In 1949, Thomas Forkner Sr. was in the real estate business when he helped Joe Rogers Sr. buy a house.
Rogers was working for the Toddle House restaurant chain and he convinced Forkner to join him in starting their own restaurant.
The two opened the first 24-hour Waffle House on Labor Day in 1955 in the Atlanta suburb of Avondale Estates.
By the time they sold the business in the late 1970s, the chain had grown to 400 restaurants.
The Atlanta-based company that owns the chain now has more than 1,500 locations.