the movie Tin Cup, even Web sites and Internet newsgroups that breathlessly post late-breaking developments. With more than 1,200 locations in 20 states, as far north as Pennsylvania and as far west as Arizona, Waffle House is cherished by thousands of diners. Regular customers speak of its employees, its customs, and its food with near reverence. Touring musicians have been known to eat five meals a week there. And yet the Waffle House is so pervasive it’s invisible. It doesn’t advertise; it hides in plain sight.”
I think I’ll help Waffle House re-package itself. It will take a lot of convincing on my part to persuade the powers that be that this initiative is necessary. After all they now have 1,700 locations and a loyal following that will continue to patronize regardless of their inactivity. If corporate would just wake-up and realize the opportunity for global domination of the waffle market, Waffle House could not be stopped. It would for sure be a Kevin Roberts “Lovemark”.
I have a crepe-ton of suggestions not the least of which is an expansion of the grassroots Word of Mouth (WoM) campaign already in progress. There is an exorbitant amount of Waffle House lovers like myself out in the world but no place to gather. I suggest an online portal of this group with bi-weekly meetings between chapters at Waffle Houses across the nation. A full-scale advertising bombardment will alert patrons to the group and give them a chance to develop their own Waffle House commercial. Waffle House will then hire some of the more vocal leaders to become Waffle Ambassadors and spread the gospel that the Church of Waffle is open and your faith is needed.
Suggestion two centers around the appearance of Waffle House diners. While I love the way the diners look a couple new and improved Waffle House locations are necessary to show that the company is moving forward with its design and sanitation procedures. There has got to be a way to blend the classic style of a Waffle House diner with a new style highlighting the food prep area right in front of you. I am working on some designs and will post them to this blog, logo included. I know there will be some detractors who like the status-quo and may reject the re-packaging altogether but if the company delivers this initiative as a way to expand the love that a waffle can bring… the early adapters will have no choice but to help.
Finally, for this blog anyway, one more added employee to act as your Waffle Host during peak hours. The Waffle Host will walk around, make suggestions of particular favorites, belt out some of the waffle tunes from the jukebox while cooking food, ask for opinions/suggestions, and be an overall Waffle House champion.
Its time for a change Waffle House and I am the man for the job. I love your food and its time that my friends and a million others with a low opinion of your diners come to love it too. You have spent too much time wallerin’ in the slack tide that is your corporate philosophy. Grow up, expand and become the diner that everybody can love. Thank you and see you Saturday!
><(("> Kyle Freund
Kyle is a former ><((“> Team Member at Catch Your Limit, a management and marketing firm with offices in Tallahassee, Florida and Richmond, Virginia. To learn more, visit www.catchyourlimit.com.