Waffle House in the UK

08/03/2019 13:00 | Start a business

waffle house franchise

Waffles have been around for hundreds of years. Many countries claim ownership of the waffle; while many link the versatile snack to France or Ancient China. The term waffle can be derived from the Dutch word for wafer. Waffles are thought to have been eaten in the US as early as the 17th century.

The influence of the waffle is wide-reaching, and it is often reported that the ice cream cone wouldnt have come about without the waffle. The story goes that in 1904, an ice cream vendor in Missouri ran out of cups and the nearby waffle seller offered him folded waffles to replace them, creating the first ever ice cream cone.

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Waffle House is one of Americas leading waffle restaurants. While there are no Waffle Houses north of Ohio, the chain has become an icon of the South, operating more than 1,700 units across 25 states from Arizona to Pennsylvania. Despite being called Waffle House, the brand sells a range of different foods, split into breakfast and lunch/dinner menus. Early-morning customers can choose between omelettes, hash browns, steak and eggs, sandwiches and, of course, waffles, while customers arriving later in the day are treated to 100 percent angus beef burgers, steaks and sandwiches. However, no customer is turned away, because the doors of every single Waffle House branch are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Customer satisfaction is at the heart of Waffle Houses business model, the success of which according to its website is measured by people. Regular customers are greeted by name like old friends and the restaurants act as a social hub where waffle-lovers engage in conversation. The sociable nature of the brand even extends to the kitchen staff, who prepare the orders in the open kitchen in front of customers.

The History of Waffle House

Waffle House was established in 1955 and now has over 60 years of waffle-making expertise. The national brand was launched by two neighbours in Atlanta, Georgia; Joe Rogers and Tom Forkner. On meeting, Rogers was employed by a 24/7 national restaurant chain, Toddle House, and Forkner worked in real estate. In the mid-1950s, the neighbours decided to go into business together, opening a new restaurant in Avondale Estates, a suburb of Atlanta. This was founded on good customer service and maintaining high customer satisfaction levels. In addition to this, every dish was freshly prepared and served on real china.

Two years later in 1957, the pair were able to open a second Waffle House, and by 1961, there were four branches of the restaurant. In the years that followed, the brand continued to expand across Georgia and nearby states to become one of Americas most-loved restaurant chains. Today, Waffle House serves 145 waffles every minute, as well as 127 cups of coffee and 341 strips of bacon.

Waffle Houses Influence

Waffle House has become such an exemplar symbol in the US that it is the basis for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)s informal Waffle House Index. The restaurant chain has always appeared to be reliable in periods of extreme weather such as floods and hurricanes, striving to stay open if possible. Therefore, if the local Waffle House is open for business as usual, the Waffle House Index is green. If it is open but operating a limited menu, the index turns yellow. If it is closed, FEMA raises a red warning. The idea is that the red marking indicates a truly catastrophic disaster.

Customers have such an affection for the restaurant brand that the first and original Waffle House in Avondale Estates has been converted into a museum. Those who step through the door will be transported back in time with dcor and music from 1955, and will be able to take a look at Waffle House memorabilia from the last 60 years.

Is Waffle House A Franchise?

While Waffle House states that there are more than 1,500 company and franchisee-owned restaurants, it is not currently advertising franchising vacancies. However, there are other ways to reap rewards from association with the brand. Becoming a Waffle House associate enables you to own stock in Waffle House, Inc. This opportunity is only open to affiliates, rather than members of the public. This could be a lucrative business move, as Waffle House shares have grown in value every year for the past 57 years.

Waffle House Franchise Cost

As Waffle House is not currently taking on new franchisees, it is difficult to determine the accurate cost of a new franchise.

Waffle House Durham UK

There are no Waffle House outlets currently operating in the UK. However, there are plenty of other options in Point Franchises franchise directory for keen entrepreneurs looking to get involved in the waffle sector.

Wafflemeister

This is a UK company that boasts waffles made with dough that is handmade in Belgium from a family recipe that has been being developed since the 1950s. The waffle franchise offers a huge range of products, including lige waffles, sweet and savoury American-style waffles, sweet and savoury crpes, ice cream sundaes, thick shakes, fruit drinks and hot chocolates. Consumers across the south of England can find Wafflemeister in 12 locations, including Oxford Street, and in Alton Towers and Hamleys. The chain is also interested in expanding into a range of different sites such as airports, university campuses, sports arenas, motorway service stations and even military bases, to increase its customer pool.

However, it isnt just British customers than benefit from the brands delicious offering; Wafflemeister has also expanded into Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Bahrain and Malaysia. Investors interested in joining the food franchise can choose whether they open a standard Wafflemeister caf with seating or a smaller kiosk selling food to-go. Either way, an investment of at least £150,000 should be made, alongside a fee of £15,000. Franchisees will undergo an intensive, four-week bootcamp and be provided with an operations manual detailing the business processes, marketing techniques and other important information.

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