Bert Thornton

Former President and Chief Operations Officer
Waffle House, Inc.

Bert Thornton was president of the student body at TR Robinson High School in Tampa, Florida and attended Georgia Tech on a full football scholarship. He was an officer in the US Army and served a year in Vietnam. Bert worked 2 years with NCR’s IT department (back then it was called EDP–electronic data processing) before joining Waffle House, Inc. as a manager trainee. Four years later, he became vice president.

Bert was appointed President and Chief Operations Officer of Waffle House, Inc. and helped build the company to its present iconic status; one of the largest 24-hour restaurant chains in the world. He retired from restaurant operations in 2011 and remains as Vice Chairman Emeritus.

If you are a fan of Waffle House, he is also the Bert of “Bert’s Chili”. Bert developed the recipe in 1983 and it is one of Waffle House’s most popular items with over 11 million servings sold each year.

Bert and his wife, Kathy, have three daughters, all Georgia Tech graduates, as is he.

He is an active mentor of high school and college-aged students as well as young and middle-aged businessmen and women.

Bert thinks excellence in early education, guidance and development is critical and he has a Board role with a charter public elementary/middle school in DeKalb County, Georgia. Bert enjoys golf and hunting.

Speaking At:

November 14 | 8:45 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Success Tactics – Bert Thornton, Retired President and COO, Waffle House inc.