"Rude, Demanding, And A Terrible Tipper," And 17 Other Stories About Celeb Customers From The Servers Who Waited On Them
"The nicest people I ever waited on were Amanda Bynes and Robin Williams."
Working in a restaurant, you meet a lot of interesting people — especially the guests. You never really know who's going to walk through the door, and plenty of restaurant staff have been surprised to serve someone famous.
Here are 18 stories from restaurant workers who served celebrities:
Disclaimer: These stories have not been verified. The users are supposedly speaking from their own experiences as alleged restaurant employees.
Some entries have been edited for length/clarity.
1. "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."
3. "Olivia Wilde did a shoot at my restaurant. We had banter, and it made my week. Such a nice woman."
4. "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 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 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 is pure joy. She remembers her servers, and she is so kind and encouraging."
8. "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."
9. "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."
10. "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."
12. "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."
13. "The nicest people I ever waited on were Amanda Bynes (in 2005)..."
14. "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 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."
17. "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."
18. And finally: "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.'"