The Sandy Springs Waffle House, established in 1983, will relocate but it won’t be moving too far away.
Its customers made sure of that.
In 2012, the city of Sandy Springs began seriously considering plans for its future downtown, and the Waffle House was on a list of properties the city wanted for its revitalization effort.
Loyal patrons began pushing back. They covered and smothered City Hall with post cards, printed by Waffle House, which read “Save our Waffle House.”
Don’t worry, city officials say. It’s safe.
At the city’s Aug. 6, 2013 meeting, City Council approved an offer to buy the Waffle House for $1.15 million. The company is working with the city to find another location, one that will be near the restaurant’s present spot at 226 Mount Vernon Highway. Under the agreement, the Waffle House can stay open at its current location through Jan. 1, 2014.
After the vote, the mayor and city council members sounded pleased by the arrangement and amused by the fierce loyalty of Waffle House regulars.
“I hope they send me some nice postcards soon,” Mayor Eva Galambos said.
Pat Warner, vice president of culture for Waffle House, Inc. said the customers came up with the idea for the post cards and started the campaign on their own. Waffle House assisted by printing the cards, he said.
He said it was hard to tell how the post cards influenced negotiations for the property.
“I don’t know to what effect that worked,” he said. “I know the customers wanted us to stay there.”
Warner said the company hasn’t determined its new location, but added, “We’re really confident everything is going to work out.”
“The city gets to move on with their project and we have a spot to move to,” Warner said. “We’re glad to be moving forward.”
The Sandy Springs Waffle house isn’t unique among the company’s stores. It’s is one of hundreds located around the country. It’s just been a part of the community for so long, customers have grown attached, Warner said.
Warner said Waffle House locations tend to develop a loyal following.
“We’re very fortunate that our customers are like that across the nation,” Warner said. “We have some regular customers that are very loyal to our brand and we’re very appreciative of them. We call them the Waffle Nation.”