July 14, 2024

DealBook: The $2.6 Million Buffett Power Lunch

Lunch in New York just got a little more expensive.

An auction to dine in the city with Warren E. Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, raised a record $2,626,411 on Friday.

The winning bid was $2,345,678. But after the auction closed, the winner, whose name was not revealed, pledged an additional chunk of cash, topping last year’s record-setting amount by $100, according The San Francisco Chronicle.

The five-day auction, held on eBay, stalled after one bidder trumped a rival by a mere $100 last Monday. Bidders did not pick up their virtual paddles again until the auction chugged toward its close.

Proceeds from the auction will benefit Glide, a charitable foundation in San Francisco that provides assistance to the poor and homeless. The foundation was supported by Mr. Buffett’s late wife, Susan T. Buffett, who died in 2004.

The winner and seven friends will have the opportunity to break bread and chew the fat with Mr. Buffett at Smith Wollensky, a prominent New York steakhouse. The top bidder last year, who chose to remain anonymous, paid $2,626,311 million to dine with the Oracle of Omaha.

Previous winners of the auction, now in its 12th year, include David Einhorn, the hedge fund manager seeking to seal a deal for a minority stake in the New York Mets.

“The Glide lunch has become one of the highlights of the year for me,” Mr. Buffett wrote in an e-mail on Friday. “I meet some terrific new friends and we raise more money for a wonderful cause than I would have thought possible just a few years ago. I also get to enjoy a delicious steak at Smith Wollensky.”

But how much gratuity does one leave on a $2.6 million power lunch?

“The service by Branko and Mike is terrific,” Mr. Buffett said, referring to two waiters at the restaurant, “but I don’t leave a 20 percent tip.”

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=de3329d96add3af527ae093397c38c8a

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