Wednesday 21 March 2018

Zucker punch: honeymooning tycoon leaves tip jar empty

Nick Squires in Rome

He may be worth $20bn, but when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg took his new wife to lunch during their secret honeymoon in Rome he spent just €32 -- and did not leave a tip.

The owners of the kosher restaurant in Rome's Jewish Ghetto -- a historic quarter in the centre of the city -- were surprised when Mr Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan walked away without leaving a gratuity.

Their bill came to just €32 after a lunch consisting of deep-fried artichokes -- a Roman-Jewish speciality -- fried pumpkin flowers and ravioli stuffed with sea bass and artichokes. Instead of wine or beer they opted for a bottle of water and a pot of tea.

Waiters at Nonna Betta, which specialises in Roman Jewish cuisine, were amazed by Mr Zuckerberg's parsimony, not just because of his huge wealth but because of Americans' reputation for tipping generously, as is expected of them at home.

It was not a case of not enjoying the meal, said the owner of the restaurant.

"I asked him 'how was it?' and he said 'very good'," the owner, identified only as Umberto, told 'Corriere della Sera' newspaper.

"I had gone up to him and said 'Are you . . .?' and he said 'Yes'."

It was not the first time that the multi-billionaire chose not to tip -- he reportedly did the same thing the night before at Pierluigi, a historic trattoria near Campo de' Fiori, a piazza in the heart of Rome.

The couple's honeymoon was a closely guarded secret until a Polish tourist spotted them in the Sistine Chapel, snapped a blurry photograph, and posted it on Twitter.

True to his casual style, the internet tycoon was wearing jeans, a T-shirt and trainers.

They left Rome on Monday, with speculation that they might be heading towards the Amalfi Coast south of Naples before heading back to the US. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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