"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 screw off. At the end of the night, he requested to see the head chef and shook his hand in appreciation and tipped us £100."
"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 bad joke so I felt good. It was them and three other people, I think their publicists/whatever and a person from the event. Rashida and Adam paid and both tipped 30%!"
"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."
I didn't serve her, but I was at a restaurant and I was sitting next to Rachael Ray. So mean. 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.'"
"I served Snoop Dogg about 10 years ago at Islands. He tried to order Dom Pérignon which we didn't have that but he settled for a Sprite. (for those of you that don't know, Islands is a sit down burger joint that didn't have fancy champagne) 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 sign autographs for a couple kids (and my star-struck manager) I felt bad because he just wanted to have dinner and people were bombarding him."
"I was closing up a hotel bar a few years ago when a black guy, about thirty, lets himself into the closed (but not locked) restaurant section flanked by a couple huge men. I ask what I can do for them, gesturing at the obviously empty floor. He says, 'Yeah, could I get a couple cases of champagne and three bottles of Grey Goose?' Now, this was a business-oriented hotel and we didn't make a practice of selling champagne by the case even when we were open which, in this case, we weren't. So I explain, '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."
"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 a really nice penis' (she had recently seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall). His words? 'Hey, thanks! Can I get a whiskey on the rocks?' She said Paul Rudd was equally as friendly, and they left a huge tip."
"James Woods. 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."
"I was bartending at a country club in Jacksonville at the time. We were having a large golf event that weekend, where club members would bring their guests for the tournament and the buffet dinner. During the slow part of the day, when people would trickle in from the golf course and have a drink or two before going home to get ready for the night's festivities, a group of four men walk in. Two of them grab a table, one of them goes to the bathroom, and Dan Marino walks up to the bar. I greet him, ask him how his day was and what he'd like to drink. He orders a Jack 'n Coke, tips me twenty bucks, and heads back to his table. No biggie. Anyway, a year later, he came in for the same golf tournament, and orders the same drink. This time I decide to not be as coy. I say, 'I saw your last game ever as a Dolphin.' It was a blowout loss at Jacksonville in the playoffs when I was a kid. He laughed and said something along the lines of, 'Yeah, not my proudest moment. What's your name and how much did I tip you last time?' I was shocked that he remembered I served him a year ago. I tell him my name and the amount he tipped me, and he takes his drink, gives me a fifty, and says, 'I'm sure we'll meet again, Unclemayor.' Flashforward a year later. I had moved to Miami and was bartending at a Mexican restaurant. Dan Marino had come in one night for dinner and was sitting at a table away from the bar. I told the (very hot) bartenders I worked with that I was on a first name basis with Dan Marino, and that I knew his favorite drink, and that I could prove it if he came up to the bar. This was a huge gamble on my part, since I wasn't sure if he'd order the same drink, or that he even remembered my name from a different city from a year ago. At the end of the night, the restaurant clears out and Dan Marino leaves. I'm cleaning up behind the bar, disappointed, getting ready to close things down with the girls, when Marino walks back into the restaurant and comes up to the bar. I take this opportunity to yell, 'Dan! Long time no see! How are ya? Jack 'N Coke?' To which Dan replies, 'Unclemayor! What brings you to Miami? And yeah, I have time for a drink.' The girls were stunned, and their jaws practically hit the ground. After his drink, he leaves me a hundred dollar bill and says we'll meet again."
"Will Ferrell- I was a bartender at the time, he was in town for a stand-up gig with Demitri Martin, Zach Galifinakis 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 was that 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 piss 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."
"I waited on Mitt Romney once just after he purchased Dominos and lost the MA Senate Race, the execs from Dominos took him out to dinner after he bought the company. Very nice guy. The bill for his party (7-8) was around $5,000 and he tipped $1,500. While he didn't drink, most everyone else did. Only time I had ever had someone order Louis XIII."
"I served Morgan Freeman once. He came to the restaurant I was working at for lunch with his publicist. It was 11:30 and he order a whiskey neat. Then another, then another, then another. Four whiskey neats before 12:30 pm. That's why he is always so sleepy, he's drunk. Also, a lot of people call me Journey, and that's what was on my name tag. He said when ordering the fourth whiskey that he'd call me Trip for short."
"I served Rivers Cuomo from Weezer lunch in Vancouver in '97. He was with Pat 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 see him talking to Pat outside and then run back into the restaurant. He comes up to me and says 'Give me two names', so I give him my name and my girlfriend's name. He says 'See you tonight.' So I get home that night, tell my girlfriend the story and she's skeptical they will even remember. 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 Greenroom. Didn't see the Weezer guys backstage but when they announced '5 minutes to showtime' we asked if we could go down front. Somebody ushered us to the front row and Weezer opened with Jonas. It was awesome."
"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?'"
"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."
"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 extremely rude, complained about everything, and left her little to 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 rude guy."
"My cousin had Drew Carey come into his bar one night after a gig. 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."
"I served the Dalai Lama at a Greek Restaurant up here in Binghamton New York, back in August of 1999. I'm serious. It was during a dinner service, and 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, 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 3) for the 2 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, 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."
"It was not me, but my dad once worked for a hotel doing room service. One day rumors start going around that Leonard Nimoy (Spock, from Star Trek) was staying at the hotel. So dinner rolls around, and Spock decides he is hungry but doesn't want to leave the hotel. So like any other person, he calls room service. I don't know what he ordered, but my dad was chosen to deliver the food. So dad wheels the cart to the elevator and starts going up. It then clicks in his head that the name on the ticket reads 'Leonard Nimoy.' My dad was a really big Star Trek fan, so he begins to get all giddy and nervous. He knocks on the door and the man himself answers the door, but he doesn't seem very happy. Dad wheels the food in, but he doesn't say much for fear of making Spock think he's a weirdo. After he delivers the food, he has Spock sign the check, and my dad begins to make his way out, but he decides to attempt to shake Mr. Nimoy's hand. Dad introduces himself and says what an honor it is to meet him, and sticks his hand out to shake it. Mr. Nimoy reciprocates, and their hands lock together, but the shake is quickly interrupted as he jerks his hand back in surprise. Without thinking, my dad forgot to remember he was still holding his pen (the one used to sign the check) between his fingers. So when they went to shake hands, my dad ended up writing all over Leonard Nimoy's hand. Spock got pissed and rushed my dad out the door. Poor dad."
"Robert Downey Jr. came into a bar I briefly worked in. I've never seen anyone so lit. He was so drunk or high it seemed like he was acting the part of a crazy sloppy drunk. He was quite happy and pleasant though, even though he could hardly stand. I refused to serve him and let the manager take over. I hear he later went into rehab and eventually returned to his acting career, but at the time it wasn't a pretty sight."
"Worked as a manager at a popular restaurant downtown and I get a call that I should come to the cash registers. I was expecting something like 'we need change' or 'he can't pay.' So I arrive and the cashier points me towards one of the largest people I have ever seen who is standing at the entrance. I walk over, a little bit edgy because he looks like he can use one hand to crack my head like a walnut, say 'Good evening how can I help?' And his response ...'I am with Denzel Washington can we have a table for six?' So, I look around but I can't see any other person, but then he points at a group of people standing a little bit further and after walking over there is Denzel Washington. He comes over greets me very politely and asks me if it would be possible to get a table for six without any paparazzi finding out that he is at the restaurant. I organize a table in one of the corner areas away from the main floor, he sits down, assk for my name and then we start talking about our wine selection and what wine I really like. So I mention one of the wines which I thought was really great and in return, he orders four bottles of it, tells me to drink one with the chefs at the end of the night and leaves a $500 tip for the staff. Coolest guy ever but very adamant that he would not sign any autograph. But its ok we had the wine instead."
"I live at the Jersey Shore, so we all have our share of Springsteen stories, but this one is kind of embarrassing for me, since I'm a huge fan. Guy walks into the bagel store, I immediately turn to my coworker with, 'Doesn't that guy look JUST like Bruce Springsteen?' I'm not sure why I didn't think it could actually be him, since he only lives a few towns over. My coworker grew up in the Philippines and had no idea who he was, which she proclaimed out loud. I went on a crazy rant talking about how awesome he is and what he means to NJ and how much I love him, etc etc. He heard this entire conversation. It's a very small store. He then chimes in and says to my coworker 'She's messin' with ya! He's an actor. He's won a few Oscars, actually.' And he's cracking up at this point. The three of us then have a conversation at the cash register about who this Springsteen guy is. I was talking to Bruce Springsteen and arguing with him about who Bruce Springsteen is. What is my life. She's like, 'Thanks, man! I knew she was messin' with me. I'm gonna google him!' Long story short, it was him. A regular came in after and told us. I still hate myself for this."
I used to manage a sort of fast casual/café style restaurant. It was always incredibly slow on Saturdays due to its location. We were working with only myself and 1 server, pretty much just trying to run out the clock until we could lock up which was unfortunately still a few hours away. My server was taking her break, so it was just me working behind the line when this woman walks in by herself, carrying a few bags from the nearby Neiman Marcus store. I couldn't help thinking to myself how much this woman looked like Cameron Diaz, but it obviously couldn't have been her because why would Cameron Diaz be in Minneapolis randomly? She asked what soups we had and I offered her a sample. When I mentioned that our house soup contained pasta she quickly exclaimed how much she loves pasta and her eyes lit up with excitement. I keep analyzing her face trying to find some sort of distinguishing mark so I could be like 'oh, she'd look like Cameron Diaz but she has a different nose' or something along those lines. I could not find anything, even her smile was spot-on, but c'mon why would she come into my restaurant? In the meantime a friend of mine who worked nearby walks up in the midst of my assisting the woman. I got this woman a bowl of the soup and rang her up. She was super friendly throughout the entire transaction and threw a couple bucks in the tip jar for a $5 bowl of soup. Then I help my friend and go sit down to bother him. I sat down and told my friend, 'damn, I can't shake how much that woman looks EXACTLY like Cameron Diaz.' He explained to me that when he walked up he said something along the lines of 'Good Afternoon, Ms. Diaz. How are you today?' I guess she smiled and responded that she was doing well and even asked my friend how he was doing. She sat and finished her soup by herself, and even cleaned up her table (which is more than half of the patrons at the restaurant usually did) and went along her merry way. It turns out she was dating A-Rod at the time and the Yankees were in town, which explains why the hell she would be in Minneapolis."