The article is titled How FEMA Uses Waffle House To Measure Disasters. You may already have heard that Craig Fugate, FEMA Administrator, has devised an index that includes whether or not the Waffle House restaurants are open. But I think the more important point of the story is the exemplary corporate disaster preparedness steps taken by Waffle House — the degree to which the corporate headquarters of Waffle House has taken steps to be prepared for disasters and to ensure the continuity of their operations. Here are some of the details from the article:
Because Waffle Houses restaurants are in areas prone to hurricanes and tornadoes, the company has made it part of their business plan to be prepared, said Pat Warner, the vice president of culture at Waffle House.
“We all have, what I call, ‘day jobs’ and then when the crisis comes, we all kind of stop,” said Warner, who’s also part of the company’s disaster management team. For example, the man who handles restaurant operations also monitors the weather during hurricane season. The company starts tracking storms when they’re still a tropical depression, Warner said.
Every employee also has a copy of the company’s hurricane playbook, which has instructions on how to respond during a crisis. If a storm’s on its way, Warner said the company will rent generators and start sending teams to the area.
Waffle House even has an emergency menu, pared down for quick production and efficiency.
And you have to admit, the free publicity and great community relations are outcomes Waffle House must appreciate.