Waffle House adds digital order-and-pay capabilities

The 24-hour diner chain expects its first major investment in digital technology to boost off-premise business. An app is scheduled to be rolled out in early 2024.
Waffle House
The iconic chain is going digital. | Photo: Shutterstock

Waffle House is entering the digital age.

The iconic diner chain has struck a deal with Olo to outfit stores with the capability to accept digital orders and payment for the first time. Orders will be channeled directly to the units via Olo’s white-label browser interface. A Waffle House-branded mobile phone app is scheduled to be rolled out by the chain during the first quarter of 2024.

In the announcement of the deal, Waffle House noted that the embrace of technology will facilitate growth of its off-premise business. The privately owned operation does not reveal its sales, nor the breakdown of dine-in versus to-go business.

“Digital innovation across our brand is a big step for Waffle House,” the chain’s VP of innovation and strategy, Patrick Marshburn, said in the announcement.

The company described the deal with Olo as its first major investment in digital technology of any sort.

The 1,950-unit chain is seen by many as an integral part of Southern culture. Its specialties include hash browns prepared in a variety of ways, including as a foundation for bowl-style meals. It is also known for its hefty breakfast platters.

The stores only close for extreme weather events like hurricanes. The shutdown of a unit is so rare that weather services cite the event as an indication of a storm’s severity.

Waffle House said about 1,600 of its units have been outfitted to date with the new digital capabilities.

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