Acts of Kindness

Customers help Waffle House employee left alone to run entire restaurant

November 25th, 2019

Kindness doesn’t always come as easily as it should. So, it can be refreshing to hear real stories of people who haven’t given up on being kind to strangers.

A Waffle House visit

Ethan Crispo was on his way home one Saturday night when he had a craving for waffles. He put off his desire for sleep and drove to a Waffle House in Birmingham, Alabama, a little after midnight to take a quick bite.

However, something felt odd.

As a regular customer of this particular restaurant, he could sense there wasn’t enough staff on duty, it was just one man named Ben. Ben was taking orders from the customers, bussing tables, doing the dishes, and preparing meals alone.

To put that into perspective, by Ethan’s estimation, there were about thirty customers in the restaurant that night. It was becoming clear that Ethan would have to wait a long time before he saw his waffles.

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elvis_pelt via Flickr Source: elvis_pelt via Flickr

Unexpected help

Surprisingly, just before Ethan had run out of patience and walked out, he saw something odd. A man in a blue shirt walked up to Ben, had a short conversation, and grabbed an extra apron. Just like that, he was doing the dishes for Ben. Soon enough, he was also bussing tables and stacking plates.

It was so natural that Ethan mistakenly thought he was an employee, finally reporting for his shift.

Just to be sure, when Ben got to Ethan’s table, Ethan asked Ben who the man was. The man wasn’t an employee; he had never worked for Waffle House before and had never worked in a restaurant in his life. He was just a regular customer who saw how swamped Ben was and offered to help. It didn’t end there.

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MaxwinsRacing via Twitter Source: MaxwinsRacing via Twitter

And a little more assistance

Less than an hour later, a woman did the same thing the guy in blue had done. She walked to the coffee pot and brewed a fresh pot. Just like the other guy, it didn’t take long for her to start bussing tables and taking orders for Ben.

She looked like she had just left an event or had just ended a fun night out, yet here she was, working away like it was normal.

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Ethan Crispo via Source: Ethan Crispo via

What’s even more surprising is another guy in a red shirt joined the fray. Ethan eventually got his waffles and had to leave, but the situation still hadn’t changed at the restaurant. People who had just finished late-night shifts and people looking to satisfy their cravings after a long night out were still walking in to grab a bite. Ben was going to be there for a long time.

Luckily, he wasn’t as on his own as it seemed.

There when needed

In a later interview with, Waffle House’s director of PR, Pat Warner, explained that the whole situation was caused by a scheduling error. The first group of workers finished their shift and left as scheduled, but the group meant to take over weren’t notified and didn’t show up.

Having reviewed the CCTV footage of the whole fiasco, Pat was so impressed by how well the guy in the blue shirt was working that he said he’d love to him come back in the summer as an actual employee.

It was obvious that Ben couldn’t handle the restaurant on his own. Without these kind souls, he may have had to shut down the restaurant, which goes against Waffle House’s reputation of never shutting down for anything.

We all know they didn’t do it for any special treatment, but maybe they at least got a free meal for their troubles.

Would you step in if you were in that restaurant that night?

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Ethan Crispo via GoodNewsNetwork Source: Ethan Crispo via GoodNewsNetwork