Late-night customers' heartwarming act for short-staffed restaurant

When a Waffle House restaurant was short-staffed, it’s sole worker on the night was facing a shift from hell.

That was until some of his late-night customers stepped in and began taking orders and running food.

The unique scene was captured on camera by customer Ethan Crispo who had stopped in the restaurant around 12.30am on November 2 to order breakfast.

“It was incredible to witness,” Mr Crispo told Yahoo Lifestyle.

The restaurant in Birmingham, in the US state of Alabama, was busy that evening with an estimated 25 customers — and only one employee named Ben, whom Mr Crispo said was speechless and overwhelmed.

A man in a blue shirt helps out Ben, the sole worker at a Waffle House restaurant on November 2. Source: Ethan Crispo

“He was just staring at the room full of people. I can’t imagine what he was thinking,” he recalled.

According to Mr Crispo, a man wearing a blue shirt who had been sitting at the bar, spoke briefly to Ben and within seconds, had slipped on an apron and started washing dishes.

While placing his order with Ben, Mr Crispo asked, “Where’s your help tonight?” and Ben replied his staff hadn’t shown up. He added that the man in the blue shirt was a paying customer.

Ten minutes later, while Ben was cooking in the kitchen, a female customer wearing a strapless dress and a pair of heels stood up and began taking orders, serving tables and making coffee, patiently deciphering the restaurant-style coffee maker.

“When the woman came to my table, she said she had been out with friends that night,” Mr Crispo said.

He said a third customer eventually stood up from his meal to pitch in.

A woman also stepped up to help Ben (pictured right). Source: Ethan Crispo

Waffle House lack of staff a ‘mix-up’

Pat Warner, director of PR and external affairs at Waffle House, told Yahoo Lifestyle staff failed to show due to “a mix-up”.

He thanked the customers for their help, singling out the man in the blue shirt for the “great job” he did washing dishes.

“We appreciate the customers’ effort, however we prefer to have our associates behind the counter,” he said.

“Our concept works best when we serve the customer, not the other way around.”

Mr Crispo said the helpful customers were in good spirits, singing and humming as they worked their way around the restaurant.

“There was a real sense of community,” he explained.

And when Mr Crispo asked Ben why he didn’t jump ship when he was stranded, Ben replied: “That’s not the right thing to do.”

– Yahoo Lifestyle US

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