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Poll: Restaurants are split on disaster planning

SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in Restaurant SmartBrief — tracks feedback from restaurant owners and managers about trends and issues.

Last week’s poll question: Does your restaurant have a disaster plan?

49.25% — No, my restaurant does not have a disaster plan.
44.78% — Yes, my restaurant has a disaster plan.
5.97% — I’m not sure if my restaurant has a disaster plan.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Director W. Craig Fugate coined the term “Waffle House Index” as an indicator of disaster preparedness. Yes, this is based on the waffle chain‘s plan in the event of a disaster.

“We’re flattered that he looked to what we did and recognized what we did,” Pat Warner, a vice president at Waffle House, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It kind of goes back to our culture. The faster we can get open, the faster the community can get back to normal. Our people need to get back to work, and our customers need a place to eat.”

Communicate with and educate your employees, and operate at less than full capacity are a couple of tips that can help you build your own plan. This FEMA blog post also can help prepare your business for the worst.

Tell us about your disaster plan in the comments.