Lunch With Buffett Will Cost $4.5 Million

New York City steakhouses are expensive but $4,567,888 for nine people? That was the winning bid to have lunch with Warren Buffett at Smith & Wollensky in Manhattan.

The tab is a record for the annual lunch which is a fundraiser for The Glide Foundation in San Francisco. The winning bidder, whose identity has not been revealed, can bring seven friends to the lunch.

This was the 20th annual bidding to lunch with the investment guru and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., with Glide being the beneficiary each time. The event has raised roughly $34.2 million for the charity over the years.

The 2018 bid was $150,000 short of the previous record of $3.45 million in 2016. This is the 10th time a winner has chosen to remain anonymous. The last announced winning bidder was Zhu Ye of Dalian Zeus Entertainment Co., who paid $2,345, 678 in 2015. In 2014, Andy Chua of Singapore paid $2,166,766 for the dining experience.
The Glide Foundation is a social justice organization. Glide has served the Tenderloin and San Francisco since 1963. Glide Chief Executive Officer Karen Hanrahan told Bloomberg News that she’s seeing longer lines of needy people at the nonprofit.
Five bidders battled for a spot at the table, so to speak, making 18 bids. All bidders had to be prequalified by Matchfire, the auction manager. Bidders had to successfully place a “test” bid with Matchfire’s assistance prior to bidding in the auction. All bidders had to have reached the age of legal majority in the country from which they are bidding.
Only principals were permitted to enter bids. Bidding by silent or “secret” partner or by proxy was permitted and at GLIDE’s sole discretion, a basis for rejecting any bid and/or for revoking GLIDE’s acceptance of any winning bid.