Dining With Denise Neil

If Wichita ever gets a Waffle House, we may have this woman to thank

She’s just one person, but she’s doing everything in her power to get waffles to Wichita.

At the very least, she’s gotten the attention of Waffle House, the Georgia-based chain that is loved from Arizona to Pennsylvania.

Last week, Waffle House mega-fan Hannah Tobias — the adult daughter of Wichita Eagle editorial page writer Suzanne Perez Tobias — had two years worth of social media persistence rewarded with a care package shipped to her from Waffle House that contained a logo T-shirt, hat, buttons and a box of waffle mix.

That’s not all. The package also came with a hand-written — and somewhat promising — note, signed by the Waffle House marketing department.

“Hopefully, one day we will make it to Wichita,” it read.

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If Wichita ever gets a Waffle House, it might have Hannah Tobias to thank. Courtesy photo

So you’re telling us there’s a chance?

Tobias isn’t the only rabid restaurant fan to ever try to persuade a chain to open in Wichita. In fact, someone also created a Bring Waffle House to Wichita Facebook page that has 747 likes. There’s also a Bring Whataburger to Wichita page and a Bring In-N-Out Burger to Wichita page, though they appear to have given up in 2016.

She might be one of the few rabid fans to get an actual response, though.

Tobias, who’s about to be a senior at Wichita State University, became a mega-fan of Waffle House a couple of years ago when she and her mom visited one while on vacation in South Carolina.

“We were visiting my grandparents, and they had just built a Waffle House that was less than a mile from their house,” she said. “We went there every morning.”

Tobias loved the atmosphere, and she loved the original waffle with hash browns — the perfect breakfast as far as she was concerned.

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Hannah Tobias has been faithfully tweeting at Waffle House for a couple of years now, and the chain has taken notice. Courtesy

What she did not love was that, despite having 2,100 restaurants across the country — including several in nearby Kansas City and Oklahoma City — Waffle House had never opened a restaurant in Wichita.

She started tagging Waffle House in her tweets, and eventually, they noticed.

“It started off I would just tag them, and once they started replying back to me, I would tell them, ‘You should bring a restaurant to Wichita,’” she said.

Recently, Tobias heard from the marketing department for Waffle House, who asked her if she’d like some swag. Of course, she said. This week, a box full of goodies arrived.

The note might have been the best part, though. If Waffle House ever does move into the Wichita market, Tobias said, she thinks they should start with a restaurant in the new development area around Wichita State.

“More than anything it was a joke,” she said of her waffle correspondence. “But also I really would like one in Wichita.”

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