If you’re a Waffle House fan, the words scattered, smothered, chunked, and covered are all likely in heavy rotation in your mealtime lingo. Well, here’s some new intel to add to your Waffle House knowledge base: The Georgia-based restaurant chain uses an intricate code of condiments to keep their service swift and organized. As reported in a new article from ESPN, the eatery uses a rolodex of signals called the “mark” system.
The lexicon of visual cues includes items like jelly or mayo packets, utensils, and slices of cheese to tell grill operators what belongs in a given order. “A jelly packet at the bottom of the plate signifies scrambled eggs. Raisin toast is signified by a packet of apple butter. A mustard packet facing up means a pork chop,” ESPN Staff Writer Dave Wilson explains. Even a pat of butter is used as intel for kitchen staff: It represents a T-bone, and its placement on the plate tells the cook how well-done the customer wants their steak.
"Team sports kind of prepare you for the Waffle House," Greg Bright, Waffle House's director of people operations and a former Georgia Bulldogs’ linebacker, said in the article. "It's kind of scary a little bit, the parallels. On a daily basis, you're coaching people and developing people." Clearly, Waffle House also instills all of its employees with a one-of-a-kind language that will stick with them for years to come.
We’ve already lost track of which way to position our mustard packet, but it’s safe to say we have a new appreciation for those scattered and smothered hash browns landing on our table in delightfully crispy perfection.
This story originally appeared on SouthernLiving.com.