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Customers Step Up And Help Overwhelmed Waffle House Employee Working Alone

Caitlyn Clancey 13 Nov 2019

One overwhelmed Waffle House employee recently found himself inexplicably tasked with running the entire restaurant on his own, a feat even the most skilled multitasker would balk at.

But what could have easily become a muddled mess of a frustrated shift soon turned into a scene of selfless good as a number of awaiting customers pitched in to help the swamped worker complete orders and keep the kitchen running as smoothly as possible.

On November 3, the Waffle House location in Birmingham, Alabama, was seriously understaffed.

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A mix-up led to the lone employee, identified only as Ben, left to act as cook, busboy, and waiter for the entirety of his midnight shift.

Understandably, he found it pretty difficult to keep up with the demand of trying to to run the 24-hour diner all on his own, especially as more and more hungry customers came filing in.

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Ethan Crispo, 24, was one of those customers and witnessed Ben struggling to cook, serve food, and clean tables for some 25 people.

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"The look on his face was just bewilderment," Crispo told TODAY.

It was then that an unidentified male customer decided to pick up an apron and help out poor Ben by going behind the counter to wash dishes.

"It was a transition so smooth, I initially assumed it was a staff member returning to their shift," Crispo told

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Crispo manged to capture a photo of the touching scene as Ben received some much-needed help.

Ethan Crispo

Another customer, Alison Stanley, stepped in to brew some coffee, all the while dressed in stiletto heels and a sequined dress.

"I don't think it's anything special," she said. "He needed help, so I got up and helped out."

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Soon even more customers were lending Ben a hand, with some busing tables and others washing dishes while he cooked food.


What first began as an unimaginably stress-filled shift for one long Waffle House worker soon turned into a heartwarming picture of strangers helping strangers.

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Waffle House has since offered an explanation as to why Ben was initially set up for a stressful night shift.


"We had two associates scheduled to leave, however due to a communication mix-up, their relief did not show up promptly," company director of PR and external affairs Pat Warner told TODAY in a statement. "That left Ben, out cook, alone in the restaurant with hungry customers. He worked the grill and got the orders out."

Warner praised those customers who stepped in to help Ben out: "There is a sense of community in each and every one of our restaurants, and we appreciate the fact that they consider our associates like family."

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He also offered poor Ben some well-deserved praise for working hard to keep the restaurant open, despite being short-staffed.

Ethan Crispo

"He is a testament to our Waffle House culture by always putting the customers first," Warner said.

As for Crispo, he reported he got his usual order of a double plain waffle and was able to enjoy it while witnessing the wonderful, selfless sight inside the restaurant.

"Humanity truly isn't good," he said, "it's great!"

h/t: TODAY,

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