Celebrities Who Worked at Fast Food Restaurants Before They Were Famous

Even Hollywood's biggest stars had to start somewhere

01 of 14

Maria Menounos

maria menunos
maria menunos/ instagram

The star is decked out in Dunkin' swag for a podcast promotion, but she comes by her love of Dunkies honestly: She worked there from age 13 to 19. On her Instagram stories, she showed off her nametag from the chain formerly known as Dunkin' Donuts and told her Better Together co-hosts how important it was to her: "This nametag was at my bank safe deposit box ... I literally don't want to lose this that bad, because it's such a big part of my history!"

The job also had its benefits: "I learned the value of hard work, hospitality, and believe it or not, hosting (I Vanna White'd the HELL out of those donuts 😂," she wrote on Instagram.

02 of 14

Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt/Instagram

The star returned to the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., where he was first discovered as a budding actor while working there over 20 years ago. "Every time I go back I'm reminded of the thousands of shrimp I ate off of people's plates on the way back to the kitchen," he wrote on Instagram. "Please tip your server. Leave at least 20%. Also leave some shrimp."

03 of 14

Kate McKinnon

'The Spy Who Dumped Me' film screening, Arrivals, New York, USA - 29 Jul 2018
Stephen Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Long before the comedian was making people laugh on Saturday Night Live, McKinnon was scooping cones at Cold Stone Creamery. "Now that was a fun job because the real task of the job was to steal small samples of the ice cream without people noticing," she said on Live with Kelly and Ryan.

04 of 14

Andy Grammer

Andy Grammer Performs On NBC's "Today"
Noam Galai/WireImage

Before the "Keep Your Head Up" singer was a pop star, he worked at McDonald's in his hometown of Chester, New York. "I make a mean McFlurry," he said on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.

05 of 14

Busy Philipps

The 22nd Annual Critics' Choice Awards - Red Carpet
Christopher Polk/Getty

While guest hosting Live with Kelly and Ryan, the actress said she worked as a hostess at California Pizza Kitchen in high school, which came with perks. "It was the golden era of CPK really. And I ate free every time I worked. The servers weirdly got a discount, but they would give the host/hostess a free meal every time they worked. Maybe because we weren't getting paid much." Philipps added that she worked there until she landed her Freaks and Geeks pilot, noting the position instilled a work ethic in her while she was young: "My parents did buy me a car, I lived in Arizona, but I had to pay for the car insurance. Every month I had to give my dad a check."

06 of 14

Jenna Fischer

Jenna Fischer/Instagram

"Me at one of my first jobs running the cash register at Long John Silver's," The Office star captioned this throwback photo. "My parents taught me that if I wanted something I had to work for it and earn my own money," she added.

07 of 14

James Franco

Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Hulu

The actor appreciated his job at the McDonald's drive-thru so much, he penned a doting op-ed to the burger chain in The Washington Post. In it, he credits Mickey D's with helping him hone his accents as a struggling actor — and keeping him fed with burgers that were "headed for the trash."

08 of 14


Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Billboard Magazine

Before she was a certified material girl, Madonna was behind the cash register at Dunkin' Donuts in Times Square — but not for long. The pop star was fired after one day for squirting jelly on a customer.

09 of 14

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson At ITV Studios in London

The Dreamgirls star got her start at Burger King and made a return visit to the drive-thru with James Corden during her Carpool Karaoke episode.

10 of 14

Eva Longoria

Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty

"I wanted to have a Quinceañera when I was 15 and my family didn't have the money, so I got a job at Wendy's and paid for it myself," the actress revealed to Redbook.

11 of 14

J.J. Watt

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After leaving a scholarship at Central Michigan and before walking onto the University of Wisconsin's football team, Watt took a job delivering pizzas for Pizza Hut in Pewaukee, Wisconsin to make money. "I've been back to that Pizza Hut a couple of times and every time I drive by, I get that feeling, 'I used to work here, delivering pizzas, mopping floors and now I work in the NFL,'" the Houston Texans star told USA Today. Watt, now a celebrity spokesperson for Papa John's, added, "It was a humbling experience, it brought me back to earth, and it was a good experience. I wouldn't be who I am today if I hadn't done that."

12 of 14

Nick Cannon

USO 75th Anniversary Armed Forces Gala & Gold Medal Dinner
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To help his mother "make ends meet," the comedian got a job at Weinerschitzel when he was 17. "I ended up getting fired because I was playing on the intercom system at the drive-thru, telling jokes," he told MTV.

13 of 14

Rachel McAdams

"Doctor Strange" - Red Carpet Launch Event - Arrivals
Mike Marsland/WireImage

"I had a small town life — I worked at the local McDonald's for three years," the Canadian actress told the New York Times of life before fame.

14 of 14

Amy Adams

W Magazine Celebrates the Best Performances Portfolio and the Golden Globes with Audi and Moet & Chandon
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The actress' first job out of high school was as a hostess, then waitress, at Hooter's. "It was a great way for me to earn money for college," she told ET.

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