This morning April and I went to Waffle House for a little New Years breakfast.
As we walked in I saw a familiar face and recognized it as Joe Rogers Jr. Joe is the CEO of the company.
I immediately thought back to seeing him talk at Georgia Tech back in ’05 and remembered they have a tradition where every executive works at a Waffle House throughout New Years eve. So here was Joe, the CEO of a company doing over $500 million in annual revenue, wearing a Waffle House outfit with a name-tag that said “Service Trainer”. He wasn’t afraid to mop, take out the trash, or roll his sleeves up and cook up some tasty hash browns. He was telling stories and had the who crew smiling and laughing.
I always love seeing and hearing the unique traditions of businesses with great culture and this is a nice example. Waffle House has created a lasting legacy that would have been impossible to build without servant leadership.
If you know of any other great cultural business or servant leadership examples, I’d love to hear about them below or on Twitter.
Fun fact: Waffle House says they serve 2% of the eggs used in the nation’s food service industry.