Nice or Needy: How Celebrities Treated Their Servers

We all know that celebrities can be a little demanding. After all, they are used to getting their way. But what happens when they go out to eat and are served by a regular person? Do they still act like royalty, or do they show some humility? After all, they were regular people once too.

Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner
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They have so much money, but some celebrities are stingy tippers and flat-out rude. Some were obnoxious and demanding, while others were polite and courteous. Let’s take a look at how these popular celebrities treated their servers at restaurants and who is the last star you would want to wait on.

Maria Shriver and Katherine Schwarzenegger

If you live in a big city, there are probably specific restaurants that celebrities are known to frequent. For example, celebrities in LA flock to places like Nobu and Saddle Ranch, and in New York, stars enjoy meals at Mercer Kitchen and Tau. Those who work in these places shared their celebrity encounters online.

Katherine Schwarzenegger and her mother Maria Shriver
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One server who worked at a Chicago hotspot said she once waited on Maria Shriver and her daughter Katherine Schwarzenegger. She said the two were very “needy and demanding.” According to the waitress, their bill was $1,000, and they didn’t leave a tip. That’s incredibly rude and unexpected.

Jay-Z and Beyonce

Some celebrities are kinder than others, but Beyonce and Jay-Z were as snobby as most people imagine. In 2005, the couple was in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and dined at a nice restaurant. One of the servers shared their experience with the two, which wasn’t as pleasant as they expected.

Beyoné (L) and Jay-Z
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Beyonce and Jay-Z came before the dinner shift started and went upstairs to the private patio with another couple. Everyone in the restaurant was so excited to see them, and Jay-Z was friendly to the servers. However, Beyonce didn’t make eye contact with anyone. They also refused to take a photo with the chef, who was a big fan.

Emily and Felicity Blunt, John Krasinski, and Stanley Tucci

Depending on what country you live in, tipping etiquette differs, but there are typical standards. However, not everyone, including celebrities, is generous enough to tip the standard amount. When Emily and Felicity Blunt dined with John Krasinski and Stanley Tucci, they racked up a $500 bill and left a small tip.

Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

According to the waitress helping them, Tucci only tipped ten percent. If they were at a restaurant in America, the standard tip would be 20 percent. Surely he could afford that, but he wasn’t feeling generous. The waitress said ten percent was standard for Tucci, even when the service and food were great.

Sara Bareilles

Who else remembers jamming out to “Love Song” when it was released in 2007? Sara Bareilles’ song was catchy and upbeat, and her personality reflected that. When she dined at a New York City restaurant, Bareilles was as down to earth as most would imagine. Her server said she was nice to everyone.

Sara Bareilles attends the GBK Brand Bar Back Stage
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The servers revealed that Bareilles was sitting outside, and another patron screamed when a mouse ran by. Instead of being disgusted, the singer laughed and said, “Welcome to the city.” She was also kind about taking photos with fans and tipped her waitress well. Other stars should take notes.

Bryan Cranston

The Breaking Bad star might seem cold and hardened on-screen, but he isn’t like that in real life. When he dines at restaurants, Cranston is reportedly very friendly with the waitstaff. One server said she had recently watched Breaking Bad when Cranston came into the restaurant.

Dos Hombres Mezcal co-founder, Bryan Cranston
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She was incredibly nervous, but Cranston was fun and approachable. He gave his waitress the Walter White stare to mess with her but laughed after he saw how nervous she got. Cranston was a generous tipper and didn’t worry about fans staring at him.

Lana Del Ray

Some celebrities aren’t just nice at restaurants; they are sometimes also friendly with cashiers. One Reddit user shared her story about a time when Lana Del Ray came into her grandparents’ bodega in Brooklyn. The girl was 11 and occasionally worked the register with her older cousin.

Lana Del Rey
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She didn’t know Del Ray at the time, but the singer was kind to the two girls. Her older cousin was a fan and took a photo with Del Ray. The singer stayed to talk to them for a little while and didn’t act like she was super famous.

Richard Gere

Seeing a famous person in a restaurant must be exciting, but they don’t always want everyone gawking over them. Some celebrities want to feel like normal people when they go out. However, their fans can be a bit aggressive at times.

Richard Gere attends City Harvest
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When Richard Gere dined at a restaurant, the server said he had a bodyguard with him to prevent anyone from approaching him. It seems a bit harsh, but the waiter realized it made sense after seeing how people acted around him. He just wanted to have a peaceful dinner.

Usher

Usher seems like he would be a nice guy, but according to his waitress, he was one of the worst customers she dealt with. When he was younger, Usher tried to use his status to get alcohol without an ID. The owner refused because it was against the law.

Usher Raymond attends the Healthy Thanksgiving
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Additionally, Usher reportedly left his autograph instead of a tip. He figured his signature was worth more to the waitress than money. We can only hope that Usher has matured since then and learned the proper way to treat servers.

Kendall Jenner

With all the heat Kendall Jenner and her family have taken over the years, you would think she would be kind to everyone to avoid a scandal. However, Jenner got herself into trouble in 2014 after dining at Mercer Kitchen in SoHo. She reportedly left the restaurant without paying the bill.

Kendall Jenner
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A server ran after her, and Jenner threw some twenties in the waitress’ face. A few days later, Jenner tried to save her reputation by tipping $160 on a $554 bill at Pearl’s Bar in West Hollywood. That didn’t do much for the NY server who lost their tip.

Gordon Ramsay

Although he is terrifying on TV, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay understands the ins and outs of the restaurant business. He knows how rude it is to treat the waitstaff poorly because they work so hard. When he dined at Reyjavik, his waitress was a huge fan.

Gordon Ramsay in the paddock before the F1 Grand Prix
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The waitress shared that Ramsay and his friends were polite, friendly, and left a huge tip. Ramsay reportedly told the waitress, “Thanks, love,” with a wink, which felt like a dream. He knows it would be awful if he went into a restaurant and screamed at everyone for no reason.

Ludacris

We may not know Ludacris personally, but he seems like he would be a snobby person because of his celebrity status. Our feelings were right, and a waitress shared her unpleasant experience with him. She said Ludacris and his posse came in and sat in a closed section.

Ludacris attends Jane Fonda's 85th Birthday
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The waitress informed him the section wasn’t open yet, but Ludacris said the manager allowed him to sit there. He also left a ten percent tip on a fairly large bill. A few months later, Ludacris rejected the customary 18 percent tip for a 40-person party and only left ten percent again.

Catherine Zeta-Jones

She might be stunning, but Catherine Zeta-Jones is not as beautiful on the inside. When she goes to restaurants, she is “scowly and cold.” According to one waitress who regularly served the actress, she refused to smile or make eye contact with anyone.

Catherine Zeta-Jones attends the world premiere of Netflix's
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Zeta-Jones would also get annoyed if the waitress asked questions to clarify the actress’ special requests. Even when the waitstaff went out of their way to accommodate her and make dishes that were no longer on the menu, Zeta-Jones would only tip between eight and ten percent.

Machine Gun Kelly

Machine Gun Kelly might be a popular musician, but he remains humble. When MGK goes out, he doesn’t act like a stuck-up celebrity. A waitress who served him at a club said he sat in the VIP section but was very friendly and “casually sexy.”

Machine Gun Kelly at the 2022 American Music Awards
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Machine Gun Kelly and his friends tipped well and didn’t cause any trouble. The waitress added, “Something about him in person is just pure sex. I get Megan Fox’s obsession.” It makes waiting on MGK seem very appealing and enjoyable.

Rachael Ray

Unlike other chefs on the list, Rachael Ray doesn’t care about how she treats the waitstaff at restaurants. A bystander at a restaurant said Ray was short with the bartender and waitress. Ray reportedly took a while to order her food and didn’t have anything nice to say.

Rachael Ray
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Ray was rude and told a fan, “Don’t talk to me,” when they asked for a picture. She also visited a popular burger restaurant in Austin, Texas, and was horrible to the waiters. Ray shook her glass at the waiter to indicate she wanted another drink.

Kate Winslet

She might be an award-winning actress, but Kate Winslet understands how hard people work in restaurants. Winslet reportedly went to a pub and let the pub dog sit on her lap while she and her friends ate burgers and drank a few bottles of wine.

Kate Winslet
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Her waitress said Winslet was friendly and talked to her for a while. Winslet asked the waitress what she was studying in university and about the history of the pub. When the group left, Winslet left a 50 percent tip. That is more than generous.

Julianne and Derek Hough

Dancing with the Stars siblings, Julianne and Derek Hough, were traveling around the country for a tour years ago. A Reddit user shared that the siblings came into a restaurant where her niece worked, and the stars were incredibly rude.

Derek Hough visits sister Julianne Hough
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Their waitress was eight months pregnant, and the Houghs didn’t bother to leave a tip. They might be famous, but that doesn’t give them the right to act poorly and not give a tip. Their waitress worked hard, but they didn’t care. That’s very low class of them.

Blake Shelton

As a southern gentleman, we expect Blake Shelton to be polite and friendly when he is out. According to a waitress in Nashville, Shelton was there to watch a friend perform and kept a low profile. He ordered a burger, fries, and a Bud Light, which only came out to $16.

Singers Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton
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The waitress said she didn’t know who Shelton was at the time and only found out after the fact. She was grateful because Shelton left a $50 tip on his $16 bill. He was polite and friendly to the waitstaff and didn’t make a big deal about his celebrity status.

Kirsten Dunst

Being in Spider-Man and Bring It On must have gone to Kirsten Dunst’s because she isn’t so friendly when she dines out. Fox News reported that Dunst rarely leaves tips. One restaurant manager said Dunst had a $233 bill and left without leaving even the smallest tip.

Actor Kirsten Dunst
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To make matters worse, another waiter said Dunst smelled bad. Although we can’t confirm this, the person said Dunst was barely coherent, and “the guy she was with had to order for her.” That is truly bizarre behavior from the actress.

James Corden

The comedian was recently in the news for his poor restaurant etiquette. While dining at New York’s Balthazar, James Corden was reportedly abusive to the waitstaff and complained about a hair in his food. The waiter apologized, but Corden demanded free drinks and threatened to leave a bad review.

James Corden attends the
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The owner called Corden out for his bad behavior and shamed him on social media. Keith McNally and Corden went back and forth in the press, each accusing the other of different things. Corden denied that he yelled at anyone and apologized.

Norman Reedus and Greg Nicotero

A waitress who worked at Senoia, owned by Norman Reedus and The Walking Dead director Greg Nicotero, said the two were friendly whenever they came into the restaurant. They always left generous tips, and Nicotero never left less than $50.

Greg Nicotero and Norman Reedus
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Cooper Andrews from The Walking Dead also came to the restaurant and left a 100 percent tip. The waitress added that Nicotero occasionally left a $1,000 tip for all the servers to split. Other celebrities should take notes because these stars know how to treat people.

Sharon Stone

Those who have waited on Sharon Stone said her typical restaurant behavior is to be demanding and cheap. A waiter at the Jefferson Hotel said Stone came in, and everyone made a big deal about it. When Stone asked for Evian water, they didn’t have it, so she threw a fit.

Sharon Stone
Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for The Red Sea International Film Festival

The manager tried to run to the store to get the water she requested, but Stone left a terrible tip. She didn’t care that everyone bent over backward for her because she is a celebrity. We understand that everyone has food and drink preferences, but she didn’t need to freak out about water.

Stephen Merchant

Stephen Merchant is known for being a hilarious comedian, and he is also a genuinely nice person. A waitress who served him and his friends at Reykjavik said he was very friendly. His coworker was too nervous to speak to Merchant, and it was her birthday.

Stephen Merchant attends
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The waiter asked Merchant if he could wish his coworker a happy birthday, and he did. He was sweet about the whole situation and offered to take a picture with her. Merchant acted like he had known the girl for ages, and she was so happy to meet him.

Jeremy Piven

The actor not only plays an arrogant Hollywood agent in Entourage but also acts like that in real life. The New York Daily News reported that Jeremy Piven was in Aspen, Colorado, for a comedy festival and acted so poorly that Nobu asked him never to return.

Jeremy Piven attends Elton John AIDS Foundation's 30th Annual Academy Awards
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Instead of a tip, Piven left a DVD of the first season of Entourage for the waiter. An employee was so upset that he took the DVD and threw it at Piven as he was leaving. Clearly, fame and acting like an entitled person have changed Piven’s attitude.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

The Rock is known for staying in perfect shape, and he achieves this by eating clean. When he went to a restaurant in Virginia, The Rock reportedly ate a “ton of food,” and the chef didn’t enjoy it because he wasn’t able to be creative. Johnson requested very bland food.

Actor Dwayne Johnson
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We can only hope that Johnson left behind a generous tip for all the food he ate. What’s the point of going to a restaurant if you are going to eat something boring that you could have at home? Spice up your life, Dwayne Johnson.

Salvador Dali

Based on his artwork, it’s easy to assume that Salvador Dali would be a strange man. Like most artists, he had his quirks, but he wasn’t the nicest person. A Reddit user said their mom served the artist once, and he was rude to her.

Artist Salvador Dali, lifting his cane, with a woman in New York.
Photo by Getty Images / Bettmann

The waitress said he was very odd too. We wonder why Dali was not kind to the people waiting on him. He struggled for money at one point, so he should have been more respectful to people who worked hard to make a living.

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand is a music legend and an incredible actress, but her fame has definitely gone to her head. When she visited a famous French restaurant in Charlottesville, Virginia, Streisand wasn’t the easiest customer to serve. The singer reportedly acted like a diva and was fussy.

Barbra Streisand speaks onstage
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Everyone was excited to see her in the restaurant, but Streisand wasn’t kind. She was demanding towards her waiter and didn’t leave a generous tip. While everyone has their moments when they aren’t friendly, it seems to be a common thing for Streisand.

George and Amal Clooney

This couple keeps their life fairly private, but some people get rare glimpses into their relationship. A waitress who served them said George and Amal Clooney picked a table in the back corner of the restaurant so they wouldn’t be bothered, but his voice carries.

Amal Clooney and George Clooney
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The restaurant was packed, but George and Amal kept to themselves. No one bothered them, and the pair left a generous tip. Their waiter said George and Amal were gracious and wanted a quiet night. They shared a fancy bottle of wine and didn’t ask for much.

LeSean McCoy

Former Eagles running back LeSean McCoy caused a stir when he found himself at the center of a receipt shaming scandal. After dining at a Philadelphia burger restaurant, he reportedly left 20 cents for his server on a $61 bill. The restaurant posted his bill on social media.

LeSean McCoy
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McCoy’s teammates defended him, saying he got horrible service. The restaurant’s shaming plan backfired because Eagles fans fiercely defended McCoy. The restaurant wrote a long post on its Facebook page stating McCoy was “verbally abusive” to their staff, but it didn’t affect his reputation.

Warren Sapp

Receipt-shaming NFL players seems to be a common thing because it also happened to former NFL player Warren Sapp. The former defensive tackle was shamed online after he wrote, “Boys don’t tip” on his restaurant bill. Like McCoy, Sapp claimed he had terrible service.

NFL Hall of Fame defensive lineman Warren Sapp
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He didn’t leave a tip, and the restaurant did their own investigation. They shared security footage showing a waitress returning to Sapp’s table 22 times in two hours. He looked pretty bad when the footage came out, and everyone shamed him.

Kathleen Battle

As someone who was fired from the Metropolitan Opera, we don’t expect much from Kathleen Battle. The famous singer is well-known for acting like a diva toward colleagues and regular people. Battle’s co-stars and crew made shirts that said, “I survived the Battle.”

The soprano Kathleen Battle
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Battle also made the list of bad customers. She is reportedly very demanding and rude to servers and doesn’t tip well. One waiter said his experience serving Battle was a nightmare. She got angry because there were too many peas in her soup.

Sean Penn

Sean Penn’s reputation has gone up and down throughout his years in the spotlight. But many people think of him as a sketchy man, including a waitress who shared her experience with the actor on the Bitter Waitress. Penn visited a New Orleans restaurant and wasn’t generous.

Actor Sean Penn hands over his award to Ukrainian President
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Penn was in New Orleans filming a movie, and he spent $450 at a local restaurant. The staff waited on him hand and foot, but the actor didn’t leave a tip. Even a low tip would have been better than nothing.

Gene Simmons

When Gene Simmons visits the restaurant he owns, he isn’t the best customer. Some of the waitstaff avoid waiting on him because he doesn’t treat the employees well. A server selected as his “VIP” waitress was forced to over-serve Simmons and his friends drinks and cheap food.

Gene Simmons and Tommy Thayer
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The waitress said Simmons didn’t call her by her name and called her “sugar boobs.” The group was demanding and didn’t leave a tip on their $800 bill. We would never want to be in that situation, and we don’t blame the waitress for complaining.

Julia Roberts

Although we would like to think that Julia Roberts is the sweetest person, she hasn’t always been the kindest. Before Julianna Margulies was famous, she waited on Roberts in New York City. Margulies later told David Letterman about the experience with Roberts.

Julia Roberts attends the premiere of Universal Pictures'
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According to Margulies, Roberts was rude and asked for many ridiculous things. The two later met at a Hollywood event, and Roberts profusely apologized for her behavior. At least Roberts can own up to acting rudely. We don’t know if she would have apologized to a regular person, though.

Michael Strahan

Michael Strahan has had beef with a few people, including his former co-host, Kelly Ripa. Outside of Hollywood, Strahan has also pissed off a few people, like a California Pizza Kitchen waiter. The waiter said he was courteous and timely while waiting on Strahan.

Michael Strahan is seen outside
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The waiter went out of his way to ensure Strahan had a pleasant dining experience, and Strahan barely said two words to him. In the end, Strahan left a five percent tip. It’s better than nothing, but still rude. Is anyone really surprised about this?

Ron White

He might be a comedian, but Ron White’s tipping behavior is not a laughing matter. When he went to a bar in downtown Denver, White was joined by his “posse” and a few girls. They asked to sit on the patio, and the staff served him until the last call.

Comedian Ron White
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White and his friends spent $1,200 at the bar and were the last customers. They paid their bill and left before the waiter could pick up their check. When he saw it, there was a zero written on the tip line. That’s ridiculous for a bill that’s over $1,000.

James “Buster” Douglas

Former boxer James “Buster” Douglas is a winner in the ring, but servers don’t like him. When he visited a Columbus steakhouse, Douglas acted more like a “chump than a champ.” He reportedly tipped $10 on a $200 bill. He and his friends took up multiple tables but weren’t generous.

Boxer James
Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Douglas made the servers work hard and barely rewarded them for their service. While we wouldn’t want to serve his rival, Mike Tyson, either, it doesn’t make the situation better. He is worth $15 million and couldn’t spare more than $10.

Bobby Brown

Comedian Bobby Brown has won over fans with his jokes, but his tipping habits aren’t impressing anyone. He reportedly leaves extremely small tips on large bills when he goes out to eat. For example, he once left a $10 tip on a $250 bill.

Singer Bobby Brown
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Another server alleged that Brown’s children behaved badly and dumped sugar packets all over the table. None of the adults were paying attention, and Brown didn’t even have the audacity to apologize to the waitress. That might be worse than a low tip.

Matt Dillon

You may remember Matt Dillon from The Outsiders, or There’s Something About Mary. However, one waitress remembers him for his generous tip. While filming a movie, he went into a restaurant that had already closed for the night, but the manager let him in.

Matt Dillon is awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award
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The manager comped Dillon’s meal because they had already closed the register, but he chatted with the staff as they cleaned up. When the waitress went to clear his plate, she saw Dillon left behind a $150 tip. It was before social media, so he did it just to be kind.

Belinda Carlisle

In the ‘80s, Belinda Carlisle was at her prime in the Go-Gos. Although she was popular in the music world, she and her bandmates weren’t so polite to the people waiting on them. According to one Reddit user, they were a room service butler for Carlisle.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Belinda Carlisle
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The person said he was kind to Carlisle and her bandmates, but they weren’t generous with the tip. Carlisle reportedly scraped up a bunch of change to give the person a tip. Could they really not find some cash to give the person?

Dan Aykroyd

Dan Aykroyd was once a big name in Hollywood after starring in Ghostbusters and The Blues Brothers. While he was working in Ontario, he visited a small coffee shop that only took cash. While that is not the most convenient option, there is no reason to throw a fit.

Dan Aykroyd visits Build Series
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However, Aykroyd didn’t have cash with him and needed a coffee. He made a huge scene, so the cashier helped him pay for a coffee with her tips. She didn’t realize who he was, and Aykroyd didn’t bother to say thank you.

Danielle Staub

If you watched the early seasons of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, you might remember the explosive fights involving Danielle Staub. Cue the iconic line from Teresa Guidice, “You were engaged 19 times?!” All that aside, it’s still no surprise that she is not the nicest customer.

Danielle Staub
Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

According to a waitress who worked at a diner in New Jersey, a few of the women, including Staub, frequented the eatery. Staub was the rudest out of all of them and didn’t leave a tip. Clearly, her five seasons on TV went to her head.

Christiano Ronaldo

Many people around the world are closely watching the world cup and are rooting for Christiano Ronaldo. This might change your mind if you aren’t a fan of Portugal. In the late ‘90s and early 2000s, a waitress working in a pub near United’s football club said Ronaldo and other players were regular customers.

Cristiano Ronaldo
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Ronaldo, Paul Scholes, and Roy Keane often came into the pub and left nice tips for the servers. Tipping isn’t required in England like in the US, but they would each leave ten pounds for every server.

Tommy Lee Jones

Tommy Lee Jones usually plays stoic and hardened characters, but we didn’t expect him to be like that in real life. While filming The Hunted, Jones and his castmates stayed at a local hotel. One of the housekeepers shared her experience dealing with them.

Tommy Lee Jones attends the 30th Tokyo International Film Festival
Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage

The hotel restaurant hosted the actors frequently, and those who worked there said Jones and his castmates rarely left tips. Sometimes they would leave a few dollars, but it still wasn’t a typical tip. They had plenty of money but chose to be rude.

Robin Roberts

Robin Roberts is one of the beloved hosts of Good Morning America, and she is actually a nice person. Some might think her chipper attitude is just for show, but that’s how she is in real life. While working at an airport restaurant, a waitress waited on Roberts.

Robin Roberts
Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Roberts’ meal was only $15, but she left a $20 tip. She is a great example of how famous people should treat their servers. We are not saying that rich people should be required to tip more than average, but adding a standard or above-average tip never hurts when the service is good.