EXCLUSIVE - Waffle House grill cook cheat sheet

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    This is a photograph of a Waffle House grill cook's cheat sheet.

    The photographs indicate the way in which a cook marks his orders. These secret plate markers allow a Waffle House cook to simultaneously prepare multiple customer orders at once.

    Let me give you an example. If I were to order three scrambled eggs, dry wheat toast, and hash browns, the waitress would face the grill and yell out loud - "Mark: Triple scrambled dry wheat plate."

    The cook would then quickly take a large dinner plate, turn it sideways, and place a tub of jelly upside down at the six o'clock position.

    The six o'clock position indicates scrambled eggs, and the jelly upside down means wheat toast. I am not sure how to mark "dry" for the toast, or how to indicate hash browns versus grits.

    This chart explains why I often get a packet of mayonnaise with my grilled chicken plate.

    You might also like my photo collection of paper towel dispensers or Americana photo set.

    petercooperuk, SoStark, dalasv, and 232 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 20 more comments

    1. garbostyle1 67 months ago | reply

      I have worked in the food industry since I was 14 years old ,(yes ,I lied about my age),I have done every job you can imagine at any resturant chain you could imagine. If you saw what the kitchens of most of them were like ,you'd never eat out again (I DON"T). In all my years the cleanest kitchens I have ever worked in are waffle house kitchens. I never ONCE saw a bug or any rat droppings , EVER! That is so rare, believe me. I worked for them when you had to just remember everything and then later tried to work for them again under this new system and just couldn't keep up and finally quit. So ,as to the earlier comment that the ones who can't keep up with this new system were just slow to start with , not true . I was one of the few who could work with out a back-up cook and keep up just fine. The system is too confusing .

    2. spunkycv62 63 months ago | reply

      I read all of these comments about the cooks and the system of marking plates...yes it is a wonderful performance for the customers,but being a waffle house waitress is pure hell. I worked for them for 14 years,and it is not a pretty picture for the waitresses,and now that southeast waffle went into bankruptcy and it was taken over by Waffle House Inc,it has turned into a non stop fight.All of us old timers had thier benefits taken away..and had to start all over again as if we never existed..glad I am gone!!! But for those of you that enjoy going there,please remember those poor gals only make 2 dollars and thirteen cents an hour,and they have alot of work put on thier shoulders. It is a very hard job

    3. cavale 63 months ago | reply

      why is the cook's name "mark" in your scenario?

      also, what do they call that metal thing they put on top of the bacon while it's cooking and where can i get one?

    4. kaylam1980 62 months ago | reply

      I love the Waffle House marking system! I'm sure by now you have found out how to mark dry toast which is putting a butter under the jelly indicating "hold the butter" and a hashbrown on the plate indicating hashbrowns instead of grits. Pull, Drop, Mark is the best idea yet!

    5. kaylam1980 62 months ago | reply

      The management is not all bad. And if the employee's like their job so much, then why does Waffle House have such a high turnover in employement with the wait staff and cooks? And why is it so hard to keep them in uniform? As for the cleanliness, Waffle Houses are the cleanest to eat in. For one thing, the kitchen is on "stage" for all the customers to see. If it's not clean, no one would eat their. Employee's try a lot harder to keep things clean if customers can see it. They don't try so hard in the other restaurants that the customers can't see.

    6. kaylam1980 62 months ago | reply

      If I were to eat out I would much rather eat out in a Waffle House because you can see every move the cooks make.
      As for that thing they put on top of the bacon, it is called a pork weight. It goes on top of all pork. Bacon, sausage and pork chops. Ask a Waffle House manager near you to sell you one

    7. TruLuvNeverDies09 62 months ago | reply

      I am a salesperson for Waffle House, i just started about a week ago, i am third generation for waffle house, my mom worked there for 22 years, my sister worked there for 7 years and i just started, i remember the majority of the OLD calling out procedure but i'm confused with the NEW pull, drop, mark procedures they have came out with.... can anyone tell me any tricks to learning it more quickly??? if so IM me at TruLuvNeverDies09@yahoo.com or leave me a message on here! Please and thank you :) ~Skyler

    8. ilovelisaruth 58 months ago | reply

      TruLuv, the best way to learn this system is to get on the front line and learn by experience. BTW, the "weight" you put on the "bacon" is called a "bacon weight". www.amazon.com/Cast-Steak-Weight-Bacon-Press/dp/B0013HWFUW

    9. robynnobyn09 52 months ago | reply

      Dry toast is, believe it or not, signaled by a butter packet on top of the jelly. Yeah.

    10. robynnobyn09 52 months ago | reply


      The metal thing is called a meat press.
      Just type it into google, you'll get a million results.

    11. @kingkim&i 49 months ago | reply

      I'm a waffle House cook now and been for 7 years and yep when you are drunk and messed up and can't hardly drive better stop at the only place to get a real steak and eat till you sober up at 3am WAFFLE HOUSE or DUI and I'd drink a cup of grease before I loose my L'z and pay over 3000 dollars in fines BITCHES!=)

    12. nethertonja79 42 months ago | reply

      you can buy waffle batter from your waffle house.

    13. Sarah:)2008 39 months ago | reply

      a butter cup underneath the tub of jelly indicates dry toast and a piece of hashbrown on the plate would indicate hashbrowns. also if you were to order three eggs a mustard packet would be placed with the tub of jelly as well. the jelly tub just indicates a standard order of two eggs

    14. KDern 38 months ago | reply

      Thank you for posting!

    15. Baby_Phat_Goddess 36 months ago | reply

      the signal foe dry wheat toast is that you draw a smll w and put a circle around it so if yu get an order of two eggs scrambled with dry toast you would say order scrambled dry......

    16. MetallichickX 36 months ago | reply

      @cavale: The cook's name isn't Mark. The system we use to call in orders is called the "Pull, Drop, Mark" system, where the waitress tells the cook to "pull" all the meats for the order, "drop" the number of hashbrowns for the order, and then "mark" the order itself.

      Waffle House has had three variations of their call-in system over the years. The original "Memory Cooks" had to remember everything the waitress called in. Then, the "Magic Marker System" (pictured here) was introduced (in the 90s). Then, they went a step further and added the "pull/drop" to it (in the early 2000s). A good memory cook would be slowed down by the newer systems but there aren't a lot of employees at waffle house with good memories ;) , so that hasn't really been a problem.

      Oh, and as far as the mysterious "Super Master Grill Operator" goes, it's a position that existed before the last minimum wage increase (the one that brought it up to $7.25), but was phased out because Waffle House didn't want to have to pay people that much. When the minimum was $5.15, that's what we paid the "apprentice grill operator" (trainee). Then a regular grill op would make ~$6/hr, the master grill op would make closer to ~$7/hr, and a super master would make upwards of $7.50/hr. Using the same pay increases between positions now would mean that a super master grill operator would make something like $10/hr and Waffle House very specifically will not pay their cooks more than $9/hr (for the most seasoned veterans they have). Thus, the "Super Master Grill Operator" disappeared from the pay charts.

      Signed, a 10-year Waffle House waitress/master grill op.

    17. ezperkins 33 months ago | reply

      I'm a cook at Waffle House, when I was training, I thought this was a joke.

    18. G. Butler Studio 33 months ago | reply

      Great, knowing my plate hosted any number of condiment packages confirms that it hosts a lot that could only be seen with a microscope.

    19. mudpie1978 18 months ago | reply

      I too worked at waffle house and we bleached down everything in the building once a week. As well as daily cleaning. Oh for sure! It truly is the cleanest kitchen. The floors are constantly swept and mopped. Yeah, they don't know haa haa.... I loved the job. Even though the pay sucked as a side short order cook and waitress. I may have to go back to it soon. The job industry is so bad right now. As long as the food is right and as close to photos as possible at work training. That's all that matters. Cheat sheet or not. A cook still follows the heart.

    20. dariaeden 16 months ago | reply

      I'm about to go in for my second interview with Waffle House today, and I'm really nervous. I've never worked waitstaff before, but I'm a little excited for the challenge of learning the new system.

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