The Mall Fast Food Restaurant Where Eva Mendes Once Worked

Eva Mendes' acting career spans over two and a half decades, so it's hard to imagine her working anywhere other than in the film industry. But once upon a time, before she was making movies and appearing on our TV screens, the "Hitch" actor earned her paycheck by working at the food court in her local mall.

Although Mendes partnered up with McDonald's Australia in 2022, Mickey D's was not the CIRCA Beauty founder's former place of employment (but it was the fast food restaurant that Rachel McAdams worked at before becoming famous). Rather, Mendes spent her teenage days serving customers at the Hot Dog on a Stick. The actor made the move to the California-based chain after a stint at another restaurant in the Glendale Galleria mall — a pizza and pasta place called Ciao where she finagled her way out of working the pizza oven by paying a fellow employee to take on the role whenever it was assigned to her.

At Hot Dog on a Stick, however, Mendes couldn't get out of doing anything. "They are very strict about that, you have to rotate and dip the dog and do the lemonade and do the cash register — it's a whole thing," she told the Wall Street Journal. "They run that operation with an iron fist," she recalled.

Why Eva Mendes was fired from Hot Dog on a Stick

While it seemed that Eva Mendes learned her lesson about swapping duties with her co-workers, she was, unfortunately, terminated from Hot Dog on a Stick. During a 2022 radio appearance on KIIS-FM's Australian radio program "Will & Woody," she revealed that her food court gig was the only job at the Glendale Galleria that she'd ever been fired from — though probably not for the reason that you think.

"Oh God, this is bad, too, but I was a Secret Santa, and I gave an inappropriate gift," she admitted to the radio hosts. And while she wouldn't share any details on the NSFW present that led to her being laid off, Mendes did share the silver lining she found in the situation. "The good thing about getting fired is, you get to collect unemployment," she said.

Though it probably didn't feel very good at the time, Mendes is actually in good company in terms of stars who were fired from their fast-food jobs. As it turns out, "Grey's Anatomy" actor Kate Walsh and Queen Latifa were both fired from Burger King. And long before she was belting out songs and Vogue-ing on stage, Madonna spent a week working at Dunkin' Donuts before being let go.