Waffle House Co-Founders Die Just Two Months Apart

April 28, 2017

RIP, Tom Forkner and Joe Rogers Sr.

Sad news for the restaurant world today: Tom Forkner, the founder of iconic all-night diner chain Waffle House, died on Thursday at the age of 98. Forkner’s death follows quickly on the heels of that of his co-founder, Joe Rogers Sr., who died back in March at 97.

Forker and Rogers Sr., who were neighbors, opened the very first Waffle House in Avondale Estates, Georgia, in 1955, deciding on the Waffle House moniker because waffles were the highest-margin items on the menu. Following rapid growth in the ’70s and ’80s, the 24-hour restaurant