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Albany’s Queen of Waffles

By   /   September 30, 2009  /   Comments

“It was then and there that I realized I could fulfill my dream of helping people right here behind the Waffle House counter.”

“If you don’t like people and you’re too proud to apologize you had better find a new job!”

Editor’s note: This article is reprinted with permission from INC, The Associate Experience magazine.

She goes by many different names: some might know her as the “Queen of Waffles”, others as the “Mouth of the South” and a few as the “Waffle House Drama Queen.” But regardless of the monikers, everybody who visits Unit 783 in Albany remembers Angie Allen. She has worked at Waffle House for 29 years under many different managers, many she trained herself. Over the years, Angie has held five different roles in two Waffle House locations.

For a short time, Angie’s daughter and husband even donned the famous Waffle House yellow and black but not anymore. “Waffle House is either in your blood or it isn’t,” explains Angie. “It wasn’t my husband’s or my daughter’s, but it sure is in mine.”

In 1970, the Queen of Waffles graduated from Vienna High School and Industrial School, the last all African-American school in Vienna, Ga., alongside her twin sister.

Angie fondly remembers her principal saying, “No matter what you do, always do your best.” Nearly 30 years later, Angie lives by that mantra and encourages others as well.

wafflehouse2Angie went on to attend Albany State College to major in nursing. It was not until a chance conversation with a customer early in her Waffle House career that Angie considered making Waffle House her full-time career.

“I was waiting tables on day when a handicapped lady came in to eat,” Angie said. “She needed help clearing the chairs and situating her wheel chair. I stepped in to help her out, and she told me that I should be a nurse, on account of all of the personal attention I showed her.

“It was then and there that I realized I could fulfill my dream of helping people right here behind the Waffle House counter.”

From that day up to today, Angie has taken great pride in her service, in and out of the Waffle House. She has been an active member of the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Albany for 28 years and a hospice volunteer for almost a decade. At the Waffle House, Miss Angie has been known to dress in character for Easter and Halloween, and often surprises customers by calling their orders in while they are still parking their cars.

Angie remembers a visit from a former regular on Christmas morning nearly five years after he had moved away from Albany. Even after five years without serving him, Angie remembers, “I called out his regular order to the grill operator as he walked in: ‘scrambled cheese with raisin toast, bacon, and black coffee.”

“He just couldn’t believe that I remembered him, and hew as even more impressed that I remembered his order! He left me nearly a 300% tip that day. He was so happy that I took care of him.”

Starting as a server at Unit 268 on Slappey Boulevard in Albany, Angie has filled many different positions over her career at Waffle House, ranging from grill operator to her current position as Training/Coordinator Sales Associate.

While Angie has spent nearly three decades serving others, she claims Waffle House has been doing the same for her. She fondly recalls how eager her former manager was to accommodate her schedule when her husband needed special medical attention years ago, though she rarely requests time off these days.

Watching customers and fellow associates develop inside and outside of the Waffle House community keeps Angie motivated. In fact, Angie said her favorite part of her job is growing with families, especially when she is able to tell grandchildren that their grandparents and parents used to enjoy their Waffle House favorites too!

With no immediate plans to retire, Angie has this word of wisdom for all present and future Waffle House associates:

“If you don’t like people and you’re too proud to apologize you had better find a new job!”

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  • Published: 1785 days ago on September 30, 2009
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  • Last Modified: October 7, 2009 @ 10:24 am
  • Filed Under: News, People
 

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