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Former Waffle House Chef and Manager on 'How the Waffle Burns'

It being Greasy Spoons Week 2013, Eater interviewed Sam Price, who spent four years working at Waffle Houses. Now 25, Price's first job was at a Waffle House when he was 17. He left the company four years later, having worked in every Louisville-area Waffle House.

What led to you working at Waffle House?

I was a regular, and they offered me a job. It was my first job. I served and then I cooked. I was a store manager. And then a relief district manager.

Describe what it was like cooking there.

It was awesome, fast-paced, a lot of fun. But stressful. It's very fast paced, you have to keep up if you do it the way you're supposed to for that company. You can't slow down. You have a 20-minute table-turn time and six minutes to put the food on the table.

What's the strangest thing you witnessed?

A bunch of drugs. A bunch of meth. We had one lady who was on meth. She laid out a bunch of newspapers from 20 years before, saying they had messages in the about how her husband was going to kill her. I was working at the time, so we kind of just let it unfold. They said that's how the waffle burns.

Do you still eat at Waffle Houses?

I still eat there. I know a bunch of the people who still work there. The main people that I know there now have been there for 17-plus years. You get people that don't leave. They leave for a couple of months and then they're right back.

What's your go-to dish?

I like the burgers, the burgers are great. The eggs are great. They get top-of the line burger meat and eggs, which is a little surprising. They get the lowest grade steaks.

Would you work at Waffle House again?

They've offered me a job back sporadically over the past five years, but I wouldn't go back. The politics are way off. There's a bunch of theft, from the lowest to the highest levels. Servers steal everything: food, cash. The district manager stole $2,700 through food costs, register shortages, safe shortages. All in one week. That was the end for me.

Any other interesting stories?

There was a sting operation one time when I was working. There were two guys acting really weird, really creepy—looking over their shoulder the whole time. This was about 10:30 at night. I walked to the back to pick up something, which was all of 30 feet away. I turned around and eight cop cars were outside and 10 cops were in the restaurant. One guy locked himself in the bathroom. The other guy got tackled, his face was all bloody. About three months after that, the guy with his face all bloody was in training at another Waffle House location.

Waffle House will hire anybody.

·All Greasy Spoons Week 2013 Coverage [~ELOU~]

[Photo: Facebook/Waffle House]