Scattered, Smothered and Covered
A look at the job of Waffle House grill operator.
In Focus is a weekly photographic exploration of a particular subject. This week, photographer Kate Awtrey spent some time with a grill operator at the Winder Waffle House.
You probably recognize James Mitchell's face even if you might not recognize his name.
The Winder resident is a grill operator at the local Waffle House on East May Street. Mitchell has lived in the area and worked at the Winder eatery for six years, "but I've been with the company for about 20 years," he said.
Waffle House workers pack the kitchen to grill up fresh orders all day long, with an audience of patrons who watch as the cooking takes place.
Each Waffle House employee focuses on their own set of responsibilities and operate in an assembly line. A teammate calls out an order and then the action starts.
Mitchell grabs a plate and small containers of jelly to place alongside hot slices of fresh bread. Once the first step is complete he passes the plate down for another grill operator to add the eggs, and they pass it back once the hash browns are ready.
"I love it," Mitchell said. "It's wonderful. I love meeting new people. But also the people I work with. We're a great team."
Even though Mitchell has been on staff at Waffle House for two decades, he still enjoys the food.
"The fiesta omelets are great," he said.