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I Spent the Night at IHOP and Here’s What Happened

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CWU chapter.

Okay so no, not really.

I work at IHOP, and we recently started keeping our doors open 24-hours on Friday and Saturday. I don’t do much between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., so I opted to spend my weekend nights serving pancakes to people.

In the breakfast service industry, customers past 1 a.m. are considered especially obnoxious. At the International House of Pancakes, the dedicated restaurant workers who serve these drunken individuals are known as the weekend graveyard shifters. These are their stories.


Christin Urso / Spoon

*names and events have been edited for privacy purposes*

10:00 PM – I arrive. The restaurant is busy and messy. JT is serving and struggling, Manny is in the back on break. Sam is trying to help JT, is not doing well.

10:07 PM – I start helping JT. I bring food to tables he has been neglecting from being busy. They are happy to see me because I am not him.

10:10 PM – I answer the phone. Yes, we are open all night.

10:26 PM – I slip and fall on my ass. Hard.

10:46 PM – Manny and JT just left. The restaurant is messy and they left me to clean up after them. No customers.

10:53 PM – I answer the phone. Yes, we are open all night.

12:08 AM – I finish cleaning the dining room. Yes, it took me an hour. I start washing dishes.

12:09 AM – Sam doesn’t do sh*t.

12:24 AM – A couple enters the restaurant. I do not hear them over the dishwasher. They come into the kitchen. I let them know I can serve them once they exit the kitchen.

12:33 AM – I stop washing dishes and roll silverware so I can keep an eye on the guests and the door.

12:41 AM – I bring the guests their meal. They want more bananas in their pancakes.

12:55 AM – Somehow there are 4 groups of people in the restaurant. I let them sit wherever they want. Big mistake.

1:24 AM – Sam doesn’t do sh*t.

1:59 AM – All tables are gone. I sit down to roll more silverware.

2:02 AM – Another tables comes in.

2:03 AM – He wants decaf coffee. We do not have decaf coffee brewed.

2:05 AM – I brew decaf coffee.

2:06 AM – Sam doesn’t do sh*t.

2:10 AM – I deliver the decaf coffee. They are not ready to order.

2:23 AM – I finish my 3rd basket of silverware.

2:56 AM – 12 drunk college students come in, including Manny. They all want milkshakes.

2:57 AM – I yell at a very drunk Manny for leaving me to clean up his mess. He is very drunk and very sorry.

3:00 AM – Sam leaves. It is just me and Jeremy now.

3:16 AM – We are out of the ranch. They all want ranch. I portion ranch.

3:39 AM – The group’s DD wants food TO-GO. I cannot find Jeremy.

3:45 AM – I still cannot find Jeremy.

3:47 AM – I text Jeremy.

3:50 AM – Jeremy emerges from the bathroom.

3:12 AM – Drunk college students leave. I have been tipped $40 and a phone number.

3:15 AM – The restaurant is quiet.

4:27 AM – I finish another basket of silverware.

4:35 AM – An older gentleman comes in alone, he is up and ready for the morning. He wants coffee and a full stack of double blueberry pancakes. He would like sugar-free syrup. He would not like to sit down.

4:40 AM – I try to roll silverware but it’s awkward to sit while he paces.

4:42 AM – I deliver a full stack of double blueberry pancakes and sugar-free syrup to the gentleman. He finally sits down.

5:00 AM – I get the restaurant ready for the morning shift.

5:07 AM – Two men come in and want orange juice. They ask where the bathroom is. I gesture to the large sign that says “RESTROOM” which they passed when they walked in.

5:23 AM – I finish another basket of silverware.

5:44 AM – The sun is starting to rise.

5:55 AM – Jeremy’s replacement arrives. He gets to go home.

6:00 AM – My replacement is not here yet.

6:01 AM – My replacement is not here yet.

6:02 AM – My replacement is not here yet.

6:03 AM – My replacement is not here yet.

6:04 AM – My replacement is not here yet.

6:05 AM – My replacement is not here yet.

6:06 AM – My replacement is not here yet.

6:07 AM – My replacement is here.

6:10 AM – I made $138 in tips. The store owes me money.

6:12 AM – I get to go home and come back tomorrow (tonight).

Msu Spoon_Universityfried_Egg_
Spoon University

A very brief and altogether boring retelling of my night at IHOP, but nearly true and definitely edited.

Check-in on your local 24-hour service worker, trust me, she needs it.

A future wedding planner advocating for women, the planet, and the Oxford Comma.