A group of customers have come to the rescue of a Huntly restaurant after staff members suffered a sudden family emergency.
On Friday, October 9, popular restaurant Thai Food Huntly was packed to the rafters with customers eagerly awaiting their food.
But after delays in service, customers soon realised there was only one chef on shift to run the whole establishment following the emergency.
With tables filling up, people lining up to pay, food to get picked up and dinner to run to tables, one customer suddenly grabbed a note pad and pen and started taking orders.
Minutes later, others jumped in to help, including taking payments and running food.
Soon, the restaurant turned from a one-man show into a fully functioning operation thanks to the generosity of its customers.
Emily Puhi, who was dining at the restaurant on Friday night, told the Herald what unfolded was simply a "beautiful sense of community spirit".
"I was thinking how will the chef be able to do everything by himself? Luckily someone from the neighbouring store asked if the chef needed help. Before we knew it a couple of others jumped in.
"One lady who was waiting to pay heard the chef was the only staff member on and suddenly grabbed a note pad and started waiting tables.
"A customer even jumped in to do the dishes. With the permission of the chef, a worker from next door ran the tills to make sure everyone paid. It was such a beautiful feeling. I was really happy we live in such a great community.
"It was worth customers jumping in to help out because the food is absolutely incredible.
"Huntly gets such a bad rap in the media, but situations like this just prove what a beautiful community we have. What an awesome place to live in."
On the night, the restaurant apologised on social media, explaining they only had one staff member available to work and were trying their best to get orders out as fast as possible.
A spokesperson for the restaurant told the Herald they are thankful for having such generous customers and praised the people of Huntly for their compassion and kindness.
"Someone helped on the register, another was waiting tables while a third person helped in the kitchen running the food to tables and doing the dishes as they began to pile up.
"Someone even stayed to help us close down at the end of the night.
"It was really cool to see them help, especially since there was a family emergency that impacted the majority of our staff members.
"We have such great customers and are proud of our community."
Locals took to social media to praise both the customers and restaurant.
"That's so awesome to see a community help out small business owners, especially when times are hard and your back is up against the wall," one person said.
A woman who was there on the night said: "The chef did such a great job and our meal was yummy."
A third said: "Only in Huntly! What beautiful locals."