June 21, 2012
Joe W. Rogers Jr. is chief executive officer of Waffle House Inc., the fast food chain with a focus on customer service that is known for being open 24 hours, 365 days a year.
Born in Jackson Tenn., Rogers grew up in Atlanta, graduating from Avondale High School in 1964. He earned his BS in industrial management at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1968, served a year in the Air National Guard, and then earned his MBA at Harvard in 1971.
Rogers is the son of co-founder Joe W. Rogers Sr., who opened the first Waffle House as a single restaurant with no plans for expansion in Avondale Estates in Atlanta on Labor Day of 1955. Friendly service earned customer loyalty and the business grew.
Rogers began working at Waffle House in 1961 and joined the Waffle House Inc. executive team in 1971 as vice president of finance and operations. He has served as CEO since 1973, currently overseeing 1500+ restaurants in 25 states.
Rogers serves on the boards of directors for Suntrust Bank of Atlanta and Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation and he is a trustee of the Woodruff Arts Center, the Georgia Research Alliance, and the Georgia Tech Foundation Board. He is the former chairman of the board of trustees for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.