Is Waffle House Publicly Traded?

Last Updated on 05/14/2021 by GS Staff

Can you purchase Waffle House stock?

Waffle House is a private company and is not publicly traded. The general public cannot purchase shares of Waffle House stock on a stock exchange. You can, however, purchase shares if you work for Waffle House and its subsidiaries. According to a Wall Street Journal article from 2019, the employee-owned stock has consistently increased every year over at least 57 years. In fact, after five years, a Waffle House manager can make over six figures with stock options. It’s not an easy job but the pay appears to be quite nice once your time is put in.

Will Waffle House Ever Be Public?

Waffle House has been a private business since the first restaurant opened in 1955 in Avondale Estates, Georgia. We would speculate that the company will remain private for the foreseeable future. The founders, Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner, both died in 2017 but there have been no significant changes to the business since their deaths. While anything is always possible in the world of business, don’t expect a Waffle House IPO any time soon. The franchise model likely allows the company to operate without taking on significant debt or require it to raise funds through a public offering.

Waffle House Publicly Traded Competitors

Since you cannot purchase Waffle House stock, you may wish to look into a few of its primary publicly traded competitors for investment. Some of these notable companies are:

  • IHOP – IHOP or the International House of Pancakes trades under the stock symbol DIN. It is owned by Dine Brands who also owns the popular restaurant chain, Applebee’s. IHOP was first opened in 1958 and now has over 1770 restaurants in all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, and Guam. The restaurants are 100% franchised owned. 2020 revenue was $689.27 million for Dine Brands.
  • Denny’s – Denny’s trades under the stock symbol DENN. The company has approximately 1,650 franchised, company-owned, and licensed restaurants in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Philippines, and several other countries. Similar to Waffle House, its locations are open 24/7 (at most locations). Its breakfast menu is the most popular with guests and is available any time of the day. 2020 revenue was $288.61 million for Denny’s.

About Waffle House

Waffle House is headquartered in Norcross, Georgia, and operates in 25 states with a strong presence in the South. There are roughly 2,100 locations with the most locations being in Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, South Carolina, and Alabama. The company has stated that it is the world’s top seller of waffles, ham, pork chops, and T-Bone steaks. Waffles, being the company’s biggest moneymaker, is why the company is called Waffle House. While Waffle House is a private company and its financials are not disclosed, it is estimated that the company brings in over $1 billion in revenue per year. If you live in a place like Michigan where Waffle House doesn’t exist, this may be hard to believe. However, a quick trip to Georgia or the Carolinas and you will have no trouble understanding how huge Waffle House really is.


Image Credit: Bob B. Brown/flickr