Waffle House: A strange American dream | Kate Williams | The Hypocrite Reader: "Like Deen, it is of utmost importance for Waffle House to position itself as racially inclusive, despite evidence to the contrary. Such a position brings the restaurant into 21st century America; at the same time, its deliberately hokey concept appeals to a deeply Southern nostalgia. Waffle House’s claims of openness fall in line with the myth of Southern hospitality — everyone is always welcome, no matter the hour. It is this idea of hospitality that maintains the restaurant’s popularity. Waffle House’s deliberate branding as a place “with no locks” helps to create a melting pot of customers and employees, all sitting and conversing together on the side of a freeway at 2 a.m. It creates a place where foodies can dine with truckers, where customers know a secret language, where visiting Brits can meet trailer-park Southern belles, where evacuees line up for a hot meal. The grill cooks are happy to flip burgers for minimum wage, and each “unit” forms a family. The company imagines a place populist at its core, a restaurant by the people, for the people.
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