Waffle House Index sees 365 restaurants turn red amid pandemic


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Five Waffle Houses in Hampton Roads are ‘Index Red’ and are closed. The others are open for takeout-only.

NORFOLK, Va. — Waffle House reports that 365 of its restaurants are “red,” meaning they have closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, more than 1,600 locations are “green” and remain open, although many are now takeout-only.

The number of Waffle Houses that are red, yellow, or green make up the “Waffle House Index.” It’s an unusual — albeit fairly accurate — way the Federal Emergency Management Agency sometimes measures how bad a natural disaster will be by counting how many Waffle Houses turn “red.”

EHS Today in 2011 said if a Waffle House store is open and offering a full menu, the index is green. If it is open but serving from a limited menu, it’s yellow. When the location has been forced to close, the index is red. 

Because Waffle House is well-prepared for disasters, it’s rare for the index to hit red.

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Waffle House released the numbers on Tuesday for how bad the coronavirus “storm” was shaping up to be by posting on social media that 365 locations were closed with 1,627 still open.

You’ll notice there is a red dot prominently over Hampton Roads.  As of March 24, five local Waffle Houses are “Index Red” and are closed:

Waffle House #2265
2516 Nimmo Pkwy Virginia Beach

Waffle House #2127
1448 Mount Pleasant Rd Chesapeake

Waffle House #902
5656 Indian River Rd Virginia Beach

Waffle House #2306
117 George Washington Chesapeake

Waffle House #2151
5397 Wesleyan Dr Virginia Beach

The remaining Waffle Houses in our area are currently still open, although it is for takeout-only.

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