Waffle House holiday rescue

When disaster struck on Christmas Day and shut down their internet connection, Waffle House had to immediately increase offline transaction limits to keep serving customers who count on their Waffle House holiday tradition. Could NCR product engineers pull it off?
“No one prepares for an event like this at a time like this, but these are the things that test the strength of your partnerships. NCR came through for our customers and our employees when it mattered most.” 

— Waffle House
What they needed

A fast way to increase offline orders

Waffle House, the 24-hour fast service restaurant known for its bright yellow sign throughout the Southeastern U.S., has become a family tradition for many during the holidays. Their motto, “We’re not in the restaurant business, we’re in the people business” reflects their founders’ commitment to friendly service for their customers and career opportunities for their associates. And the holidays are an important time of year for both—amid the clatter of plates and associates famously shouting out orders—customers enjoy their legendary hash browns and other Waffle House staples and associates earn much needed tips. 

When a cataclysmic event happened in Nashville on Christmas Day, it took down a cloud data center that shut down internet connections and online orders in Waffle Houses throughout Tennessee and Arkansas. While their NCR Silver point-of-sale supported offline transactions, there was a $5,000 daily limit as a risk barrier. So, when their connectivity went down, Waffle House could continue serving customers in Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama, but not at full capacity. They needed to quickly find a way to avoid potential lost revenue, tips and disappointed holiday customers during one of their busiest times of the year. 

What we delivered

Rapid response—even on Christmas morning

Waffle House reached out to NCR for help, and while many companies are closed during the holidays, NCR is there when customers need us, even on Christmas Day. We immediately responded and rallied a product engineering team to provide support. They quickly developed an update to increase the POS offline transaction limit. Waffle House was then able to deploy the update that same day using special wireless routers.

What happened next

Uninterrupted holiday cheer

It took several days before the cloud data center was back online and operational, affecting over 170 Waffle House locations between Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama. But during that time, Waffle Houses in these three states captured uninterrupted streams of revenue and associates were able to collect thousands of dollars in additional tips via offline transactions. Best of all, their customers didn’t have to miss out on their Waffle House tradition.