Waffle House has closed 365 restaurants as the breakfast chain known for its resilience during natural disasters takes a big hit amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The privately held company posted an image on its Facebook account with red dots for the restaurants that have closed and green dots for the 1,627 that remain open.
Customers reacted with dismay on Facebook to the closings by the restaurant chain, which has prided itself on staying open in the most dire circumstances and has its own Waffle House Index to show where restaurants are open, restricted to takeout, or closed altogether during major weather events.
"It's truly the Apocalypse when the Waffle House closes," read one of more than 900 comments posted under the shutdown map.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has even referred to the Waffle House Index to judge how hard hit a particular region or part of the country has been during a disaster.
Waffle House, on its Facebook page, put the caption #WaffleHouseIndexRed above its map showing broadly the location of restaurants that have closed or remain open.
The restaurant chain didn't explain on its post the reasons for the shutdown, or the addresses of the restaurants that have closed. A spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.
The chain, heavily concentrated in the Southeast, has taken the biggest hit in the Midwest, where it has closed many of its restaurants in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky,
There are also several closings in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, as well as along the Gulf Coast, with far fewer in the interior regions of the southern states.