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The Daily Dish Vanderpump Rules

Check Out The Vanderpump Rules Cast Members Who Worked at SUR

Discover who on the show worked at the restaurant — and who is still clocking in.

By Sophie Vilensky

You know that it's our time... to clock in for a shift at SUR. Today's order of business? A deep dive into the careers of the Vanderpump Rules cast, who famously became close (as friends and enemies) while working at the Los Angeles restaurant.

How to Watch

Watch Vanderpump Rules on Bravo Tuesdays at 8/7c and next day on Peacock. Catch up on the Bravo app.  

“Working at SUR is different from working at any other restaurant,” Stassi Schroeder said in Season 1, Episode 1. “The servers here all want to be models, actors, writers, singers. The servers at other Hollywood restaurants just want to be waiters at SUR.”

Producers agree, noting that people come into the restaurant "all the time" to ask if they're hiring.

So, which of the cast members actually made the cut when it came to the highly desirable service positions? And what did they do there? Read on to find out who from the cast of Vanderpump Rules has worked at SUR, including who still clocks in at the WeHo hotspot.

Vanderpump Rules Season 1 Sur Tour 05

Do Vanderpump Rules cast members really work at SUR?

Yes, anyone who has said they work at SUR does, in fact, work at SUR. Owner Lisa Vanderpump wouldn't have it any other way.

"Part of the deal is if they're working at the restaurant on the show, they have to work there legitimately," she told Thrillist in 2016. "If they're behind the bar, they have to really work."

That isn't, naturally, the whole story.

"Of course, when we're filming, they have to comply with what production is doing and what they need them for," she added. "They work about three days a week while we're filming, and that's five months of the year. They get a month or two off to do press and appearances promoting the show while it's airing, because they do a lot of promotion."

Seth Rogen's Plan to Become a SURver

Who still works at SUR?

Manager Peter Madrigal is the only person who worked at SUR in Season 1 that still clocks in. While he revealed during a Season 10 never-before-scene episode that he wants to own his own lounge one day, he's not ready to go "right now."

RELATED: Everything to Know About the Vanderpump Rules Producers Who “Still Get Shocked” by the Drama

“They didn’t fully trust me until about two years after [I started in 2008]. When I really started to get to know Ken and Lisa more was when they made me the manager of their restaurant. It was right before the summer of 2011,” he shared in an old interview. “I can legitimately say that I’m Ken and Lisa’s friend at this point because I don’t want anything from them. I just want a little bit of respect, and that’s it. I want respect and that’s all.”

Daily Dish Vpr Peter Madrigal

What does Peter Madrigal do at SUR?

The VPR staple has been working at SUR since 2008, and now runs the whole operation. Originally hired as a busboy, he eventually worked his way up to a server/bartender position and has been in a managerial role since 2011. 

"At the time we were going through a recession, or the recession was going to be upon us soon, and I just wanted anything I could get. That’s all I wanted," Peter told the Daily Dish in 2017. "I wanted to take anything I could get at the time. I was like, 'You know what? Suck it up. I’ll just work my way to the top from bus boy to server/bartender.' That’s what I did."

Lisa’s Vlogs Ep 4: New Blonde Bartender, New SUR Drama

Did Ariana Madix work at SUR?

Ariana Madix to SUR from Lisa's Villa Blanca restaurant — much to the chagrin of her future boyfriend Tom Sandoval's then-girlfriend, Kristen Doute. The Dancing With the Stars contestant first transferred to the restaurant at the beginning of Season 2, and Kristen wasn't thrilled her boyfriend would be working in close quarters with a girl he was good friends with.

While Ariana no longer works at the restaurant, she's still a successful cocktail-maker. Her second cocktail book, Single AF Cocktails: Drinks for Bad B*tches, was released in December 2023.

Meet Tom

Did Tom Sandoval work at SUR?

Tom Sandoval worked at SUR from 2012 until at least 2019.

Before that, he worked at Villa Blanca for three years. To fans delight, he kept his bartending job at SUR after opening TomTom, his own restaurant that he owns as a junior partner alongside Tom Schwartz.

"People ask why I still bartend [at SUR], and simply put... BC I CAN, & I LIKE IT!" he wrote in an Instagram post in February 2019. "Also Sur is Family, they are like my LA-St. Louis! And like St. Louis, my home town, You never forget where you came from." 

Tom Schwartz Interviews With Lisa

Did Tom Schwartz work at SUR?

Tom Schwartz never worked at SUR, but he did work at PUMP... for a couple of hours. After having an apparent anxiety attack, he left in the middle of his shift and was eventually fired.

"I was like, 'Tom, if you leave this bar you're not coming back,'" manager Michael told Lisa in Season 3, Episode 4

"I've known him for years. I've turned him down for a job for years because he wanted to work at SUR," Lisa responded. "He begged for a job. I'm going to ring that little f-cker's neck."

Tom Schwartz Quits PUMP

Did Scheana Shay work at SUR?

During Season 1 of Vanderpump Rules, Scheana Shay came over from sister restaurant Villa Blanca to join the SUR team and didn't receive a very warm welcome from some coworkers. Nevertheless, she eventually wooed them with her work ethic and kept the job (with no suspensions or firings) for longer than many.

Prior to serving at SUR, Scheana had plenty of restaurant experience: She got her first job in hospitality at age 16.

Meet Scheana

Did James Kennedy work at SUR?

Over the years, James Kennedy worked at the restaurant as both a busser and a DJ — getting both fired and re-hired multiple times along the way.

Soon after he joined the SUR family, he became enemies with Sandoval because he was dating Tom's ex, Kristen. Still, the men tried to put their differences aside while at work.

"When I'm at work, I'm doing my job. He doesn't look at me and talk sh-t when I'm working, and I don't do that to him," James told Lisa during a staff meeting in Episode 2 of Season 3. 

They later became close enough friends that Tom paid for half of James' very expensive Season 9 marriage proposal, but the two had a falling out in Season 10 when it was discovered that Tom had been having an affair with James ex-fiancée while still living with Ariana.

Lisa Vanderpump Fires James

Did Katie Maloney work at SUR?

Katie Maloney was one of SUR's most loyal and hardest workers, having started the job in October 2009 — just a year after Peter Madrigal. 

"I had dinner with some friends at SUR and I fell in love with the whole vibe, the next day I brought in my resume," she shared in a Q&A with producers.

Meet Katie

Did Lala Kent work at SUR?

Lala Kent was a hostess at SUR, having joined the show in Season 4, Episode 2. 

In her memoir, Give Them Lala, she revealed that she first visited SUR at age 18 and eventually got a short-lived job there when she was 23. Years later, she happened to run into Lisa, who offered her another hostess job at SUR with the possibility of appearing on the show.

"Never had I aspired to the unscripted life, cameras following me around, broadcasting my most intimate moments, hell no," Lala wrote. 

Meet SUR's New Hostess Lala

Did Jax Taylor work at SUR?

When Vanderpump Rules started, Jax Taylor was a regular bartender at SUR.

In a Q&A at the time, he said that Stassi Schroeder (his then-girlfriend) was the reason he applied for the job, and that the best part about the gig was working with his friends.