The restaurant’s employees apparently did not have the same problem.
"I walked back outside to my car to look for employees," Bowen told WIS. "No one in sight."
It wasn’t until he walked back inside the restaurant that he noticed an employee snoozing in a corner booth.
"Then it was go time," Bowen told WIS. "(I) got hot on the grill with a double Texas bacon cheesesteak with extra pickles. When I was done I cleaned the grill, collected my ill-gotten sandwich and rolled out."
He told WIS that he wouldn't normally have gotten behind the grill.
"I give all the credit to my old friend vodka," Bowen said.
He said he returned later to pay for the sandwich. As proof, he posted a photo on Facebook of himself smiling with a Waffle House employee.
In a statement released to WIS, a Waffle House spokesperson said employees reached out to Bowen to apologize and that the employee photographed by Bowen while sleeping in one of the restaurant's booths had been suspended for a week.
“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. We are reviewing this incident and will take appropriate disciplinary action.”