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Joe Rogers, Co-Founder of Waffle House, Dies at 97

Joe Rogers, Co-Founder of Waffle House, Dies at 97


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Waffle House was created in 1955 out of two men’s desires to feed the tired and hungry — a sort-of Statue of Liberty of pancakes and waffles. Now, more than six decades later, Joe Rogers, 97, co-founder of Waffle House, has died.

The Tennessee native began his business venture with friend and fellow National Guardsman Tom Forkner, now 99, after the two shared a simple meal of turnip greens, fatback, cornbread, and coffee with an elderly couple while on duty.

“I can't recall a better meal," Rogers was known to say, according to AJC.

In the following decades, Waffle House became a Southern staple known for dependably cheap breakfast food available 24 hours a day. The chain’s bright yellow signage is instantly recognizable along highways across the South, and it now operates 1,900 restaurant locations.

Rogers was known as the “people person” of the business partnership, and although he retired in the 1970s, he continued to visit and inspect Waffle House locations up until just a few years ago.

“My father genuinely loved every customer who walked into a Waffle House, and customers immediately understood that,” Joe Rogers Jr., current chairman of Waffle House Inc., said in a press release. “The customer always came first for him, and he made sure the customer came first for everyone who worked with him.”

Rogers was also known for taking good care of his employees.

"Most of our waitresses have hard lives," he said in a 2004 interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "A lot of them have a bunch of kids at home, and maybe their husbands don't have good jobs. We can't solve all their problems, but we can listen to them."

Rogers is survived by his wife of 74 years, Ruth Jolley Rogers.


Co-founder of Georgia-based Waffle House chain dies at 97

ATLANTA (AP) — Waffle House co-founder Joseph Wilson Rogers Sr., who went from short-order cook to co-founder of one of the nation's largest restaurant chains, has died. He was 97.

Georgia-based Waffle House said Rogers died Friday. No cause was given.

Rogers, born in Jackson, Tennessee, was the son of a railroad worker who was laid off during the Great Depression, the company said in a statement announcing the death. After his father's layoff, Rogers delivered newspapers and laundry to contribute to the family income.

During World War II, he joined the Army Air Corps, learned to fly and also trained B-24 pilots, eventually earning the rank of captain, the company said.

After the war, he found work grilling burgers during the day at a Toddle House restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut. At night, he learned accounting and other aspects of the business from the manager and his wife. He was quickly promoted to local and regional management positions, the company said.

After moving to Georgia, Rogers and Tom Forkner opened the first Waffle House restaurant just east of Atlanta in Avondale Estates, in 1955. Under their leadership, the Waffle House chain grew to 400 restaurants by the end of the 1970s, the company said in a statement.

Rogers still spent time at the corporate headquarters in Norcross until a few years ago, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

"I'm not an executive, I'm a waffle cook," Rogers once told the newspaper.

"My father genuinely loved every customer who walked into a Waffle House, and customers immediately understood that," Rogers' son, Waffle House Inc. Chairman Joe Rogers Jr., said in a statement. "The customer always came first for him, and he made sure the customer came first for everyone who worked with him."

Rogers is survived by his wife of 74 years, Ruth Jolley Rogers, the company said.

A memorial service is planned Wednesday at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center in Atlanta.


Co-founder of Georgia-based Waffle House chain dies at 97

ATLANTA (AP) — Waffle House co-founder Joseph Wilson Rogers Sr., who went from short-order cook to co-founder of one of the nation's largest restaurant chains, has died. He was 97.

Georgia-based Waffle House said Rogers died Friday. No cause was given.

Rogers, born in Jackson, Tennessee, was the son of a railroad worker who was laid off during the Great Depression, the company said in a statement announcing the death. After his father's layoff, Rogers delivered newspapers and laundry to contribute to the family income.

During World War II, he joined the Army Air Corps, learned to fly and also trained B-24 pilots, eventually earning the rank of captain, the company said.

After the war, he found work grilling burgers during the day at a Toddle House restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut. At night, he learned accounting and other aspects of the business from the manager and his wife. He was quickly promoted to local and regional management positions, the company said.

After moving to Georgia, Rogers and Tom Forkner opened the first Waffle House restaurant just east of Atlanta in Avondale Estates, in 1955. Under their leadership, the Waffle House chain grew to 400 restaurants by the end of the 1970s, the company said in a statement.

Rogers still spent time at the corporate headquarters in Norcross until a few years ago, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

"I'm not an executive, I'm a waffle cook," Rogers once told the newspaper.

"My father genuinely loved every customer who walked into a Waffle House, and customers immediately understood that," Rogers' son, Waffle House Inc. Chairman Joe Rogers Jr., said in a statement. "The customer always came first for him, and he made sure the customer came first for everyone who worked with him."

Rogers is survived by his wife of 74 years, Ruth Jolley Rogers, the company said.

A memorial service is planned Wednesday at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center in Atlanta.


Co-founder of Georgia-based Waffle House chain dies at 97

ATLANTA (AP) — Waffle House co-founder Joseph Wilson Rogers Sr., who went from short-order cook to co-founder of one of the nation's largest restaurant chains, has died. He was 97.

Georgia-based Waffle House said Rogers died Friday. No cause was given.

Rogers, born in Jackson, Tennessee, was the son of a railroad worker who was laid off during the Great Depression, the company said in a statement announcing the death. After his father's layoff, Rogers delivered newspapers and laundry to contribute to the family income.

During World War II, he joined the Army Air Corps, learned to fly and also trained B-24 pilots, eventually earning the rank of captain, the company said.

After the war, he found work grilling burgers during the day at a Toddle House restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut. At night, he learned accounting and other aspects of the business from the manager and his wife. He was quickly promoted to local and regional management positions, the company said.

After moving to Georgia, Rogers and Tom Forkner opened the first Waffle House restaurant just east of Atlanta in Avondale Estates, in 1955. Under their leadership, the Waffle House chain grew to 400 restaurants by the end of the 1970s, the company said in a statement.

Rogers still spent time at the corporate headquarters in Norcross until a few years ago, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

"I'm not an executive, I'm a waffle cook," Rogers once told the newspaper.

"My father genuinely loved every customer who walked into a Waffle House, and customers immediately understood that," Rogers' son, Waffle House Inc. Chairman Joe Rogers Jr., said in a statement. "The customer always came first for him, and he made sure the customer came first for everyone who worked with him."

Rogers is survived by his wife of 74 years, Ruth Jolley Rogers, the company said.

A memorial service is planned Wednesday at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center in Atlanta.


Co-founder of Georgia-based Waffle House chain dies at 97

ATLANTA (AP) — Waffle House co-founder Joseph Wilson Rogers Sr., who went from short-order cook to co-founder of one of the nation's largest restaurant chains, has died. He was 97.

Georgia-based Waffle House said Rogers died Friday. No cause was given.

Rogers, born in Jackson, Tennessee, was the son of a railroad worker who was laid off during the Great Depression, the company said in a statement announcing the death. After his father's layoff, Rogers delivered newspapers and laundry to contribute to the family income.

During World War II, he joined the Army Air Corps, learned to fly and also trained B-24 pilots, eventually earning the rank of captain, the company said.

After the war, he found work grilling burgers during the day at a Toddle House restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut. At night, he learned accounting and other aspects of the business from the manager and his wife. He was quickly promoted to local and regional management positions, the company said.

After moving to Georgia, Rogers and Tom Forkner opened the first Waffle House restaurant just east of Atlanta in Avondale Estates, in 1955. Under their leadership, the Waffle House chain grew to 400 restaurants by the end of the 1970s, the company said in a statement.

Rogers still spent time at the corporate headquarters in Norcross until a few years ago, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

"I'm not an executive, I'm a waffle cook," Rogers once told the newspaper.

"My father genuinely loved every customer who walked into a Waffle House, and customers immediately understood that," Rogers' son, Waffle House Inc. Chairman Joe Rogers Jr., said in a statement. "The customer always came first for him, and he made sure the customer came first for everyone who worked with him."

Rogers is survived by his wife of 74 years, Ruth Jolley Rogers, the company said.

A memorial service is planned Wednesday at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center in Atlanta.


Co-founder of Georgia-based Waffle House chain dies at 97

ATLANTA (AP) — Waffle House co-founder Joseph Wilson Rogers Sr., who went from short-order cook to co-founder of one of the nation's largest restaurant chains, has died. He was 97.

Georgia-based Waffle House said Rogers died Friday. No cause was given.

Rogers, born in Jackson, Tennessee, was the son of a railroad worker who was laid off during the Great Depression, the company said in a statement announcing the death. After his father's layoff, Rogers delivered newspapers and laundry to contribute to the family income.

During World War II, he joined the Army Air Corps, learned to fly and also trained B-24 pilots, eventually earning the rank of captain, the company said.

After the war, he found work grilling burgers during the day at a Toddle House restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut. At night, he learned accounting and other aspects of the business from the manager and his wife. He was quickly promoted to local and regional management positions, the company said.

After moving to Georgia, Rogers and Tom Forkner opened the first Waffle House restaurant just east of Atlanta in Avondale Estates, in 1955. Under their leadership, the Waffle House chain grew to 400 restaurants by the end of the 1970s, the company said in a statement.

Rogers still spent time at the corporate headquarters in Norcross until a few years ago, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

"I'm not an executive, I'm a waffle cook," Rogers once told the newspaper.

"My father genuinely loved every customer who walked into a Waffle House, and customers immediately understood that," Rogers' son, Waffle House Inc. Chairman Joe Rogers Jr., said in a statement. "The customer always came first for him, and he made sure the customer came first for everyone who worked with him."

Rogers is survived by his wife of 74 years, Ruth Jolley Rogers, the company said.

A memorial service is planned Wednesday at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center in Atlanta.


Co-founder of Georgia-based Waffle House chain dies at 97

ATLANTA (AP) — Waffle House co-founder Joseph Wilson Rogers Sr., who went from short-order cook to co-founder of one of the nation's largest restaurant chains, has died. He was 97.

Georgia-based Waffle House said Rogers died Friday. No cause was given.

Rogers, born in Jackson, Tennessee, was the son of a railroad worker who was laid off during the Great Depression, the company said in a statement announcing the death. After his father's layoff, Rogers delivered newspapers and laundry to contribute to the family income.

During World War II, he joined the Army Air Corps, learned to fly and also trained B-24 pilots, eventually earning the rank of captain, the company said.

After the war, he found work grilling burgers during the day at a Toddle House restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut. At night, he learned accounting and other aspects of the business from the manager and his wife. He was quickly promoted to local and regional management positions, the company said.

After moving to Georgia, Rogers and Tom Forkner opened the first Waffle House restaurant just east of Atlanta in Avondale Estates, in 1955. Under their leadership, the Waffle House chain grew to 400 restaurants by the end of the 1970s, the company said in a statement.

Rogers still spent time at the corporate headquarters in Norcross until a few years ago, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

"I'm not an executive, I'm a waffle cook," Rogers once told the newspaper.

"My father genuinely loved every customer who walked into a Waffle House, and customers immediately understood that," Rogers' son, Waffle House Inc. Chairman Joe Rogers Jr., said in a statement. "The customer always came first for him, and he made sure the customer came first for everyone who worked with him."

Rogers is survived by his wife of 74 years, Ruth Jolley Rogers, the company said.

A memorial service is planned Wednesday at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center in Atlanta.


Co-founder of Georgia-based Waffle House chain dies at 97

ATLANTA (AP) — Waffle House co-founder Joseph Wilson Rogers Sr., who went from short-order cook to co-founder of one of the nation's largest restaurant chains, has died. He was 97.

Georgia-based Waffle House said Rogers died Friday. No cause was given.

Rogers, born in Jackson, Tennessee, was the son of a railroad worker who was laid off during the Great Depression, the company said in a statement announcing the death. After his father's layoff, Rogers delivered newspapers and laundry to contribute to the family income.

During World War II, he joined the Army Air Corps, learned to fly and also trained B-24 pilots, eventually earning the rank of captain, the company said.

After the war, he found work grilling burgers during the day at a Toddle House restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut. At night, he learned accounting and other aspects of the business from the manager and his wife. He was quickly promoted to local and regional management positions, the company said.

After moving to Georgia, Rogers and Tom Forkner opened the first Waffle House restaurant just east of Atlanta in Avondale Estates, in 1955. Under their leadership, the Waffle House chain grew to 400 restaurants by the end of the 1970s, the company said in a statement.

Rogers still spent time at the corporate headquarters in Norcross until a few years ago, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

"I'm not an executive, I'm a waffle cook," Rogers once told the newspaper.

"My father genuinely loved every customer who walked into a Waffle House, and customers immediately understood that," Rogers' son, Waffle House Inc. Chairman Joe Rogers Jr., said in a statement. "The customer always came first for him, and he made sure the customer came first for everyone who worked with him."

Rogers is survived by his wife of 74 years, Ruth Jolley Rogers, the company said.

A memorial service is planned Wednesday at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center in Atlanta.


Co-founder of Georgia-based Waffle House chain dies at 97

ATLANTA (AP) — Waffle House co-founder Joseph Wilson Rogers Sr., who went from short-order cook to co-founder of one of the nation's largest restaurant chains, has died. He was 97.

Georgia-based Waffle House said Rogers died Friday. No cause was given.

Rogers, born in Jackson, Tennessee, was the son of a railroad worker who was laid off during the Great Depression, the company said in a statement announcing the death. After his father's layoff, Rogers delivered newspapers and laundry to contribute to the family income.

During World War II, he joined the Army Air Corps, learned to fly and also trained B-24 pilots, eventually earning the rank of captain, the company said.

After the war, he found work grilling burgers during the day at a Toddle House restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut. At night, he learned accounting and other aspects of the business from the manager and his wife. He was quickly promoted to local and regional management positions, the company said.

After moving to Georgia, Rogers and Tom Forkner opened the first Waffle House restaurant just east of Atlanta in Avondale Estates, in 1955. Under their leadership, the Waffle House chain grew to 400 restaurants by the end of the 1970s, the company said in a statement.

Rogers still spent time at the corporate headquarters in Norcross until a few years ago, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

"I'm not an executive, I'm a waffle cook," Rogers once told the newspaper.

"My father genuinely loved every customer who walked into a Waffle House, and customers immediately understood that," Rogers' son, Waffle House Inc. Chairman Joe Rogers Jr., said in a statement. "The customer always came first for him, and he made sure the customer came first for everyone who worked with him."

Rogers is survived by his wife of 74 years, Ruth Jolley Rogers, the company said.

A memorial service is planned Wednesday at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center in Atlanta.


Co-founder of Georgia-based Waffle House chain dies at 97

ATLANTA (AP) — Waffle House co-founder Joseph Wilson Rogers Sr., who went from short-order cook to co-founder of one of the nation's largest restaurant chains, has died. He was 97.

Georgia-based Waffle House said Rogers died Friday. No cause was given.

Rogers, born in Jackson, Tennessee, was the son of a railroad worker who was laid off during the Great Depression, the company said in a statement announcing the death. After his father's layoff, Rogers delivered newspapers and laundry to contribute to the family income.

During World War II, he joined the Army Air Corps, learned to fly and also trained B-24 pilots, eventually earning the rank of captain, the company said.

After the war, he found work grilling burgers during the day at a Toddle House restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut. At night, he learned accounting and other aspects of the business from the manager and his wife. He was quickly promoted to local and regional management positions, the company said.

After moving to Georgia, Rogers and Tom Forkner opened the first Waffle House restaurant just east of Atlanta in Avondale Estates, in 1955. Under their leadership, the Waffle House chain grew to 400 restaurants by the end of the 1970s, the company said in a statement.

Rogers still spent time at the corporate headquarters in Norcross until a few years ago, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

"I'm not an executive, I'm a waffle cook," Rogers once told the newspaper.

"My father genuinely loved every customer who walked into a Waffle House, and customers immediately understood that," Rogers' son, Waffle House Inc. Chairman Joe Rogers Jr., said in a statement. "The customer always came first for him, and he made sure the customer came first for everyone who worked with him."

Rogers is survived by his wife of 74 years, Ruth Jolley Rogers, the company said.

A memorial service is planned Wednesday at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center in Atlanta.


Co-founder of Georgia-based Waffle House chain dies at 97

ATLANTA (AP) — Waffle House co-founder Joseph Wilson Rogers Sr., who went from short-order cook to co-founder of one of the nation's largest restaurant chains, has died. He was 97.

Georgia-based Waffle House said Rogers died Friday. No cause was given.

Rogers, born in Jackson, Tennessee, was the son of a railroad worker who was laid off during the Great Depression, the company said in a statement announcing the death. After his father's layoff, Rogers delivered newspapers and laundry to contribute to the family income.

During World War II, he joined the Army Air Corps, learned to fly and also trained B-24 pilots, eventually earning the rank of captain, the company said.

After the war, he found work grilling burgers during the day at a Toddle House restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut. At night, he learned accounting and other aspects of the business from the manager and his wife. He was quickly promoted to local and regional management positions, the company said.

After moving to Georgia, Rogers and Tom Forkner opened the first Waffle House restaurant just east of Atlanta in Avondale Estates, in 1955. Under their leadership, the Waffle House chain grew to 400 restaurants by the end of the 1970s, the company said in a statement.

Rogers still spent time at the corporate headquarters in Norcross until a few years ago, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

"I'm not an executive, I'm a waffle cook," Rogers once told the newspaper.

"My father genuinely loved every customer who walked into a Waffle House, and customers immediately understood that," Rogers' son, Waffle House Inc. Chairman Joe Rogers Jr., said in a statement. "The customer always came first for him, and he made sure the customer came first for everyone who worked with him."

Rogers is survived by his wife of 74 years, Ruth Jolley Rogers, the company said.

A memorial service is planned Wednesday at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center in Atlanta.


Watch the video: Yi Quan - Deep Theory of Mind Boxing with Paul Rogers (July 2022).


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