The next time you dine at your favorite Waffle House in Louisiana, it will cost you more to get those world-famous hashbrowns "scattered, smothered, and covered."

Waffle House CEO Joe Rogers III recently said that the company is planning to raise menu prices soon.

Rogers told employees in a video message last month that plans are laid out to offset the cost of increased wages by raising menu prices at restaurants. He said the move was necessary to "pay for this journey."

Of course, most would consider Waffle House a pretty inexpensive place to dine. (Last time I went there, it cost about $20 for me and my bride to eat.)

“Make no mistake, whatever that edge is that we currently have with menu pricing, that is going to shrink a little bit in a few years,” Rogers said. “But our bet is the prevailing talent and attitudes we have behind the counter will be our biggest competitive differentiator of the future.”

Waffle House will be strategic in its price increases. Rogers said that restaurants in major cities -- like Dallas and Atlanta -- will have more "room" to raise prices than restaurants in "suburban or rural" areas.

“Our menu prices in a rural town are relative to competitors’ menu prices in that rural town. So we may not have as much room to increase prices as we have in a large city.”

The bigger increases in larger cities are designed to offset the higher costs of living for employees working at those locations.

GioandJC via YouTube
GioandJC via YouTube

Regarding the exact price increases, Waffle House representatives weren't ready to disclose that or provide additional details.

With rising prices, customers will have rising expectations, Rogers said.

“This means that our levels of hospitality and service, the cleanliness of our units, and the preparation and portion size of our food, among other things, all need to elevate to a new level if we are going to be successful,” he said.

This latest news piggybacks somewhat off of Waffle House's announcement in May that it plans to raise workers' wages via a system designed to begin increasing base pay, provide tenure-based bonus pay, and offer "premiums" for certain shifts.

The first wage increases went into effect in June, according to Rogers' video message.

Waffle House is based in Norcross, Georgia, and currently operates over 1,900 locations in 25 states, mostly in the South and Midwest.

Louisiana currently has 102 Waffle House restaurants, which is the fourth-most in the country behind Texas, Tennessee, and Alabama.

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