Celebrities Who Treat Waiters Like Trash

Celebrities spend so much time in the spotlight that it's sometimes easy to assume we know what they're like in real life. However, there are plenty of celebs who are nothing like they seem. While some are indeed as funny, charming, or sweet as they appear to be, others are incredibly arrogant and disappointingly rude. Perhaps most surprising are those folks who, despite their immense fortune, can't be bothered to be nice to waiters and spread the love around. 

Folks like Sean Penn who reportedly left a $0 tip on a $450 bill. Or Mariah Carey who is also reportedly known to leave no gratuity behind. Then there's disgraced star Bill Cosby who allegedly dropped a whole $3 after a $350 meal. One A-lister who has repeatedly been accused of being stingy is Madonna, who was once called out for adding just $18 to a $400 bill. And those are just the bad tippers. Then there are the stars who take things up a level and are outright rude or abusive to their wait staff. Here are all of the celebs who have been caught treating waiters like trash.

Tiger Woods is the worst tipper of all time

Tiger Woods is one of the greatest golfers of all time, but he's also got another top ranking under his belt. In 2011, Miami New Times put together a list of the 10 worst celebrity tippers and, per The Philadelphia Inquirer, he landed in the No. 1 spot. Apparently, Woods' go-to reason for not leaving good tips is that he doesn't carry cash on him. Whether that's true or not, a number of his gal pals have confirmed he is indeed a stingy date. One alleged fling in Las Vegas said she had to tip for him whenever they went out. Another insider told List of the Day (via Boston Herald) that once, while playing a $10,000 blackjack hand, he "pulled a mulligan on a $5 tip, re-pocketing the money meant for a waitress after realizing he had tipped her earlier in the evening."

Perhaps the most telling account came from restaurant hostess Mindy Lawton who had a 14-month affair with Woods. She spoke with Vanity Fair in 2010 and admitted her co-workers did not like the golf legend because he'd whip out a black American Express card and leave a max 15% tip. As for wooing Lawton, he bought her dinner once. She recalled getting a call from Woods who was running late. "He said, 'I'm getting something to eat at Subway,' and I said, 'I'm pretty hungry, too. Could you pick me up a chicken wrap?'" He did, and it was the only time he bought her anything.

Hailey Bieber apologized for her actions

Hailey Bieber isn't afraid to own up to her mistakes. Back in 2020, waitress Julia Carolan took to TikTok to rate various celebrity clients she said she served at a "fancy Manhattan restaurant," and Mrs. Bieber did not get a glowing review. "I've met her a handful of times and every time she was not nice," Carolan said, per Daily Mail. "I really want to like her but I have to give her, like, a 3.5 stars out of 10." When the Rhode founder saw the clip, she quickly took to the comments section to apologize. "Sorry if I've ever given you bad vibes or a bad attitude," she wrote, per Seventeen. "Hate hearing that was your experience with me but glad u called me out so I can do better!!" She also said she hoped to one day be able to apologize in person.

Bieber again talked about the incident in a 2021 interview with psychiatrist Dr. Jess Clemons. "When I saw her video I was so upset," she shared. "There's never an excuse for being rude." Admitting she had obviously made a mistake, she added, "I acted a way that I don't wanna be." After that, she put the video behind her, but the clip resurfaced in 2023 and made the rounds once more. That's when Carolan posted a TikTok followup, encouraging folks to lighten up and not be so cruel to one another online.

Darren Criss wants all eyes on him

Los Angeles waitress Annie Bond went viral in 2021 with a series of TikTok videos in which she ranked the behavior of celebrities she had served in a busy L.A. hotspot over five years. "I'm rating the experience I had with them, not their value as a human being," she explained. While some stars –- think Keanu Reeves, Drew Barrymore, Lady Gaga –- received glowing reviews, others did not. Darren Criss, for example, scored a mere 3/10. "This one's tough because I'm a huge fan of the Harry Potter musical," Bond admitted. Even so, she couldn't help but shade his terrible table manners. "Darren Criss is the guy who comes to the restaurant who doesn't understand that there is one server per table," she explained. Turns out, Criss appears to have a habit of flagging down anyone who's walking by and asking them all for the same thing until he gets it. Case in point: Bond said she wasn't his server but she was working in the same section and "I got flagged down a lot by this guy."

It wasn't the first time Criss was accused of questionable behavior. Over the years, the "Glee" alum has taken heat for denouncing his Filipino heritage, making fun of Caitlyn Jenner, and a slew of other offenses documented in a tumblr post called "Your Fave Is Problematic: Darren Criss," which claim sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, and all-around anti-ally behavior.

James Corden was publicly banned from Balthazar

Perhaps no celeb's rude restaurant behavior has garnered as much attention as James Corden's. After all, the late night host was publicly banned from New York institution Balthazar in October 2022. That's when owner Keith McNally took to Instagram to call Corden "a tiny Cretin of a man" and "the most abusive customer to my Balthazar servers since the restaurant opened 25 years ago." He shared details of two eyebrow-raising instances, starting with one in which Corden reportedly told the manager there was a hair in his plate after he ate the dish and proceeded to demand free drinks for the table while threatening to leave a bad review online. On the second occasion, Corden allegedly "began yelling like crazy to the server: 'You can't do your job!'" after his wife's order was delivered incorrectly.

Days later, Corden shared his side of the story on "The Late Late Show," saying his wife received an omelet with egg whites -– to which she's allergic -– and that her dish was replaced with the wrong thing two more times after that. He said he regretted telling the server he would go cook it himself and explained, "Because I didn't shout or scream, I didn't get up out of my seat, I didn't call anyone names or use derogatory language, I've been walking around thinking that I haven't done anything wrong." Corden also shared that he had called McNally to apologize privately and the ban was quickly lifted.

Jeremy Piven tipped with ... a DVD?!

Like James Corden, Jeremy Piven was once banned from a high-profile restaurant after exhibiting a diva-worthy attitude. It was 2007 and the actor was attending the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado when he decided to have dinner at celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa's restaurant, Matsuhisa. According to an insider who spoke with Daily News, Piven arrived at the busy eatery with a group of 12 and no reservation, and demanded a table. "It was a very busy night, but a table, although cramped, was provided," the source shared. Well, it seems that wasn't enough for Piven.

"On his way out, he made a nasty comment to the manager: 'Thanks for nothing,'" the insider claimed. Adding insult to injury, "He left a DVD of the first year of 'Entourage' to one of the waiters." Well, the staff wasn't having it. Not only did an employee reportedly throw the DVD at Piven while he was walking out, but the manager also banned him from ever returning to Matsuhisa. He was also told to not show up at Chef Nobu's namesake restaurant, Nobu, in either New York or Los Angeles. Piven issued a non-apology through his rep, saying, "The meal was excellent and the service was great."

Piven was once dubbed "the biggest jerk in showbiz," per The Guardian, and his ex, Sarah Tressler, accused him of being rude to fans and waiters and consistently "not acknowledging them," per news.com.au.

Anna Wintour is very particular about her steak

Anna Wintour is known for her ice cold demeanor, and it seems it's not an act. According to Michael Cecchi-Azzolina, who has been a maître d' in a number of New York's poshest restaurants, the fashion icon was "absolutely horrid" every time she came to Raoul's while he worked there. As he wrote in his 2022 memoir, "Your Table is Ready: Tales of a New York City Maître D'," she'd arrive without a reservation or call at the last second before showing up and insisting on a table. She would often order a steak –- rare –- and if it wasn't cooked to her liking, she would let everyone know.

"God forbid it was the least bit overcooked," Cecchi-Azzolina wrote, per New York Post. "She'd look at the server as though he'd just served her rat and have it sent back and redone." In an interview with the outlet, he also recalled how, "one time, she came in and we were closing the back room and she insisted on sitting in the back room and we had to keep a waiter there and give her her own waiter." The staffer was not happy, especially as they received zero gratitude from Wintour. "She doesn't really talk to the staff," Cecchi-Azzolina shared. "She's like I'm having this and that's it."

In 2020, Daily Mail spoke with folks who knew Wintour as a teen and they alleged she was always cruel and, according to reporter Alex Walker who worked for her father, an "absolute monster."

Dennis Rodman was sued by a waitress

Dennis Rodman is no stranger to making headlines, but the allegations brought against him by a cocktail waitress in 1998 were particularly shocking. The basketball great was sued for assault, battery, negligence, false imprisonment, and emotional distress, per CBS News, by a server who claimed he grabbed her breast and put a $100 bill down her shirt while she was working at the Argyle Hotel bar in West Hollywood, California. According to the suit, he cornered her and wouldn't stop touching her until she was able to get away on her hands and knees and hide in the kitchen. Rodman's agent, Dwight Manley, quickly clapped back, denying the story and telling CBS News, "We have experience in dealing with frivolous lawsuits against Dennis in the past and we have vigorously fought them." Jump to 2000 and the case was dismissed as the waitress' lawyer, Gloria Allred, told The Oklahoman the suit had been resolved outside court.

Interestingly, Rodman has also been praised for his tipping. Judd Eades, a Marriott Hotel bellman, told Deseret News in 1997, "He gave tons of money to a bellman for a 20-minute errand." Similarly, in 2023, he was applauded for his behavior at Roscoe's Tavern in Chicago, Illinois where he tipped a drag performer $100 after she teasingly asked for that amount. "I was totally joking and we laughed it off," Ari Gato told Block Club Chicago. "Seconds later, he was at the front of the stage handing me a $100 bill."

Meghan Markle's reputation precedes her

Tabloids have not been kind to Meghan Markle, but according to insider reports, the heat she's received may very well be warranted. Numerous sources and countless stories paint Markle as being incredibly rude to servers and staffers. In 2022, famed New York maitre d' Michael Cecchi-Azzolina told New York Post he saw the duchess' true colors in 2017 when she arrived at Michelin-starred restaurant Le Coucou where he was working at the time. He recalled a woman (reportedly Markle's handler) coming in to demand a private table and saying, "It's for someone who is dating a prince." He did his best to accommodate Markle and her handler, but he said, "They came in with an attitude." What's more, Markle apparently didn't say a single word the entire time.

Even Prince William has reportedly called her rude, as have royal watchers who claim she's notoriously unkind. Royal biographer Katie Nicholl told Yahoo Life UK in 2019 that the queen once had to set her straight. Markle was reportedly tasting food for her wedding reception when she snapped at a staffer. That's when Nicholl says Queen Elizabeth pulled her aside and told her, "Meghan, in this family, we don't speak to people like that." Meanwhile, royal writer Valentine Low alleged in "Courtiers: the Hidden Power Behind the Crown" (via Daily Beast) that Markle would openly berate, belittle, yell at, and verbally abuse her aides.

Did Usher once tip with fake money?

He's worth millions, but Usher has repeatedly been accused of being a bad tipper, with one waiter telling Business Insider (via Page Six) he once left an autograph instead of cash. Another server took to reddit to share a similar experience of waiting on the singer at a joint in what they called "a relatively wealthy suburb of Atlanta." Apparently, the Grammy winner's visit was memorable for all the wrong reasons. "Usher came in and didn't talk directly to me," they wrote. "He had his people (person he was with?) order for him." After the meal, he allegedly didn't tip.

However, the most buzzed about faux pas occurred in 2021 when Usher was accused of using fake money to tip dancers at Sapphire Las Vegas Gentlemen's Club. The drama started when a dancer took to Instagram to post a photo of the fake bills with Usher's face on them ("Usher bucks") and wrote (via TMZ), "Ladies what would you do if you danced all night for Usher and he threw this??" The club's director of marketing, Greg Wilson, was quick to frame it as a misunderstanding. "Usher was a true gentleman and a great guest at the club," Wilson told USA Today, adding that the fake bills were dropped by a member of Usher's team to promote his Vegas residency. He clarified, "He and his crew converted thousands of real dollars to tip the girls dancing on the stage."

Kendall Jenner reportedly doesn't speak to waiters

Kendall Jenner is likely used to getting what she wants so when, at 18, she was refused alcohol at a New York restaurant, she was allegedly rude about it. The incident occurred in 2014 when Jenner and Hailey Bieber were having lunch at The Mercer Kitchen. A source told Page Six, "The staff wouldn't serve her [booze] because she's underage." So, when the bill of around $60 arrived, they allege "Kendall got up and left and didn't pay for all the food." The story took a turn for the worse when their server, actor Blaine Morris, went after them and Jenner and Bieber reportedly laughed in her face. "Kendall took a couple of $20 bills out of her wallet, threw them at the server and walked away, not even counting if it was enough or if it included a tip," the source claimed.

Jump to 2017 and a photo surfaced showing Jenner hadn't tipped at a Brooklyn bar. She clapped back, tweeting, "damn, I guess next time we won't tip in cash," but the bar denounced that claim. Then, in 2020, she was criticized again, this time by waitress Julia Carolan who told TikTok she often waited on the model at a fancy New York restaurant. "She used to come in all the time but was pretty cold toward staff," said Carolan, per Daily Mail, giving her a 4/10 rating. "She also usually has someone speak for her and doesn't speak directly to staff."

Warren Sapp once proclaimed 'boys don't tip'

Warren Sapp went viral back in 2014 for exhibiting some seriously shady table manners. A waitress from Upper Deck Ale and Sports Grill in Miami, Florida took a photo of a bill showing how Sapp had left a $0 tip on a $69.39 tab and wrote this helpful message on the receipt: "Boys don't tip." She reportedly sent said photo to her sister who then made it public, and it was soon tweeted by ESPN's Darren Rovell. The football player stood by his actions and quickly clapped back, "Darren u wasn't there so #ShooFly." He also responded to a number of critics to explain himself, writing, "It was horrible and the service was worst." What's more, he alleged, "She kept calling us boys so the tip fit!"

Meanwhile, the restaurant's owner reviewed surveillance footage to see what really happened and told TMZ that Sapp received "phenomenal" service as two staffers checked in on him a whopping 22 times during the two hours he was there. As for the waitress who started it all, she told WINZ-AM (via CBS Sports) that Sapp snapped at her when she greeted him and his friend with a "Hey boys, what can I get you to drink?" He reportedly fumed, "We're not boys –- I'm a man." As she noted, "boys" is simply her go-to. "Saying 'Hey men, what do you want to drink?' sounds kind of weird, I think," she mused.

Rachael Ray has made a long list of enemies

Rachael Ray has been publicly dissed by a long list of peers, bloggers, fans –- and servers. The TV personality has been accused of tipping a mere 10%, and numerous reports appear to corroborate the fact that she is stingy, and not very nice. One server from a "hip burger restaurant" in Austin took to reddit to share an alleged incident in which Ray was rude to both a fan and a waiter. A customer who loved Ray reportedly sent a drink over to her table, and the gesture was met with a blowout. "Rachel Ray gets all crazy celeb on her and goes, 'Does it look like I need a new drink right now?'" claimed the redditor. And it didn't end there. "Later, she shakes her freshly empty glass at my coworker and says, 'See how you can see the ice in my glass? NOW I'm ready for a new drink.'" A fellow reddit user said they witnessed similar behavior at another joint. "She was really snippy with the bartender/waitress," they wrote. "When she finally got her food and they asked how it was, she just kind of motioned as if to say 'whatever.'"

And it's not just waiters she allegedly snaps at. One reviewer who attended a taping of her show shared their horrible experience on TripAdvisor, writing, "She berates her employees, does not acknowledge the audience or thank them for coming [and] you could tell that her employees were afraid of her."

LeBron James reportedly likes his food to be cut up for him

LeBron James is a superstar on the basketball court but not so much off it, according to a waitress who served the NBA icon at a steakhouse in Cleveland, Ohio in 2011. She alleged that James had quite the particular request during dinner –- one a child might make. "LeBron would ask his servers to have his steak (well done) already cut up for him," she revealed, per Yahoo! Sports. The server in question also told NBC Miami that James was a bad tipper, so she would automatically add a gratuity to his bill whenever he came in with a party of six or more. He would reportedly try to get out of it by telling her, "They're not with me," but she'd stand firm.

The outlet also learned of a similar incident that had occurred at Johnny's Downtown, also in Cleveland. This time, James allegedly asked a server to take his spaghetti back to the kitchen to be cut up. And it seems the bad etiquette doesn't end there. A source told the mag he "made bartenders cry on more than one occasion," and in 2011, he was accused of keeping a Cleveland steakhouse open until 4am for his exclusive use, then leaving a measly $10 tip on an $800 bill.

Naomi Campbell is not an A-list customer

Naomi Campbell has built quite the reputation for being the ultimate diva, and she's proud of it. So much so that in a 2000 interview with Barbara Walters, she proclaimed, "If I'm gonna be remembered for something, I want to be remembered for being a b***h." But she doesn't just have a strong personality or a bad attitude. No, the supermodel has been charged with assault on more than one occasion. In 2000, for example, she pleaded guilty to beating her former assistant, Georgina Galanis. Then, in 2008, she pleaded guilty to assaulting police officers who escorted her off a British Airways flight after she had a meltdown over a missing bag.

Her violent behavior has allegedly affected assistants, secretaries, and housekeepers. Restaurant staff have not been spared from her wrath either. According to famed New York maître d' Michael Cecchi-Azzolina, she is rude to waiters and not someone you want in your establishment. Cecchi-Azzolina told New York Post that when he worked at Raoul's in SoHo, Campbell would come in without a reservation, be overly demanding, and dislike the food. "She was someone we dreaded coming in," he revealed. "She needed a lot of attention [and] she sent back her food quite a few times."

LeSean McCoy left a $0.20 tip and defended it

It's safe to say NFL pro LeSean McCoy won't be returning to PYT Burger in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Following a dinner in 2014, he left a mere $0.20 tip on a $61.56 check, then told ESPN his petty move was justified. "A 20-cent tip is kind of a statement," he declared. "You can't disrespect somebody and expect them to tip you." He also said he left his name on purpose and that he was sure the waiter wasn't having a bad day but rather was flat-out rude. "I tip on my service," he underscored. Tommy Up, the restaurant's owner, wasn't having it. Taking to Facebook to share his side of the story (via NJ.com), he said it was McCoy and his three friends who were rude. "They were given excellent service," Up wrote. "He and his group, from the moment they sat down, were verbally abusive to our staff in the most insulting ways." He also alleged McCoy made derogatory statements about women.

Just one year later, in 2015, Ava Graham, a waitress at Chickie's and Pete's in Philadelphia, also slammed his rude behavior. "I'd walk up [and] I'd stand there for a few minutes because he'd have his Beat headphones on," she said, per Daily Mail. "He wouldn't even look up at me while I stood there waiting for his order." What's more, she claimed he'd make waitresses crack open his crab claws for him.

Julia Roberts was a mean girl at dinner

Before Julianna Margulies was a successful actor, she was an aspiring talent who had to wait tables in order to make ends meet. She was 23 and working as a server in New York City when Julia Roberts (who was the same age but already a household name) came in. As she told David Letterman in 2010, the "Pretty Woman" star was not very pretty in her behavior. "She's lovely when you're not waiting on her," Margulies quipped. "The Good Wife" actor went on to share how she actually told Roberts about the incident, and before she could tell the whole story, the "Notting Hill" actor already knew it wouldn't be good. "I said, 'You know, I waited on you once,'" Margulies recalled. "And she said, 'Oh God, was I horrible?' and I was like 'Yeah, kind of.'" Roberts immediately owned up to her bad behavior, apologized, and bought her dinner.

Unfortunately, it seems her mean girl past wasn't totally behind her. In 2009, Gawker ran a report about Roberts being incredibly inconsiderate while having dinner in New York City. "Julia Roberts (and kids) being shockingly rude to staff while her kids had a great time running all around the restaurant," an insider wrote. "America's sweetheart is a total ... rhymes with rich."

Kirsten Dunst apparently doesn't believe in tipping

Kirsten Dunst has been acting since she was a child and yet, despite having a long list of roles under her belt, you rarely hear about her. As she herself told Sirius XM's "In-Depth With Larry Flick" in 2019, she doesn't feel like she gets enough positive feedback for her work. "I've never been recognized in my industry; I've never been nominated for anything," she mused. "Maybe they think I'm just the girl from 'Bring It On.'"

Or maybe it's because she's reportedly not very nice to those around her. In 2015, Eliza Pharrell, an assistant manager at a swanky New York City restaurant, told Fox News that the actor is not as sweet as she may appear. "The tangle of fame and fortune can also result in terrible tippers," she told the mag. "Kirsten Dunst came through and ran up a $233 bill and left without even the smallest gratuity." According to Insider, it wasn't the first or last time that Dunst would be stingy. Apparently, the "Marie Antoinette" star has made a habit of not tipping staff at all. Even when a manager (who was a fan) comped her dinner at an eatery in Hollywood, California, she allegedly walked out and left behind a big 0% tip for the warm hospitality.