Random Waffle House Customers Help Lone Employee, Bus Tables and Wash Dishes

If you spend too much time focusing on the news lately, things can look pretty bleak. I mean, even in the Thrillist universe we're sad to report that Taco Bell axed a bunch of beloved menu items and 130,000 pounds of beef have been recalled for containing plastic. Yikes, not great stuff. But all it takes is a small act of kindness from strangers to remind us that people can be good and we'll all be just fine.

This is what happened at a Waffle House in Birmingham, Alabama. A server identified as Ben was left to fend for himself on a recent Saturday night, when a miscommunication left him as the only staff member on duty for the busy evening. Between taking orders, cooking, and bussing tables, Ben was extremely behind on taking care of his customers and was working feverishly to get to everyone.

Then, suddenly and valiantly, an unidentified man in a blue shirt stood from his swivel bar stool, requested an apron, and got to work on the dishes. Later, a woman dressed in evening wear and heels also pitched in to help. The kindness from the strangers was captured on the Waffle House's security footage.

“We really appreciate their efforts… though we do prefer our associates to be behind the counter,” Pat Warner, the director of PR and external affairs for Waffle House, told AL.com. “The key to our concept is, we’re there to serve you, not the other way around.”

But hey, sometimes people need their waffles -- and these strangers clearly understood that. 

Ethan Crispo, a customer who was there at the time, described the situation to AL.com as "the most fascinating thing," adding that "it was just one of the most wild instances of really, really cool people just coming together."

We think so, too, and salute the kindness of strangers who arrived for waffles and stayed to do a waffle lot of good.

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Kat Thompson is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @katthompsonn