The Secret Code Hidden In Every Waffle House Floor

If you have had the pleasure of traveling to the southern United States, chances are you have either driven past or eaten at a Waffle House. The beloved 24-hour breakfast diner chain has become somewhat of a cult favorite, stealing the hearts and filling the stomachs of American waffle lovers across the nation. Waffle House — nicknamed "WaHo" by loyal superfans — is known for its simple and affordable menu, nostalgia-inducing interior decor, ultra-friendly service, and upbeat overhead tunes fueled by jukeboxes. Speaking of music, the eatery even has its own music label, which is, of course, fittingly named Waffle Records (per NPR).

Waffle House was founded in Atlanta suburb Avondale Estates in 1955 by two friends and neighbors, Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner. The gentlemen opened a 24-hour restaurant for their friends and neighbors and wanted to serve their community quality meals that did not break the bank (via Waffle House). Over the years, the WaHo brand has continued to evolve into one that is even quirkier and more amazing than anyone could expect. Plates of delicious food and mugs of hot coffee aside, the physical restaurants bring charm and character in many ways.

What do the tiles on every Waffle House floor indicate?

When it comes to the restaurant business, every little detail matters — even ones that may go unnoticed by the most faithful and frequent patrons. If you have ever felt inclined to look at the floor while waiting for your waffles, eggs, toast, bacon, and hash browns, you may have noticed a solitary tile that bears a different color than the surrounding gray ones. No, this was not a mistake made by the tiler. This is, in fact, a meaningful design tactic. At every Waffle House, servers stand on the colored tile — aptly called "The Mark" — when calling in an order so that the griddle operator can hear them loud and clear. This strategy helps ensure that folks get their food in eight minutes or less, an established brand promise (per Mental Floss). Who knew?!

More than six decades after the first Waffle House opened its doors, the iconic restaurant has established 1,900 franchised locations over 25 states. Since the beginning, the mission of Waffle House was "to serve people on both sides of the counter" (via Waffle House). Waffle House is known for its hospitality, welcoming customers from all walks of life to sit down and enjoy a warm meal. The late co-founder Joe Rogers Sr. even famously stated, "We aren't in the food business. We're in the people business."