Longtime IHOP waitress retires
by Noreen Lewis Cochran
ncochran@neighbornewspapers.com
August 09, 2010 12:00 AM | 1582 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Betty Roberts serves up her last order at IHOP in Sandy Springs — her retirement cake. Roberts worked at the restaurant for 40 years.
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SANDY SPRINGS - Customer service in Sandy Springs took a hit last week when the International House of Pancakes' most veteran waitress, Betty Roberts of Acworth, retired after 40 years.

However, grass will not grow under her San Antonio Shoes-shod feet - "I won't wear anything else," the 69-year-old said about the SAS oxfords she wore with her uniform - thanks to her post-retirement itinerary.

Roberts just came back from the 50th reunion of her alma mater, St. Albans High School in West Virginia and plans to complete her quest to visit all 50 states.

"She's been to every state but Hawaii and we're going in September," said her daughter, Tammy Frank, who attended Roberts' retirement party at the IHOP on Roswell Road. In retirement, Roberts also plans to volunteer at a hospital in Cartersville and spend more time dog-sitting.

Another daughter, Debbie Patterson, said the restaurant was part of her childhood.

"We used to come here when we were little girls," Patterson said.

Frank, who also worked in the food-service industry, said she recalls those times fondly.

"I remember counting the change from her tips and rolling up the quarters," she said.

With tips as high as $100, and some celebrity customers such as comedian Jerry Farber, cast members of the television show "Dukes of Hazzard," politicians and the Atlanta Braves plus a horde of regulars, Roberts has inspired her family.

"She showed us really good work ethics. She's a really good mom - the best ever. We're really proud of her," Frank said. "How many people put in 40 years in one place?"

Restaurateur John Koumandarakis said Roberts, identified as Ms. Betty on her nameplate, came with the restaurant he bought in 1990.

"I found her 20 years ago. She was with the store," he said. "She is my best and my sweetest."

Roberts said she will miss her customers the most, and the feeling is mutual.

"She's a lot like family," said Mitch Kloder of Sandy Springs, who patronizes the restaurant with his wife, Katie. "We've been coming here since 1986. We've gone to other IHOPs but there's something about this one."
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