In the United States, Waffle House is a sign of comfort -- a light in times of darkness. It's there for everyone, and occasionally the people are there for Waffle House in times of need too. Need eggs and greasy breakfast meats at 2 am, after a night out? Car broke down in the middle of Bumblefuck and want to drown in a cheap combo of whipped cream and syrup, on top of stacked sugary carbs, while you wait to get hosed by a mechanic? Waffle House will provide.
So imagine the alarm when even Waffle House started closing down due to the coronavirus. The 24/7 eternal flame (errant grease fire) put the Waffle House Index, which is a bona fide metric that FEMA uses in emergency situations, on "Red," which means things are real bad -- bad enough that Waffle Houses are closing. With so many restaurants trying in vain to maintain some sense of normalcy by offering takeout or delivery options, the full shuttering of so many Waffle Houses is bad news.
As a way to attempt to mitigate this panic, Waffle House started selling bags of their mix online. It cost $20 for three bags of mix, and each bag would make about half a dozen waffles, working out to a little over a dollar a waffle. It sold out in four hours.
Why does a bag of pretty good waffle mix selling out when you're nursing a hangover matter at all? Well, for the southerners who are so deeply attached to Waffle House, that bag hits different. As The New York Times shamefully and accidentally pointed out last week, most of the south is a food desert. People there might have to travel multiple miles to get to a grocery store, as opposed to larger city and suburban dwellers who might just be around the corner to one.
Social distancing there is easy by design, but incredibly difficult when it comes to getting their house in order for major emergencies like this. A simple waffle mix delivery might be a really nice token of relief for those having difficulty making it to a grocery store in an area where Instacart and other grocery delivery services just aren't available.
So, Waffle House, if you can, please restock that -- because nobody wants to settle for IHOP.
Top Image: Mbrickn/Wiki Commons