Do Waffle House Doors Really Not Have Locks?

Perhaps one of the biggest appeals of Waffle House — aside from the waffles themselves — is the operating hours. Waffle Houses nationwide are open 24 hours per day, every single day, including all major holidays, according to their website. The chain never closes, and as a result, many people are left wondering: If Waffle Houses are always open, then why do they even need locks on their doors?

In a way, it makes sense that the chain wouldn't need doors that lock. After all, most restaurants lock their doors after closing time to prevent customers from entering after they have finished service for the day. But since Waffle House doors are always open to customers, no matter the time or day, then why would they even bother to install locks that they would never need to use? It's become such a common speculation that it has launched an urban legend, which claims that Waffle House locations in fact do not actually have locks on their doors at all.

Waffle House restaurants do close in rare circumstances

But as much fun as it is to guess whether or not the popular breakfast chain requires locks, Waffle House themselves has confirmed over the years that they do indeed require locks on the doors at all their locations. The theory left many people so curious that some eventually took to social media to get this burning question answered, and the company responded, tweeting, "There are locks on our doors because before the stores open, doors are locked to protect the restaurant. After opening, doors are only locked when remodeling or other instances when the restaurant may be closed for business (rare but sometimes happens)."

Although they are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, there are still times when a Waffle House may be forced to close their doors. For example, the chain will close during an extreme weather event or natural disaster, such as in 2018, when Waffle House locations in Florida closed as a result of Hurricane Michael, according to Insider. Some locations were also temporarily closed in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. So while the locks are there for emergencies, you can still rest assured that, except for in extreme circumstances, you will still be able to satisfy your cravings for waffles, bacon, and hash browns at your nearest Waffle House no matter when they strike.