30 Servers Who Have Waited On Celebrities Share Their Stories Of Bad Tippers, Adorable Couples, And More

They say “Celebrities are just like us” and if you’re a server who has had both terrible tippers and rude customers, then that’s absolutely right.

Now, I’m of the mind that if you’re famous, you need to be even MORE conscientious of being kind to people than everyone else in the world. And everyone else in the world should be doing a damn fine job if it is, to begin with.

Waitstaff in particular deserves the utmost kindness and respect because treating anyone doing you a service poorly is the absolute lowest you can go.

Waitstaff who have had celebrity diners sit in their sections are sharing their stories across the web. Here are some of the most interesting stories of what it’s like to serve celebrity customers.

Editor’s Note: Obviously these stories are unverified, so they may be full of it, but TBH, I can kinda see all of them being at least partly true.

1. Keanu & Vincent D’Onofrio

“I waited on quite a few celebrities in Portland. When Keanu Reeves and Vincent D’Onofrio were filming Thumbsucker, they came into our restaurant multiple times. They always sat on the patio where Keanu chain smoked and barely ate. This was before social media, and word got out he was there. The street was packed with fans. Keanu spent plenty of time taking photos with people. He always tipped about 30–50% on very expensive tabs.” —maplebow

2. Maria Shriver and Katherine Schwarzenegger


“Maria Shriver and her daughter, Katherine Schwarzenegger, ate a big brunch at a restaurant I used to work at in Chicago with maybe 10 other ladies. They weren’t rude, but they were incredibly needy and demanding. Their bill was close to $1,000. Maria paid, but she didn’t leave anything for a tip.”

“It ruined that server’s whole morning, since that was basically the only table they had, and they should have made $200 on it.”


3. Will Ferrell


4. Lana Wachowski

“Lana Wachowski was a semi-regular at the place I worked in Chicago and was one of the friendliest, most down-to-earth people I’ve ever met, let alone a celebrity. She was a good tipper, super friendly to the entire staff, and all around a nice person to be around.”


5. Reese Witherspoon


“Reese Witherspoon drank a bottle of wine by herself, got a little tipsy, and came out of the bathroom singing along to ‘Hard to Handle’ by the Black Crowes.” 

“She was drawing attention and high-fived people on her way back to the table. It was adorable.”


6. Bryan Cranston

“Bryan Cranston did a show with us one summer. The cast came to a staff BBQ, and he just plunked right down next to us to eat and was such a dad. He was super nice, super sweet.” 

“He ordered custom merch for all the staff as mementos and gave it out at the end of the show.”


7. Judith Light

“Judith Light is pure joy. She remembers her servers, and she is so kind and encouraging.” —mattr1016

8. Dave Chappelle

9. Bill Joel and Christie Brinkley

10. The Baldwins

“I was a bartender in the ’90s, and one of the Baldwins came in. I don’t know which one, but his daughter is married to Justin Bieber now (so whichever that one is…I probably could’ve googled it by now, but it’s more fun to point out that I STILL don’t know who he is…my coworker had to tell me at the time). [Editor’s Note: It was Stephen Baldwin.] The guy was awful.” 

“He was talking loudly on his phone (and this was the ’90s, so this was NOT common) the whole time. It was lunchtime, so he had kids with him, which was fine. … However, he let them run all over the bar without any supervision at all. He kept saying loudly, ‘No pictures,’ which was weird because (1) none of us asked for one, and (2) none of us even had a camera. Maybe it was to the other person on the phone?”

“Anyway, he barely tipped us and was just kind of a jerk the whole time, though never overtly or directly rude. Maybe he was having a bad day with the kids or something, but let’s just say there is a reason I never bothered figuring out who he was.” —sallyg14

11. Barbara Streisand

“Barbra Streisand didn’t make eye contact, but she wasn’t fussy.” —bdogdiggity

12. Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell

“This summer, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn came into the restaurant I work in. They were SO NICE, so polite, and so down-to-earth.” —emilymasonb

“They even came into the kitchen to say hi and thank you to everyone working.” —emilymasonb

13. Amanda Bynes & Robin Williams

“The nicest people I ever waited on were Amanda Bynes (in 2005)… …and Robin Williams (in 2002).” —jenmas

14. Kate Walsh

“Kate Walsh comes in every summer with a large group and is always so kind and easygoing. She also tips really well!”


15. John Goodman

“John Goodman wanted a quiet spot. He ate basically where the staff would hide and eat.” 

“I didn’t serve him, but the girl who did was in tears because of how nice he was and telling her to follow her dreams.” —mattr1016

16. Jimmy Fallon

“Jimmy Fallon was quiet and unobtrusive.”

17. Kathleen Turner

“Kathleen Turner — doesn’t hurt she is a coworker’s aunt — but I served her on Thanksgiving, and she kept thanking me for giving up my time to serve her and a bunch of family. That tip made my night.” —mattr1016

18. Don Rickles

“I just want you all to know that Don Rickles was one of the kindest, most thoughtful, funniest people I ever waited on. In the 1980s, I worked at a couple of fancy resorts in Hawaii. He and his family would stay at the resort around Christmas time with his good friend Bob Newhart (also a sweetheart, but that’s not a surprise) and his family.” 

“Mr. Rickles went out of his way to make me comfortable, even though the lighting was poor, the menu was pretentious, and I was busy as hell. He always remembered me, made some funny jokes, engaged in conversation, took the awkward moments in stride, and tipped like a prince. I’ll never forget him, and I always let people know that The King of Insults never punched down. He was good to us ‘little people.'”

19. Tiffany

“Tiffany (of the ’80s fame) was rude, demanding, and a terrible tipper.”


20. Lana Del Rey

“My grandparents own a bodega in Brooklyn, and I used to sometimes work the register with my older cousin there. Around 2012, Lana Del Rey came in with a friend. I had no idea who she was at the time because I was like 11, but my older cousin was a huge fan. Lana was a bit quiet but was gracious enough to take a picture with my cousin, and didn’t mind staying to talk for a bit with my cousin after we rang her up.”

“My 11 year-old-self asked her if she knew One Direction (my favorite group at the time) and what type of music she sang, and she laughed and told me that I could listen to her music when I was a bit older. Funnily enough, I actually did get really into her music a couple years down the line! Now I always regret not getting a picture then.”


21. Magic Johnson

“Magic Johnson came into Denny’s at 3 a.m. during the 1999 Lakers vs. Pacers finals. He was nice enough to sign autographs on his way to the closed-off section — which he paid $50 to sit in — but didn’t tip beyond that.”


22. Olivia Wilde

“Olivia Wilde did a shoot at my restaurant. We had banter, and it made my week. Such a nice woman.”


23. Ralph Fiennes

“Ralph Fiennes was someone I served many times, and he was never chatty but always very polite and well-mannered. He was more friendly with some staff he saw more often.” —nopersont

24. Quentin Tarantino

25. Paul Rubin

26. Tyler Perry

27. Jason Segel and Paul Rudd


Jason Mustian

Jason is a Webby winning, Short-Award losing humor writer and businessman. He lives in Texas with his amazing wife and four sometimes amazing kids.