"The look on his face was maybe fear, maybe shock, maybe confusion," Crispo said of the worker, whose name tag said "Ben."
"There was literally no one else working, but he," Crispo said in an interview with The Washington Post.
Crispo saw the employee talking to a customer in a blue shirt sitting at the counter. Then, he said, the employee handed the man an apron and the customer started doing the dishes.
"It was a transition so smooth that I originally assumed it was a staff member returning to the shift," Crispo wrote in an email he gave to Post. "It wasn't. It was a kind stranger. A man who answered the call. Busy tables, washing dishes, stacked plates. ”
Crispo originally sent the email to AL.COM, the news outlet that first wrote the story. In it, he said that the customer and the staff worked "fever" in caring for the other customers.
When the server went over to Crispo's table, Crispo asked what was going on and the server told him that two other employees had been there to help him, but they left ̵
1; so eateries jumped in to help.
Soon after, Crispo said, a customer in a dress stood up, went behind the counter and started making coffee.
"She figured out how to make the coffee maker. She was wearing a dress and heels in sequins, ”Crispo said. “She tried to take a reservation or two, but then she went to the bus table. It was bizarre to see someone do it in a sequin dress and heels. "
Another red-shirt customer also showed up to help for a few minutes," Crispo said, adding that he left without getting his names.
Waffle House did not respond to an email from The Post Sunday. But Pat Warner, the restaurant's director of public relations and external affairs, told AL.COM that there had been a miscommunication in employee scheduling that night at the restaurant on Highway 280. Several employees left when the shift was over and their replacement workers didn't show up, he said.
Warner added that footage from security cameras showed customers washing dishes and clearing tables while employees took orders and cooked.
"We really appreciate their efforts … even though we prefer our counterparts to count," Warner told AL.com. "The key to our concept is that we are there to serve you, not the other way around "
Crispo, who is from Birmingham and goes to that waffle house about once a month, said he asked the employee, Ben, why he didn't just leave. He said to Crispo:" It's not right to do. "
Crispo said he ended up getting the food that night, a double waffle, no syrup.
"It was surprisingly amazing," Crispo said. "Ben did an incredible job."
And that, he said, did the customers who hit in.
"Humanity is not good," he wrote in the email. "It's great."