One of the whole reasons for eating out is to have someone else cook your meal for you. But as a recent Waffle House customer found out, occasionally desperate times call for desperate measures—and he hopped behind the grill and cooked a meal for himself while apparently the only employee at the 24-hour eatery was taking a nap.
Alex Bowen of West Columbia, South Carolina, admits that he was a bit tipsy after drinking with friends this past Wednesday night, so on his way home around 3 a.m. early Thursday morning, he decided to do what many people have done in a similar situation and swing by Waffle House for a bit of late night grub. But what happened once he got there was definitely not by the book. The 36-year-old claims he stood around for 10 minutes, even checking around outside, but didn’t see any workers on duty.
“That’s when I got hot on the grill with a Texas bacon cheesesteak melt,” explained Bowen, according to ABC News. Along the way, he took plenty of back-of-the-house selfies for Facebook and was even polite enough clean up his mess. He says at one point while making his own meal, he did see a worker catching up on some sleep. “[The employee] didn’t wake up the entire time. And no one came inside the restaurant,” Bowen continued.
Needless to say, when Waffle House brass heard about this unconventional viral story, they were looking to do a little cleaning up of their own. “For safety reasons, our customers should never have to go behind the counter,” the chain said in a statement. “Rather, they should get a quality experience delivered by friendly associates… We are reviewing this incident and will take appropriate disciplinary action.”
Still, the company did try to approach this pretty odd incident with a bit of humor. “In a related note, obviously Alex has some cooking skills, and we’d like to talk to him about a job since we may have something for him,” Waffle House added. Reportedly, a district manager for the brand asked Bowen if he’d be interested in working for the company as a secret shopper.
As for that all-important lingering question: Do you even pay for a restaurant meal when you cook it yourself? Bowen said that though he didn’t leave any money at the time, he did come back at a more reasonable hour that same day to cover the cost. Waffle House should consider itself lucky: A less savory person might have made off with a lot more than an IOU for a Texas bacon cheesesteak melt.