71ºF

‘While You Were Sleeping’: Workday starts in the middle of the night for airport food vendor employees

Pretzel vendor Auntie Anne’s puts a different twist on its morning menu


SAN ANTONIO – Loudspeakers at San Antonio International Airport crackle to life with an occasional recorded announcement about travel tips.

At 1 a.m. most days, though, that is one of the only sounds echoing through the passenger terminals.

However, deep inside Terminal A, the aroma of cinnamon and sugar baking in an oven wake up many of the other senses as it begins wafting from the kitchen at Auntie Anne’s in the wee hours of the morning.

Joseph Talamantez, a shift manager for the business, arrives at 1 a.m. to begin carving out his workday and cutting up dough.

“It's normal. Everyday someone's here making the biscuits, making some Cinnabons and getting everything prepped to open up at 3:45 in the morning,” he said.

During the morning hours, the food vendor known for its pretzels puts a different twist on its morning menu.

Mounds of dough instead are cut into biscuits which form the basis of their breakfast sandwiches.

Others are rolled out into the shape of tantalizing cinnamon rolls, known by the brand name Cinnabon.

Talamantez is one of handful of employees who help prepare the business for the morning rush.

They provide a pick-me-up for passengers who plan on taking to the skies on the first flights of the day.

“No one's in the way. You're just working at your own pace, moving around,” Talamantez said of the idea of having the kitchen mainly to himself.

While his is a difficult shift—from 1 a.m. until 1 p.m.--- he said he doesn’t mind putting in the early work.

He said like the business, itself, he has a special recipe for surviving the overnight shift.

“Just a good night's rest,” he said. “I usually go to bed around 4. I wake up around 10:30, 11:00, so that by the time I come in, I'm wide awake.”

Talamantez start his workday in the middle of the night in order to help early airport passengers get fueled up and on their way.


About the Authors: