A Lannister Always Pays His Debts…Or Walks Out
“Not a waitress, but a hostess. I sat Peter Dinklage in a quiet corner of the restaurant (he asked for it). But I guess he didn’t like what he saw on the menu and left a few moments later. He was very polite and soft-spoken, but seemed a bit shy. I was excited and nervous when he walked in and wasn’t very sure about how I should treat him. I’m pretty sure my behind hasn’t sweat like that since it did that day. Treating him like a regular customer seemed to have been a good call.”
Typical Leo, Underage Natalie, Awkward Tommy
“I have served tons! Al Gore was crazy nice. Even shook my hand when I came to the table. Haha. He tipped 40% as well.
Rashida Jones was nice. She had drinks with three guys and they just laughed and had a great time. We were also dead when she came in and no one was bothering her.
Leonardo Dicaprio was very shy. He hid himself very well. I didn’t even realize who he was until after five minutes of talking to him. He was working on his Boston accent, I guess.
Natalie Portman came in with Harvard friends and used a fake ID. The waiter was like, whatever. Here’s your drink. (I made the drink).
Tommy Lee Jones was crazy awkward. His wife was really nice and basically apologized for him the entire time. I really don’t think he was trying to be a jerk. He just doesn’t know how to be social.”
“I served Snoop Dogg about 10 years ago at Islands. He tried to order bubbly, which we didn’t have, so he settled for a Sprite.
He was there with three girls. I couldn’t understand a word he said but he ordered two meals for himself. His girls had to ‘translate’ for him. Overall he was polite and nice. He even signed autographs for a couple of kids (and my star-struck manager). I felt bad because he just wanted to have dinner and people were bombarding him. He tipped about 20% from what I remember. Honestly, I don’t really think celebrities should feel obligated to tip outrageously. If the waiter/waitress did a nice job, tip accordingly. If you feel like being nice tip more.”
“Will Ferrell- I was a bartender at the time, he was in town for a stand-up gig with Demitri Martin, Zach Galifianakis, and Nick Swardson. We shut down half the bar for them and their crew for a football watch party. I remember Nick didn’t even watch the game, he played Buck Hunter the entire time.
They all kept to themselves and were all generally quiet. Will was the only one really known at the time. Funny thing, the other half of the bar was opened to the public but our only bathrooms were over there, so we had a bucket in the basement that Will would use to urinate in to avoid everyone else.
Will was not what I expected. He was kinda shy and when they were leaving, he came up to me, shook my hand and said I did a great job.”
Server To The Stars
“Had the honor to serve a lot of great people over the last two years at a restaurant I worked at.
Dolph Lundgren – Served him and his girlfriend on three separate occasions. REALLY awesome and just a nice guy. Even let me take a picture with him.
Craig Thomas – Almost came in weekly, occasionally with Carter Bays, and is one of the nicest people I have ever met. He is always thankful and appreciative even when you bring some extra napkins and prefers to address people by their name. Sometimes he comes in with his wife and his little boy, and they are just a great party to serve.
Reese Witherspoon – Sometimes when you see a celebrity in real life, they don’t exactly look like they do on the screen. Reese Witherspoon looks EXACTLY like she does and it took me a fraction of a second to instantly recognize her. She was polite and felt the need to carry conversations with the waiting staff.
Minka Kelly – Jesus. You think she’s hot on tv or through pictures? I don’t know if I have ever seen a more beautiful person in real life. Every time I served her, I swear I stuttered and couldn’t get myself to make eye contact with her. Just like everyone else, was very nice and never acted like she was entitled to anything.
Alanis Morissette – Jesus. Literally. Looked like a female Jesus.
Chin Han (The Dark Knight) – Very quiet. Always comes in alone with a book, eats in the corner, and barely says a word.
Christopher Robinson (The Black Crowes) – Always comes in with his family and wants a secluded table and is always apologetic about anything he needs or wants.
Brendan Fraser – Good God does this tower of a man drink and drink and drink. At one point, he asked that I just keep bringing drinks as often as possible. I think it was lunchtime that I served him, too.
Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. – Age has not served them well, but it was so nostalgic serving them. They were THE celebrities when I was growing up. Freddie is more outspoken, usually ordering for Sarah. I remember them telling me she was pregnant the few times they came in.
Megan Fox and Brian Austin Greene – Now I always thought Brian Austin Greene to be a jerky kind of a guy, but he’s absolutely one of the most down-to-earth and nicest celebrity I have ever served. Ms. Fox barely speaks a word throughout the entire evening, with Mr. Greene doing all the ordering. He even takes the time to walk around and chit-chat with other staff, managers, bartenders around the restaurant.
Tyra Banks – This is the exception. She came in and sat down. Now, usually I never acknowledge a celebrity because I always assume they want to be treated just like any other customer. Ms. Banks here threw a fit when I did not verbally recognize her and caused quite a scene. My coworker told me of another instance shortly after where she walked into the restaurant, looked around, and then stormed out.
Elden Campbell – He came into a frozen yogurt store that I worked at when I was in high school and being star struck, I asked him if he was ‘that one basketball player.’ He was nice enough to still sign me an autograph.
Barbara Streisand – She also came into that frozen yogurt store. It took her literally 20-30 minutes to order two pints. One chocolate, one vanilla. I was really shocked that it took someone so long to order something so simple, but she was really nice and just a pleasant person so I couldn’t help but enjoy the experience.”
Jason Segel’s Package
“My best friend once waited on Jason Segel and Paul Rudd during SXSW. She was caught off guard when she saw them sitting at her table, so the first words out of her mouth were ‘You’re Jason Segel. You have really nice junk,’ – she had recently seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
His words? ‘Hey, thanks! Can I get a drink?’
She said Paul Rudd was equally as friendly and they left a huge tip.”
“I was closing up a hotel bar a few years ago when a black guy, about thirty, let himself into the closed (but not locked) restaurant section flanked by a couple huge men. I asked what I can do for them, gesturing at the obviously empty floor.
He says, ‘Yeah, could I get a couple cases of bubbly?’
Now, this was a business-oriented hotel and we didn’t make a practice of selling bubbly by the case even when we were open which, in this case, we weren’t. So I explained, ‘I’m very sorry, sir, but we’re actually closed for the night. I was just in the process of locking up the stock. You could absolutely hit the bar district downtown, as they’re open for another hour, but this is the business district and pretty quiet at this time of night.’
He says it’s not a problem, turns around and heads to the elevator bay. I turn to finish locking up and see that the only other person in the room, a waitress, seems to be in the early stages of a cardiac episode. Apparently, I had just shut down Kanye West.”
The Dalai Lama
“I served the Dalai Lama at a Greek Restaraunt up here in Binghamton New York, back in August of 1999.
It was during a dinner service and some vans pulled into the parking lot. Several Buddhist Monks and about twenty people came in as a group. Religious groups are notoriously bad tables — usually, you have a ton of people, nearly all of them only having coffee or a cookie — a lot of work with little reward. So, when this group came in, the waitresses started hounding me to take the group. I grudgingly agreed.
Me and one other waitress took the party — 25 people in one dining room (the restaurant has three) for the two of us. When the group came in, I was pulled aside by one of the monks who told me: ‘When dinner is served, you must serve the monks first, and you must not make eye contact with his Holiness.’ Now, it NEVER occurred to me that this could possibly be THE Dalai Lama. So, naturally, the first thing I did was look him in the eye when I took his drink order.
It was a non-eventful meal. They actually ate very well, and I did notice that the room would go silent when ‘His Holiness’ — the monk at the head of the table — spoke. After they left, we realized they’d double-tipped! They were told their group would get hit with the gratuity on the check. They also left a cash equivalent on the table. Anyway, a day or two later, my boss excitedly pulled me into the bar. ‘LOOK!!’ he said, pointing to the TV. There, speaking to a congregation of hundreds of thousands of people in New York’s Central Park, was the Dalai Lama.”
“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 eff off.
At the end of the night, he requested to see the head chef and shook his hand in appreciation and tipped us £100.”
Drew Carey – Great Tipper
“My cousin had Drew Carey come into his bar one night after a gig. She said he came in and bought a round for everyone in the bar. My 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.”
Madea Goes To Eat
“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 other patron was a complete jerk, extremely rude, complained about everything, and left her no tip. Meanwhile, Tyler was very nice and polite eating his brunch, reading a book, and chatting with the waitress from time to time, and when it came time for him to leave, he decided to leave her a nice $1,200 tip wishing her a Merry Christmas and apologizing for the other random jerk.”
“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 drink and gave us a $100 tip. 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.”
James Woods, Master Of The Fake Phone Call
“James Woods. Nothing out of the ordinary, really. Pretty decent tipper, master of the fake phone call when someone would try to approach him.
A lot of people seem to dislike him, but he was home visiting his mother a few years ago and went out to lunch with her at the restaurant in which I was employed at the time.
As he was leaving, another table with a young man who had downs syndrome was also leaving. This young man was wearing a Family Guy t-shirt and must have recognized James Woods and after a short conversation, James turned around, said, ‘Ooh, a piece of candy,’ and then proceed with his exit.
The look on the young man’s face was priceless.”
The Odd Couple
“Summer of 1986, Billy Joel and then-wife/supermodel Christie Brinkley come into the restaurant I am working at. The hostess that day was a teenage student from Ireland visiting the US for the summer – in other words, she had no idea who they were.
When the asked to be seated, the hostess treated them like anyone else in a trendy restaurant at the beach on Long Island on a busy summer day – she told them it would be a thirty to forty-five minute wait.
Then the hostess runs back into the kitchen, points to them and asks us, ‘What is that GORGEOUS woman doing with that UGLY guy?'”
Every Famous Star Comes To New Orleans
“I was a server at a very famous New Orleans restaurant where famous people came in regularly.
Drew Brees is a great tipper and his children are very well-behaved. His wife is a sweetheart. He’s the only celebrity I ever really got star-struck around – I’m a huge Saints fan.
Jon Bon Jovi drinks the house white and puts ice cubes in the glass. You can take the boy outta Jersey…
Kelly Ripa looks like an alien in person but is very polite.
Billy Joel is a total jerk, demanding things off-menu on a very busy night and being rude to staff.
Hulk Hogan did blow in the bathroom.
Brad and Angelina are wonderfully nice. Brad is WAY shorter than I expected.
Bill Nye the Science Guy is very down to earth and a good tipper.
Mostly, musicians are better tippers than actors, and they’re better tippers than athletes. In general.”
“I cooked for Paul Newman a few times at a restaurant he’d visit in Connecticut. Not a fancy restaurant, just a bar & grill. He was probably the most ‘normal’ person you could imagine. Very laid back and polite. It seemed like he refused to accept the fact that he was a celebrity. I also saw him in Stop & Shop grocery shopping, just pushing a cart around buying cereal and bananas.”
“I didn’t serve her, but I was at a restaurant and I was sitting next to Rachael Ray. Really nasty.
She was really snippy with the bartender/waitress. She took forever to tell the waitress what she wanted. When she finally got her food and they asked how it was, she just kind of motioned as if to say ‘whatever.’
I didn’t see how much she tipped, but on her way out, someone asked for an autograph and she replied, ‘Don’t talk to me.’
Also, I did cook for the director of Oz the Great and Powerful and one of the writers. I had a few drinks with them as well. Really fun guys. I brought them back into the kitchen and they signed my Wizard of Oz apron.”
He Looked Just Buddy Holly
“I served Rivers Cuomo lunch in Vancouver in 1997. He was with some of his band and some girls and were in town to open for No Doubt on a stadium tour.
I waited until they were done eating to tell them how much I loved their records and they asked if I was going to the show. I told them no because it was pretty expensive and I hated No Doubt – it just wouldn’t be worth it for a 40 minute Weezer opening set in a hockey arena. He understood and we started talking about what they should do for the day. I drew them a map of some cool local stuff to do and he thanked me and they left. I saw him talking to one of the guys in the band outside and then run back into the restaurant. He came up to me and said ‘Give me two names,’ so I gave him my name and my girlfriend’s name. He said, ‘See you tonight.’
So I got home that night, told my girlfriend the story and she’s skeptical they will even remember (it’s been hours). I remind her we have nothing better to do and nothing to lose and we head out to the venue. I get to the window, give our names and the lady pulls out two laminated passes and instructs us to enter through the backstage entrance. We literally walked straight into Gwen when we hit the Green Room.
We didn’t see the Weezer guys backstage but when they announced ‘5 minutes to showtime,’ we asked if we could go down the front. Somebody ushered us to the front row and Weezer opened with Jonas. It was awesome.”
“My cousin was working one night in L.A. and Quentin Tarantino walks in. He didn’t serve him but observed that he wrote furiously in a notebook and would occasionally laughed to himself and look up. My cousin caught his eye once and QT laughed and kept writing. Which is exactly how you think Tarantino would act.”
The Wiggles Are Still A Thing?
“Ok mine is kind of stupid, but I waited on The Wiggles.
They pulled up in a huge tour bus and when I asked them who they were, they seemed really embarrassed.
Anyway, they drank lots, signed autographs for some kids and tipped me about $200, one of the nicest tables I’ve ever had.”
“I served Neil Armstrong breakfast when he was at Purdue for an awards ceremony. He was very quite and didn’t want anyone to know who he was. He liked his eggs over medium with sausage patties.”