While on vacation in Nashville, three friends arrived to find their hotel's front desk abandoned.
With no one to check them in, they began working the desk, documenting the adventure on TikTok.
The hotel confirmed to Insider that an employee left during their shift without telling anyone.
Three friends said they went into "manager mode" last week after arriving at a La Quinta hotel in Nashville only to find the front desk was left unattended.
In a series of TikTok videos posted by 27-year-old Aaron Howard, the friends chronicled their adventure, which began once they saw no one was actively working the front desk to check them into their room — so they said they started "working" the reception area themselves: The trio told Insider they began answering phone calls, assisting angry customers, calling shuttles, and even serving breakfast once people began filing in around 6 a.m.
A video about their experience went viral with over 900,000 views and over 120,000 likes. Commenters joked the friends deserved free stays with the hotel as well as "hotel concierge" to be added to their resumes.
In a statement to Insider, a representative for La Quinta's parent company, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, confirmed that the front desk had been unstaffed that night.
"Following conversations with the hotel's management team — this location is an independently owned and operated franchise — it's our understating this incident occurred due to a staff member prematurely leaving an overnight shift in the early hours of the morning and not notifying management," the statement read.
The representative added that once management was notified, they sent a new employee to staff the front desk. The employee who left their shift is no longer with the company, the representative said.
"Hotel management has advised us the staff member in question is no longer with the hotel and at this time, are working to address and make right any concerns from impacted guests, including the three individuals at the center of the story," the statement continued.
The representative said that included a two-night stay at one of Wyndham's resorts, in the form of rewards points.
While the hotel stay is a nice perk, the friends said that landing a freebie wasn't why they made the videos.
"We didn't expect any compensation," Kenzie Brooks, one of the friends, told Insider. "We were still going to pay and stay there as normal when an employee got there. Just do good things with good intentions."
According to Howard and Brooks, a new employee arrived for their shift between 7 and 8 a.m.
Before the employee arrived, though, the friends spent a few hours putting their new hotel management skills to work. They looked around to make sure the employee hadn't fallen asleep somewhere, and even called the manager, who they said had no idea that the front-desk employee had left. They spoke with a maid, who told them "no one had been there for hours," they said.
Once it was clear no one was around to help them out, the friends got to work.
"So, instantly we're like manager mode. We run businesses back home. Manager mode kicks in. We're like, 'Alright, let's see what we can do,'" Brooks said in a follow-up video.
Over the course of a few hours, the group filmed themselves behind the desk, answering calls, and explaining to customers that they didn't actually work there. Once 6 a.m. rolled around, they even pulled out the breakfast buffet for other hotel guests.
They brought out the easiest parts of a continental breakfast, like muffins, yogurts, and cereal, they said.
"People, at the end of the day, really just need to hear that it's going to be OK," Brooks told Insider. "We just tried to comfort all the customers in any way that we knew how."
Ultimately, a manager from a neighboring hotel arrived and got them a room at the hotel nearby — for free. All in all, they said, it was a fun, albeit hectic, experience for the trio.
"It's all about who you surround yourself with," Brooks said. "And we definitely made the most of it."
Read the original article on Insider