32 Servers Share Their Best And Worst Celebrity Encounters

The good, the bad, and the unforgettable celebrity encounters that servers experienced.

Working in the service industry means you never really know who might walk through those doors next. It could be just another hungry customer, or it might be a celebrity ready to make your shift an unforgettable one. So, when servers share their stories, you better believe we’re all ears. Turns out, some celebs are total sweethearts, while others? Well, let’s just say their on-screen charm doesn’t always translate to real life.

Reddit’s ‘Tales From Your Server’ is a treasure trove of these unforgettable celebrity encounters. From big tippers and unexpected kindness to diva demands and nightmare guests, the stories run the gamut. These real-life experiences reveal which stars are surprisingly down-to-earth and which ones you might want to avoid serving if you ever get the chance. So check out some of the juicy, firsthand accounts of servers’ best and worst run-ins with the rich and famous. Trust me, you won’t be able to stop reading these tales from the front lines of the restaurant world!

 

#1

I once waited on Martha Stewart and she was extremely warm and gracious. Out of all the wealthy VIP’s I waited on at that restaurant she stood out as being the only down-to-earth one.

#2

One time I was at an event in Little Rock and I was in the restroom and this nice blonde young girl was talking with me about the event and how it was hot out. She was very polite and then when she left people started talking about omg did you see who that was. It was Taylor Swift lol I had no idea what she had looked like prior to that.

#3 

I’ve served maybe a few dozen over the years. Half I didn’t know who they were until someone pointed it out.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar though. So so nice. His wife was super nice. His son was super nice. He was super nice. He was one of the few that I was like “holy s**t I get to serve this guy”. And they were just so pleasant.

#4

I served Gordon Ramsay once. I was very nervous because of his TV persona, but he was actually very polite — probably the most polite customer I’ve ever had. He didn’t even tell anyone to f*ck off! At the end of the night, he requested to see the head chef and shook his hand in appreciation and tipped us £100.

#5 

Lena Headey was rad AF, we chatted for a while and she actually invited me to hang out at the pool with her at the boutique hotel I worked at but unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to(mostly because I was the only one working at the time running front desk, bar and sales). Super rad chick and SO the opposite of the Cersei character it was actually hilarious. Also got to chat and actually exchange a hug with Brian Baumgartner(Kevin Malone from the Office). He actually officiated a wedding that happened at another hotel I worked at and came in to grab drinks from me for the rest of the night and was just so rad. Super normal voice and demeanor, excellent tipper and overall a stand up guy. I also served Jimmy Buffet and I didn’t realize at the time and after I went to close him out as a “room charge” at the hotel, I realized that the name on the room was “Don Julio”. I joked to my manager about serving the celebrity “Don Julio” and she let me know that they had to give out alias names for celebrities and it was actually Jimmy Buffet. He loved my cappuccino, I’ll take it.

#6 

Shaq got so mad at being ID’ed by our door guy that he threw a snowball into his face after he left, but otherwise was great and tipped well! He sucks at beer pong, though.

Carey Hart was just the sweetest guy, and his entourage was super cool and friendly as well.

#7

Worked at a few high profile places in LA. I’ve served Kanye West, Will Ferrel, Dana Carvey, Halle Berry, Keanu Reeves, Ray Liotta, Kobe Bryant, couple of the Kardashians, Sebastian Stan, Jon Hamm, the Green Day dudes, bunch of others.

Most everybody was normal, chill, just wanna have dinner and be left alone. Kanye is the most intense about his privacy. He would roll in without a reservation wearing those full ski mask type things. In an out, he would just leave seemingly in the middle of his meal, check was always taken care of by his security guys. “20%” written in the tip line.

Kobe Bryant tipped like 60 bucks on an $800 check. Not a friendly guy.

Most insane was Nicolas Cage. He was a parody of himself. Drank gin martinis, screamed at the staff for more this, more that, where’s my lobster, I wanna buy that lady’s dinner, whatever she wants. WHATEVER SHE WANTS. He was blackout drunk by the end of the meal, cheesecake hanging out of his mouth, alternating between a thousand yard stare and screaming “I’m the biggest movie star in the world, I’m Nic f****n Cage!” He left with his newest wife in the biggest limo I’ve ever seen. It was a Tuesday night, absolutely nothing going on in the area. That’s just how he was rolling around. Totally bizarre experience, hated every minute of it.

#8

I was a cocktail waitress at a nightclub in Vegas in the mid 2000s. Rihanna came in to perform one night and she smoked a blunt with the entire staff and tipped us really well

#9

I regularly served Tobey McGuire at my last job and he was really nice and tipped really well every time he came. He even remembered my name (and a lot of the other long term staff) and would always greet us really kindly and stay out of the way—wouldn’t make a fuss if the kitchen or bar were backed up. I also met Alex Skaarsgard at this same job and he was really nice too!

#10

My cousin had Drew Carey come into his bar one night after a gig. He said he came in and bought a round for everyone in the bar. Cousin said he was a real classy guy and extremely friendly. At the end of the night, he called my cousin over and asked how many staff were working that night. He then pulled out a check and wrote it for an amount that ended up giving each staffer a $100 tip that night.

#11

I worked at a pretty popular, moderately upscale spot in Philly for a while so we got a lot of celebs. I had the pleasure of waiting on a good deal of them because I’m not a starf**ker and my boss knew I wouldn’t embarrass the establishment by asking for autographs or c**p like that. This was over the course of about 8 years so the list might not be quite as impressive as it appears to be.

Got stiffed by Rachel Ray and she was a total b***h. Just the worst.

Robert Downey Sr & Jr. Jr was the absolute most charming man I’ve ever met.

Wanda Sykes is da bomb.

Mark Sommers from Double Dare was very cool and laughed when I clapped and repeated “Physical Challenge” over and over (he was friends with my boss so it’s less weird than it sounds.)

Chrissy T & John Legend we’re really nice and super down to earth.

Patti Labelle is really demanding and not the best tipper.

Greg Kinnear was unbelievably friendly.

Ryan Howard & Shane Victorino are unsurpassed when it comes to treating waitstaff like gold (Go Phils!)

Harrison Ford likes seared Salmon MR but doesn’t pitch a fit when the kitchen overcooks it and will gladly have a burger instead. He’s the only person we had to “smuggle” out the back kitchen door because of fans waiting out front. That was kind of awesome.

Charlie & the Waitress from Always Sunny we’re so damn cool. I honestly thought I knew them from somewhere when I said hello. It was a minute before I realized I knew them from TV and they were highly amused.

Danny. F*****g. DeVito. That was beyond awesome.

#12

A friend of mine used to be a waitress at a brunch place near Atlanta that Tyler Perry used to frequent. One day around the holidays, another waitress had only two tables: one being Tyler Perry, and the other being some random patron. Apparently this patron was a complete a**hole — extremely rude, complained about everything, and left little to no tip. Meanwhile, Tyler was very nice and polite while eating his brunch, reading a book, and chatting with the waitress from time to time. When it came time for him to leave, he decided to leave her a nice $1,200 tip and wished her a Merry Christmas and apologized for the other random a**hole.

#13

Tony Hawk like 20 years ago when I was I was in college. One of the kindest humans out there. Good tipper too!

#14

Shaq came into my restaurant to pick up a couple of his buddies who had just ordered drinks. He just said, ‘You ready?’ to them and then put down $500 on the table for a $28 tab that wasn’t even his. That was a good night.

#15

I used to manage a cocktail bar on the west side of LA so we got a lot of celebrities, most of which were super cool. Some notable and very nice people: Owen Wilson, basically all of the original Avengers plus Anthony Mackie, Michael B. Jordan, Travis Fimmel, Adam Scott. All were super nice and tipped really well as far as I remember. Owen Wilson used to hang out after the bar was closed and do shots with us pretty regularly for a while. Fun times.

#16 

A friend waited on Morgan Freeman, John Goodman, and Steve Carell. At one point, Goodman pulled out a cigar, and without hesitation, she (the waitress) had a lit lighter waiting for him. He reached into his wallet and gave her $100 for that.

#17

I bartended at Dave Chappelle’s private birthday party. He kicked everyone out at the end of the night and came back in to have a drink away from his sycophants and assistants. He was the coolest, except he spoiled the third to last Breaking Bad episode for me by acting it out word for word and dissecting every minute detail. But then he bought a Stella and gave us a $100 dollar bill. Actually, he took the bill out of his pocket, lifted it above his head, then slammed it down on the bar and shouted ‘BAM!!!’ I am happy to still be a fan of his.

#18

Robert Plant. Very chill, he had a Philly cheesesteak with no bread and tipped 20%. He was messing with the bartender, younger girl.. he told her he was in a band and she asked “is it a band I might have heard of?” And he’s like “no, probably not, we never hit it that big.”

Anthony Kiedis. He was chill. Tipped well.

Jim Belushi. Also chill, not surprising considering his entrepreneurial endeavors. Tipped well.

Sir Mix-a-Lot. He was kinda upset his girl ordered a salad instead of like, a pasta, and covertly asked to bring that salad loaded with dressing. Tipped well.

Jeff Goldblum. Exceptionally nice, very funny, great tipper.

Laura Dern. Kinda entitled and not a great tipper. $9 tip on $371, so it actually cost several dollars to wait on her.

Didn’t wait on but ran food to Dustin Hoffman. Heard he was kinda snobbish but it’s hearsay. Could have been in character. Actually I suspect that about laura dern as well.

Guy I worked with said he waited on Guy Fieri and he was a total prick, but my girlfriend’s sister hangs out with him and every story she tells makes it sound like he’s a really cool guy so I’m inclined to think maybe it was the server’s problem.

#19

I served Rashida Jones and Adam Scott. They were in town to speak at the local university. Both were SUPER nice. I’m a huge fan of Parks and Rec, so I was really nervous! Adam asked me about the history of one of our side dishes as a joke and I said something like, ‘Well, potatoes originally came from Ireland…’ and they laughed at my terrible joke, so I felt good. It was them and who I believed to be their publicists/teams, and Rashida and Adam paid and both tipped 30%!

#20

If there was a movie/series filming in town, we usually saw them at one point. From Ewan McGregor to Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie (NDA signed for that one, but nothing to tell anyways) to old timers like Robert Duvall, and many others whose names I didn’t know, but co-workers did. Musical acts from The Who to Macy Gray (who awesomely yelled from our balcony to two dudes fighting in the street to cut it out in that very distinctive voice). All the NHL teams that came through town. The top sports guy that stand out is Jerome Iginla, looks you in the eye to thank you, smiles and acknowleges you. Worst celebrity was one of the old 90210 guys (Jason Priestly I think) whose group left $20 on a 600$ bill. Funniest one was when The Who showed up with no reso after their show and did not appreciate they had to wait 10 minutes (gasp) while we made room for them. Their manager (?) yelled up to us “Do you know who this is? It’s Roger. f*****g. Daltrey!!” while most the younger kitchen guys had no clue who they were. Maybe in your ge-ge-ge-neration Roger.

The only actor that ever threw me off my game with being starstruck was William Shatner because I was such a Trekkie as a kid. Nice guy, but me and my manager were giggling like kids in the BoH. Sooo tempting to tell him when he asked about his meal, “The…duck…done…medium…takes…20….minutes.”

#21

Bartender here, iv served Avril Lavigne, Cuba gooding jr, Jamie Presley, Akon, Too Short, Wilmer valderrama, Gabrielle Union, and too many YouTuber/tiktokers to count. Im sure iv served other celebrities but those were the ones that came to mind.

In my experience big celebrities want to be treated like everyone else and left alone. They are easy to work with and tip well. The D list celebrities are often high maintenance and have a sense of entitlement.

The YouTube/tiktok celebrities tend to be nice too but sometimes bring a bad crowd.

#22

Former Trainer/Server for the Cheesecake Factory here. Not too many celebrities but definitely a lot of athletes.

Best: Howie Mandel and Lil Jon

Howie Mandel- Super down to earth and family-oriented guy. Very friendly with the staff too

Lil Jon- Very nice and funny guy! Super appreciative and hyped up every drink & food item that came to the table. Also took pictures with everyone that asked.

Worst: Toss up between Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak or DeMarcus Cousins. Both were very cold and rude to our staff and other guests. They also both oddly had other people speak on their behalf to their servers.

Other celebs/athletes that I’ve encountered but didn’t directly help include: Daniel Radcliffe, Brian McKnight, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Khalil Mack, Davante Adams

#23

I have served several celebs most good, a few bad. Tommy Lee Jones was an absolute a**. Lance Berkman was a horrible tipper. Gale Sayers was the nicest man imaginable. Same for Tim Duncan. He just wanted to be left alone to enjoy his meal which I absolutely respect. Nolan Ryan was completely unassuming. Tiffany Amber Thiessen and Hilary Swank were both so kind. It’s nice to see they are mostly just nice, normal people.

#24

I have served Carlos Santana, Dwyane Wade, Sandra Bullock, Emilio Estevez, Ceelo Green, and the $uicideBoy$

they were all nice except Ceelo. he still tipped well but was kind of an asshole. Santana joked around with me a lot. Wade is the nicest dude ever. Bullock, Estevez, and $B seemed to just kinda wanna enjoy their meals in peace

#25

I once served Jemaine from Flight of the Concordes at the bar where I worked. He didn’t even leave me a 1 cent tip… granted we were in New Zealand and you don’t tip there.

#26

Catered the “wedding in MD” in Wedding Crashers. Fed some of the cast. Christopher Walken- Fantastic guy, actually talks like that. Jane Seymour- Way more beautiful in person, didn’t talk to her, heard she was polite though. Owen Wilson- Saw him, but didn’t meet him. We were told not to approach or look at him. He looked angry the whole time, wasn’t surprised he had a breakdown soon after that movie. Anyone that had any interactions with him said he’s a Diva, and completely unreasonable. (Didn’t see anyone else on the set, but wish I met Vince Vaughn and Bradley Cooper, but no luck) Clint Eastwood- Nicest, most down to Earth guy. Peyton Manning- Very nice, but prefers private entrance and private dining room (we sneak him in the back), doesn’t like to be bothered, understandable. Laurence Fishburn- He’s strange, has gained a lot of weight, gets bigger every time we see him. He is friendly and engaging with black staff, but blatantly ignores all white staff. I dunno, he comes off as possibly racist. I met 2 local news casters, Marty Bass and Richard Sher when I was a kid. Both nice, and both were pretty drunk. Lol

#27

Ron Paul and his wife once came to the fine dining restaurant I managed back in my college town. He was speaking to the young republicans there or whatever. I hate everything that guy stands for, but to his credit, he and his whole entourage were unfailingly gracious while within our doors.

#28

Charlie Sheen came in to the cafe I work in with one of his daughters. Super polite, tipped extremely well. 10/10 celebrity experience!

#29

Dez Bryant used to be one of my regulars out in Southlake before the restaurant closed, he’s a great guy. Treats everybody nicely, talked to me about hip hop and his college days, took pictures with everyone who asked, always tipped $100-$200 even if he only got one entree, and was just a cool dude.

#30

Julian Edelman is a sweetheart. Used to come into my spot a decent amount. Very low key – you probably wouldn’t notice him unless you’re looking for him. Super chill, excellent tipper, very low maintenance. All around nice guy.

#31

I’ve never worked as a server, but I worked at the Phoenix Airport Hertz rent a car and saw most everyone that worth anything. Barack Obama came in when he was senator and was pretty cool to talk with (although I don’t generally like politicians). Probably my favorites was Sinbad the comedian (he was a frequent renter). Also I’m into auto racing and John Force was probably my favorite out of all that came through. Former Arizona governor Rose Moffit was another nice person to talk with. If I remember right, all tipped except the politicians.

#32

I once worked at a Bob’s Big Boy in CA. Billy Bob Thornton was a regular at the counter at that time. He at that time was in a TV series with John Ritter. Hadn’t made it big yet like he would later. He left decent tips, and was friendly enough.

A coworker once waited on Aretha Franklin, said she didn’t tip. And one day, a limo dropped off a bunch of wild looking guys, turned out to be Motley Crue. (Before they hit it big). They left her an awesome tip.

Chris Wahl

Chris, co-owner of WorldWideInterweb, is a true aficionado of all things internet and meme-y. When he's not curating the best of the web, you'll likely find him on the golf courses of Florida.

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