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Woman Snaps Photo After She Says Customers Stepped Up To Help Understaffed Restaurant

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Having employees not show up for their shifts always throws a wrench in the works for small businesses, and nowhere is that more true than in the food industry.

For Thai Food Huntly in Huntly, New Zealand, Thursday was a very stressful day. The small Thai restaurant was packed with dine-in customers and had a line of people waiting to pick up their take-out.

The problem? There was only one person on deck. Thankfully, he was the chef, so food was being made — but not much else was getting done.

One customer, Emily Puhi, witnessed both the stress the chef was experiencing and the beautiful act of kindness that resulted.

“So we went to our favorite Thai food place in Huntly to find out it was packed,” she shared early Friday. “The tables were filled, people lined up waiting to pay, to order or to pick up.”

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“The chef was by himself cooking so he couldn’t wait the tables and be at the counter. Found out that his staff didn’t turn up.”

“So when the customers found out about it, the lady waiting to pay started waiting tables for him, and the other lady that works at the real estate shop beside the Thai place, worked the register with his permission and also waited tables.”

“We could easily feel the sense of community all around the place. Frowns turned to smiles and grumpy waiting turned to patiently waiting. It was beautiful to witness. What an awesome place to live in.”

Plenty of people commented to say how characteristic of Huntly the friendly help was and how heartwarming it was to see even paying customers pitch in to help the overtaxed chef.

“We apologize for the inconvenience today,” Thai Food Huntly later posted on Facebook. “All of our staff apart from the chef couldn’t come in today due to family emergency.”

“So at the moment, it’s only 1 man for all the jobs. We are trying our best to get to your order as fast as possible, please bare with us.”

Another staff member also commented on Puhi’s post, explaining why she hadn’t been there.

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“This is amazing to see!” Kiara Leef wrote. “On behalf of the staff we apologise for not being able to be there and work.”

“I personally love my job and love Wood and although it wasn’t my rostered day I should’ve tried to find a way there. Apologies to all … us staff will communicate better from now on.”

It would have been easy — and typical — for the customers to grouse and leave bad reviews without lifting a finger to help, but instead, this community’s spirit bound them together and turned a stressful evening into a productive and encouraging one.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking