Waffle House Gone Wild: Why Are Brawls Happening at Some of Their Locations?

Why are fights breaking out inside some of the famous restaurant chain locations? Inside Edition decided to check it out and sent a team of producers to ten Waffle Houses, some of the busiest locations nationwide.

Waffle House is one of the nation's largest fast-food restaurants, with more than 1,900 locations in 25 states.

In recent years, the 24-hour chain with its trademark yellow sign has become infamous for rowdy late-night crowds and all-out brawls.

One of the most famous brawls recently went viral when a Waffle House cook, Halie Booth, A.K.A. “Waffle House Wendy,” swatted away a chair that was hurled at her by an angry customer in Austin, Texas.

Booth tells Inside Editon that working the night shift at Waffle House can be hazardous.

She says Waffle House needs to do more to protect its customers and employees.

"It gets pretty vicious in a Waffle House," said Booth.  “I've  probably cleaned blood off of every surface."

Booth was disciplined after the fight and no longer works at Waffle House.  She says Waffle House needs to do more to protect it’s customers and employees.

Inside Edition also interviewed James Shaw Jr who’s commonly known as The Waffle House Hero.  Shaw tackled an armed gunman and wrestled him to the ground after he shot and killed four customers at a Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee in 2018.

So why are fights breaking out at some Waffle Houses, nationwide? 

To find out, Inside Edition sent a team of producers to ten Waffle Houses, including some of the busiest locations, nationwide.

At a Waffle House in Atlanta where police say five teenagers were shot and two people were stabbed, our producers spotted an armed sherriff’s deputy standing guard inside.

In fact, every Waffle House that Inside Edition visited had armed security, surveillance cameras and even a loudspeaker warning customers that they were being recorded 24/7.

"This is Waffle House security, monitoring and recording all activity of this location with live audio and video," the recording says. 

Former police officer Leonard Spies says most of these incidents happen late at night because Waffle House is one of the few places that is open 24 hours a day.

"You have young people congregating under the influence of drugs, under the influence of alcohol," Spies tells Inside Edition. "It's a mixture that is bound to create problems."

In a statement to Inside Edition about these incidents, Waffle House responded: "Waffle House has been in business almost 70 years. We serve more than 200 million customers a year with most encounters being positive. We care very much about any incident that puts our Customers or Associates at risk. We expect both our Customers and our Associates to be considerate of others and to have patience with each other when service issues do arise. We take very seriously the safety of our Customers and our Associates, and we continuously work to improve the safety of our locations. Accordingly, we will continue to manage these challenges using available training, resources, and equipment.”

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