None of those shutdowns, however, can hold a candle to the reaction people had to the news that Waffle House is closing over 400 locations thanks to the pandemic currently affecting most of the world.
On the plus side (I think), over 1,500 Waffle House locations are still open in the United States. That number will probably go down, however, as just one day before over 1,600 were open.
Waffle House President and CEO Walt Ehmer spoke to WSB-TV News anchor Jorge Estevez about the restaurant closings.
Ehmer told Estevez that the company is taking the pandemic very seriously and it knows it needs to adjust its stores. It already made some big changes after a worker at a Georgia Waffle House was diagnosed with the deadly virus.
Ehmer said the company is confident it can put those practices into place to keep all of its customers safe while keeping as many of its employees from losing their livelihood as possible.
“We are trying really hard to provide hours and jobs for people, but when there is no customers, it is hard to continue for a long period of time,” Ehmer said.
Still, Ehmer said the closing of more than 400 stores may just be the beginning.
This news was not taken well by many.
We are entering the sixth dimension of hell.— lil’ big boy has a new pfpf (@LilBigBoyReal) March 25, 2020
The world really must be ending is Waffle House restaurants are closing!— Karen (@Shoreplanner) March 25, 2020
There could be a hurricane, followed by a flood, followed by a tornado, followed by a volcano erupting, and the Waffle House server will still be there asking, "Ya'll need a coffee refill, Sweetie?"— Gary DaBaum On Krypton Radio (@GaryDaBaum) March 24, 2020
You KNOW the shit done got real, now.
Welp. Pretty sure this is how Walking Dead started. #coronavirus— AJ LENAR 🇺🇸 (@AJASONLENAR) March 25, 2020
All joking aside, Ehmer told WSB-TV that last week revenues were down 70 percent and if it goes down to 90 percent then around 40,000 people are going to be, at least temporarily, without jobs.
To prevent further layoffs, Waffle House is proposing allowing restaurants to reopen their dining rooms on a limited basis and with new rules like reducing the number of customers inside at once, practicing enhanced sanitation and maintaining 6 feet of social distance both with their workers and their customers.
Don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind seeing all of these new rules enforced even after the pandemic ends.