Dr. Potato, why do I love Waffle House-style hash browns more than ones I make at home? What do they do to the food service version that makes them so good? Are they partially dehydrated? Or maybe seasoned with some kind of chemical? I mean the shredded kind that come in boxes, not the deep-fried QSR formed hash brown.
Waffle House does use a dehydrated potato (very similar to what you can buy in the stores in the center of the aisle from Idahoan or Basic American) and they use a butter style oil. One of the tricks you can do at home is to lightly oil the surface of the pan, heat it up, and then place the re-hydrated potatoes into the pan, resist turning right away till they start to caramelize. Flip, wait for the potatoes to turn a golden color and then remove and serve.