Man cooks his own breakfast after finding Waffle House employees asleep

Alex Bowen cooked up his own meal at an empty Waffle House in West Columbia S.C

Waffle House, a popular chain throughout the southern United States, prides itself on remaining open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Alex Bowen, entered the South Carolina Waffle House after a night out with friends, but after standing at the counter for 10 minutes he started to suspect he might be out of luck.

Bowen then made himself his own steak and cheese sandwich, gobbled his meal down, cleaned up after himself, and quietly left the restaurant. That is when he spotted a worker sleeping in a booth which was his signal to hit the grill.

He said: "No one was in sight".

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"As I was going around the corner, I saw the sleeping employee and they looked exhausted, they were sleeping, I was like, 'go ahead and rest fam, I got this, ' " Bowen told local TV station WOLO.

A series of selfies posted to his Facebook page chronicle what Bowen did next, going behind the counter and getting to work on his own meal. They quickly went viral.

"Got hot on the grill with a double Texas bacon cheesesteak melt with extra pickles", he told WIS.

Bowen, a flooring installer, admits he was a little tipsy during the early-Friday escapade. He didn't dine and dash, however - Bowen later returned to the restaurant so he could pay for his food when a cashier was present.

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He said the company's local division manager had spoken to Mr Bowen and apologised.

"For safety reasons, our customers should never have to go behind the counter", the statement said.

"Rather they should get a quality experience delivered by friendly associates".

Waffle House said they were impressed with Mr Bowen's cooking skills.

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The restaurant has since asked Mr Bowen to become a "Waffle House secret shopper".

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