Which ‘Below Deck’ Chef Scored The Biggest Tip? The Answer May Surprise You

Working on a Below Deck and Below Deck Mediterranean superyacht looks like a pretty lucrative gig. Tip meetings often produce thousands of dollars in cash for each crew member, not to mention that the crew lives on the yacht for free.

A number of Below Deck and Below Deck Med yachties have shared with Showbiz Cheat Sheet that they made bank while working on yachts. Deckhand Colin Macy-O’Toole from Below Deck Med said college grads could really clean up if they hit the yachting circuit right out of school. “I’d probably start right out of college at age 22 and then put in about five years of work on yachts,” he said.

Ben Robinson
Ben Robinson |Virginia Sherwood/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Bosun João Franco has heard of crew members making nearly $45,000 in tip money alone. “On charter boats, tips can be as much as €4,000 per person, per week and in some cases even more,” he said. “We’ve heard of crew members that rack up €40,000 in a summer season each, just on tips!” 

But what about tips during the series?

Decider broke down the tip totals throughout the franchise and ranked which show and season made the most bank. Thus far, Below Deck, season five walked away as the biggest winner. The crew, led by Captain Lee Rosbach scored $168,000 in tip money that season.

A close second was Below Deck season six, followed by Below Deck Med season four. The crew made $155,000 during season four under Captain Sandy Yawn’s leadership.

The saddest tip was Below Deck season one. That crew only made $56,650 in tip money. According to Decider’s numbers, it appears that tip money seemed to increase as the show gained popularity. With the exception of season five being the biggest payout, maybe guests realized their tip money was going to be on air and tipped accordingly.

Usually, the chef makes a big difference in the tip

When chef Mila Kolomeitseva was serving Old El Paso tacos to guests, the crew panicked, remarking how the chef carries a large part of the tip. However, Kolomeitseva didn’t kill the season, as Below Deck Med, season four produced the highest crew tips in the series history. But when Decider broke down the tip amount per chef for a single charter, the numbers were pretty surprising.

A few chefs were standouts according to guests and the crew. Chef Adrian Martin from Below Deck season six was considered to be a culinary genius. Plus, guests couldn’t get enough of whatever chef Ben Robinson from Below Deck and Below Deck Med and chef Adam Glick from Below Deck Med were cooking.

But which chef scored the biggest crew tip from a single charter? The winner goes to chef Matt Burns from Below Deck season five. His food helped to deliver a $30,000 tip from the guests on episode 14, according to Decider. Coming in a close second was third stew turned (temporary) chef Anastasia Surmava. Charter guests Daniel and Sheree Funsch left the crew $27,000, which solidified Surmava’s role as a chef. At least for a few episodes.

Where did the rockstar chefs land? Robinson helped to generate a $26,000 tip in a single charter, thanks to “rocketship man” Dean Slover. Glick helped to bring in $25,000 and Martin’s fare helped to score a $22,000 tip for the crew.