Restaurateur pitches in to feed World Cup mob

Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:31am EDT
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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Professional instincts kicked in for a septuagenarian restaurateur on holiday in South Africa, when he stepped behind the counter of a hamburger chain to help overwhelmed staff feed a mob of hungry World Cup fans.

Costas Kambouropoulos, a 71-year-old native of Greece and current Florida resident, was visiting South Africa with his son to attend matches involving the Greek and U.S. sides.

Following Saturday's match between the United States and England in rural Rustenburg, the two pulled into a usually sleepy rest stop and found it crowded with fans shouting orders to a sole employee behind the register.

A five-decade veteran of the restaurant business, Kambouropoulos shuffled behind the counter to make and serve coffee. His son followed, bagging orders, picking up rubbish and dispensing cream and sugar to waiting fans.

"We cleaned up the place a little and helped the person serving the customers," the elder Kambouropoulos told Reuters on Monday.

The pair did not receive payment for their work but the owner did give them handshakes, smiles and all the coffee they could drink.

(Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Ossian Shine)