Does Waffle House Take Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is a mobile payment service that allows users to make purchases using supported Apple devices, like iPhones, Apple Watches, and iPads. It utilizes near-field communication (NFC) technology to securely complete transactions. As Apple Pay rises in popularity, more and more businesses are adopting it as a payment option. This article will examine if Waffle House, the popular 24-hour diner chain, accepts Apple Pay at its locations.

Does Waffle House Take Apple Pay?

Overview of Waffle House

Waffle House is an American restaurant chain specializing in breakfast food items like waffles, pancakes, and eggs. Founded in 1955 in Georgia, it has over 2,100 locations primarily in the Southern United States. The chain is known for being open 24/7/365 and its simple, affordable menu items prepared right in front of the customers.

Some key facts about Waffle House:

  • Founded in 1955 in Avondale Estates, Georgia
  • Headquartered in Norcross, Georgia
  • Has over 2,100 locations in 25 states
  • Main menu items are breakfast foods like waffles, pancakes, eggs
  • Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
  • Known for hash brown potatoes cooked on a hot grill
  • Most locations have a jukebox playing music

Waffle House aims to provide fast, friendly service and has become a popular late-night dining choice after bars close. It has a loyal customer base across the Southern U.S. who enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and signature dishes like waffles smothered in chili.

Does Waffle House Accept Apple Pay?

Unfortunately, Waffle House currently does not accept Apple Pay as a payment method at any of its locations. The chain has not enabled contactless payments like Apple Pay or Google Pay at its restaurants.

Waffle House only accepts traditional payment methods like:

  • Cash
  • Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover)
  • Debit cards
  • Gift cards

So while you can’t use Apple Pay at Waffle House, you can still pay with regular credit and debit cards or cash. Some locations may even accept checks.

Without Apple Pay, customers will need to insert or swipe their cards as usual and sign the receipt for credit card payments. Tipping is optional but customary for good service.

Why Doesn’t Waffle House Take Apple Pay Yet?

There are a few possible reasons why Waffle House has not adopted Apple Pay as a payment method yet:

  • Cost of new hardware: Enabling Apple Pay requires compatible point-of-sale systems and hardware like NFC readers. As a low-cost restaurant chain, Waffle House may be hesitant to take on these upgrade costs across all its locations.
  • Most payments under $10: The average Waffle House check is under $10 per person. With smaller average checks, there may be less incentive to implement Apple Pay compared to faster payments.
  • Majority cash/card usage: Though growing, only an estimated 13% of smartphone users had used Apple Pay as of 2018. Since many Waffle House customers pay cash or card, Apple Pay may not be a pressing concern.
  • Slow technology adoption: As an older, well-established brand, Waffle House tends to be slow in adopting new point-of-sale technology like pay-at-the-table tablets. Apple Pay may eventually come but isn’t a current priority.

However, with contactless payments on the rise, Waffle House may eventually shift its strategy, especially if customers begin demanding Apple Pay as an option. But for now, Apple device users will need to rely on other payment methods there.

Tips for Paying Without Apple Pay at Waffle House

Since you can’t use Apple Pay at Waffle House currently, here are some tips for paying without it:

  • Carry cash for quick, easy transactions – Cash is accepted everywhere and keeps the line moving fast. It’s especially convenient for smaller purchases.
  • Keep your credit/debit card handy – Though not as fast as Apple Pay, chip and pin/signature remain the standard payment methods. Have your card ready to insert or swipe.
  • Download the Waffle House app (coming soon) – Waffle House is developing a mobile app that may eventually allow mobile payments. Check for updates to use it as soon as it launches.
  • Add tip in cash – Tip your friendly servers in cash since tips on cards are often pooled and paid out bi-weekly. Cash lets them take home tips nightly.
  • Open a tab – For longer meals with groups, open a credit card tab to keep payments consolidated and avoid numerous transactions.
  • Use contactless cards – If you have a contactless-enabled credit/debit card, look for the wireless symbol at the register. You can tap to pay, similar to Apple Pay.

The Future of Contactless Payments at Waffle House

Though Apple Pay is not accepted currently, Waffle House may eventually shift to contactless payments for a few reasons:

  • Increased consumer demand – As more people use tap-to-pay services, consumer demand for Apple Pay and Android Pay at Waffle House may grow. This could increase pressure for adoption.
  • Faster transactions – Contactless payments are faster than chip/swipe payments, which could help reduce long lines at busy Waffle House locations.
  • Enhanced security – Services like Apple Pay provide transaction security through tokenization and biometrics like fingerprint and facial recognition. This improves security over cash or cards.
  • Loyalty/mobile integration – A Waffle House app could integrate with Apple Pay to combine contactless payments with loyalty programs, coupons, and mobile ordering.
  • Industry shift – As more and more restaurants enable contactless payments, Waffle House may eventually follow suit to match consumer payment preferences shifting away from cash and cards.

It likely comes down to cost considerations and customer demand. But as adoption of tap-to-pay services accelerates, look for Waffle House to join the contactless payment trend in the future.

Key Takeaways

  • Waffle House currently does not accept Apple Pay at any locations, only cash, physical credit/debit cards, and gift cards.
  • Enabling Apple Pay requires hardware upgrades that Waffle House may be hesitant to implement due to tight margins as a low-cost chain.
  • Slow technology adoption and a loyal customer base that predominantly uses cash or cards also reduces pressure on Waffle House to add Apple Pay.
  • Tips for Waffle House payment without Apple Pay include carrying cash, keeping your cards handy, and adding tips in cash.
  • Contactless payments will likely come eventually to Waffle House as consumer demand increases and tap-to-pay becomes an industry standard.


Waffle House’s lack of Apple Pay acceptance disappointed some customers who prefer easy tap-to-pay services. However, the popular late-night diner has yet to enable contactless payments like Apple Pay at any locations, still relying on traditional cash and card transactions. While inconvenient for some, Waffle House’s customers have generally accepted this limitation as the chain prioritizes low costs and simple processes. But industry trends show contactless payments are here to stay, so adoption is likely inevitable at Waffle House in the coming years. With nostalgic brand loyalty but also a younger clientele, the move to modern convenience may happen gradually. Yet Waffle House’s trademark hashbrowns and waffles smothered in chili will remain accessible 24 hours a day – even if your iPhone battery dies before the check arrives.

FAQs about Waffle House and Apple Pay

  1. Does Waffle House accept any contactless payments?
    No, Waffle House currently does not accept Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay or any other contactless payment methods. Only physical credit/debit cards, cash, and gift cards are accepted.

  2. Can I use Apple Pay on the Waffle House mobile app?
    No, the Waffle House mobile app does not currently support Apple Pay. The app is still in development and has not launched yet nationwide. It’s not clear if it will support mobile payments whenever it does launch.

  3. Why don’t more restaurants take Apple Pay?
    Restaurants may be slow to adopt Apple Pay for several reasons: high hardware upgrade costs, slow technology adoption by older brands, small average checks, loyal customers satisfied with cash/cards, and waiting to integrate loyalty programs.

  4. Is Apple Pay safer than using a credit card?
    Yes, Apple Pay is more secure than physical credit cards because each transaction uses a unique token and biometrics like fingerprint or face recognition for verification. Credit card numbers are never shared directly.

  5. Can I use Apple Pay at any restaurants that accept contactless payments?
    You can use Apple Pay at any restaurant that accepts contactless payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay, or contactless cards. Look for the wireless/tap-to-pay symbol at checkout to pay with your device.

  6. Will Waffle House get Apple Pay in 2023?
    It’s unclear if Waffle House will start accepting Apple Pay in 2023. As a slow technology adopter, the chain may wait and see how contactless payment demand grows before making upgrades. But industry shifts may force their hand soon.

  7. What do I do if my Waffle House doesn’t take Apple Pay?
    If your Waffle House location does not accept Apple Pay yet, you will need to pay with traditional credit/debit cards, cash, or gift cards. Consider opening a tab for group payments or tipping in cash for quicker service.

  8. Can I use Apple Pay at Waffle House if my total is under $10?
    No, you cannot use Apple Pay for any transactions under $10 or over any amount at Waffle House. No locations accept contactless iPhone payments currently, regardless of the check total. Cash or physical cards are still required.

  9. How can I request Waffle House add Apple Pay?
    To request Waffle House add Apple Pay, you can speak to the manager at your local restaurant or submit feedback on the Waffle House website. Increased customer requests may encourage corporate adoption.

  10. What technology does Waffle House need to accept Apple Pay?
    Waffle House locations would need NFC-enabled payment terminals and software updates to begin accepting Apple Pay. Network upgrades may also be needed depending on current infrastructure. Staff training would be required as well.

  11. Are other restaurants like IHOP and Denny’s taking Apple Pay?
    Yes, Apple Pay is accepted at some other chain restaurants like IHOP, Denny’s, McDonald’s, Panera Bread, and Starbucks. However, adoption depends on the specific franchise location, so check first before dining.

  12. Can I use Apple Pay at Waffle House in Canada?
    No, Waffle House does not have any locations in Canada. The chain is currently limited to the United States, so Canadian customers cannot use Apple Pay there.

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