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If you were looking forward to heading to Waffle House over the weekend, you might want to think again as the food chain has shut more than 400 locations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are trying really hard to provide hours and jobs for people, but when there [are] no customers, it is hard to continue for a long period of time,” Waffle House President and CEO Walt Ehmer told Atlanta news outlet WSB-TV.
Despite the closures, there are still more than 1,500 restaurants open, but many cities and states across the country have restricted social gathering to less than 10 — making it near impossible for eateries within those jurisdictions to remain open to the public.
“When people think the economy, people think that is just money,” Ehmer said. “No, it’s people’s lives. People’s lives are being ruined and this is going to be a disaster to them, for the working class of this country, for years to come.”
The company also released a statement addressing the mass closures.
“This week, we posted information on the number of Waffle House closures related to covid-19. We referred to the index as a way to help people understand how big of an impact this virus has had on the restaurant industry,” Waffle House’s statement continued.
You can check out the Waffle House Index below.
“The reference to ‘code red’ also highlights the tremendous impacts that are being felt by many of our associates and their families. With so few customers visiting our restaurants, we are rapidly losing the ability to offer enough work hours for our associates to earn money needed to live their lives and pay their bills,” it concluded.