Sunday, February 23, 2014

On the regional distrubution of Waffle House

The Washington Post's The Fix took up a classic question in American regionalism last week: the regional maldistribution of Waffle House and IHOP restaurants and their correlations to political behavior. It's an age old question, but one I could no longer remain silent on, given that commentators continue to rely on state-level analysis of the problem.

As with any other regional question, one has to look beyond state lines, which don't capture the true historically-based cultural fissures in our landscape. Over at Washington Monthly, I've done precisely this for the Waffle House question, showing the regional fissures are even more stark than a state-level examination would reveal.

Waffle House is based in Georgia, and Ed Kilgore (a native of that state) adds this at the Monthly's Political Animal. I'd also note that rival IHOP was founded and based in Los Angeles County, which suggests a cultural rather than purely spatial explanation for its dominance in distant New England and the Upper Midwest.

1 comment:

  1. The next question is what made it happen. Do Northern-Alliance people prefer pancakes to waffles? Do Dixie-Bloc people prefer waffles to pancakes? Or is it a case of cultural compatibility? IHOP starting out in a Northern Alliance town and preferring Northern Alliance locations, and Waffle House starting out in a Dixie Bloc town and preferring Dixie Bloc locations.