When a celebrity appears at a restaurant, people pay attention. Fans are eager to cheer a cool sighting (like Barack and Malia Obama leaving Emilio’s Ballato), copy an interesting order (Chrissy Teigen’s Doritos Locos tacos), or slam a star for stiffing the wait staff (what really happened with that Kylie Jenner incident?). So when a famous person treats their servers right, people take note. Here’s a roundup of the most generous celebrity tippers.
Bill Murray has become known for his wacky interactions with the public. The comedy legend has crashed a stranger’s bachelor party, brought an unknown woman to the World Series with him, and thrown some fans’ cell phones off a roof.
More recently, and perhaps less melodramatically, he tipped $50 on a glass of water. The New York Times reported that when Murray went to see the Broadway musical Groundhog Day, which is based on the 1993 movie her starred in, he asked the bartender for a glass of water, specifying that he didn’t want a bottle. Then he handed the bartender $50 and whispered, “This is too much for a glass of water.” It’s a pretty intense way to ask for tap water, but the bartender probably appreciated the cash.
When Taylor Swift visited Ralph’s Italian Restaurant in Philadelphia during her 2013 tour — this was before her girl squad days so she was with then-openers Ed Sheeran and Austin Mahone, not five models — she got to know the staff. She took a photo with the team at the restaurant, which they then posted on Facebook and noted her “generous tip.” Head chef Shawn Gallo told E! News that Swift’s team dropped $500 in gratuity. Plus, Tay gave two concert tickets to the chef, whose autistic son is a huge fan.
It’s been hard to believe Johnny Depp’s recent financial issues considering the astronomical amount of money he brings in through his movies. But here’s one expenditure that probably makes a dent in his wealth: leaving thousands of dollars in tips for waiters. (Also, his hilariously high $30,000 monthly wine budget.)
A waiter at Gibsons, a steakhouse in Chicago, told Radar the the actor left him a $4,000 tip. Apparently the server, Mohammed A . Sekhani, had waited on Depp before and was even on a nickname basis — Depp reportedly calls him “Mo.”
This is a story that could only happen to a really famous person. Back in 2014, Charlize Theron stopped into a Pinkberry in Hollywood. But when she went to pay for her froyo, she realized she didn’t have any money with her. She just didn’t have any cash or cards or methods of payment on her person. Maybe she wasn’t used to having to take care of pedestrian tasks like purchasing a sweet treat?
An employee of the chain named Keila told TMZ that Theron said she’d come back to pay her $3.75 tab, and she did. Theron returned (with Sean Penn) and left a $100 bill.
Sometimes you want breakfast pastries so badly you’ll pay two grand for them. Donnie Wahlberg, former New Kids on the Block pop star, current star of Blue Bloods, and one of the famous Wahlberg brothers, left a $2,000 tip at a Waffle House in North Carolina.
He posted a photo of the check on Instagram and explained, “My mom waited tables, and my dad tended bars — for years! So, when I walk into a #WaffleHouse, and the staff treats me like a king, you better believe I treat them like queens! Thanks to the team at @wafflehouseofficial Charlotte, NC!”
Here’s a scoop about a celebrity from a server who is now also a celebrity, so this anecdote hits all the bases. Ugly Betty and Devious Maids star Ana Ortiz used to be a bartender before she could fully support herself through her craft, and one of the customers she served twice? Drew Barrymore.
Ortiz told Latina that Barrymore’s policy was to tip 100 percent, meaning doubling the bill. Barrymore left a full 100 percent tip both times Ortiz served her. And there’s a lesson here for all celebrities: your waiter is probably an actor who could eventually have a huge platform for revealing your tipping tendencies.
Bradley Cooper tips well, and the reason, according to him, is that he was raised right. Cooper told Nick Snaith for Magic Radio (via azcentral.com) that his father taught him to leave generous tips.
“‘I grew up with having that instilled in me from my father so I’ve always been generous. For a $184 meal… I’d tip probably $46, or $54… yeah that’s about right!” Put your phone calculator away — that’s a little less than 30 percent.
When comedian Amy Schumer saw Hamilton on Broadway, she felt an affinity for the bartenders working during the show. So on her $77 bill, Schumer left a $1,000 tip. Bartender Madeleine DeJohn, who is herself an aspiring actor, told the New York Daily News that Schumer told her, “I’ve been there, I get it.”
While Schumer may remember what it was like to try to pay the rent while working toward a dream, those days are ancient history for her. She was the first woman ever to make Forbes‘ highest-paid comedian list.
It’s all about the money (and headline-grabbing anecdote)
It isn’t often that we’d want to tell you to take a cue from celeb behavior, but this is one of those rare cases. Tip your servers and bartenders well — that means 20 percent or more for a layperson, or apparently a couple grand and a crazy gesture if you’re famous. It’s the right thing to do. After all, they work hard, they deserve to be compensated, and they might just reveal your behavior to TMZ.