Complaint Desk

Mark Zuckerberg Gets Called Out for Not Tipping In Italy, Where Not Tipping is Customary. We Have a Few Tips.

Mark Zuckerberg and his new wife Priscilla Chan are spending some time in Rome on their honeymoon, during which they are expected to purchase both Rome and patent for pasta. Yesterday The Telegraph out of London reported that the newlyweds had lunch at Nonna Betta, a kosher restaurant in Rome's Jewish neighborhood. After lunch, the owners of the restaurant criticized Zuckerberg for not leaving a tip.

Thing is, tipping isn't customary in Italy because it's already worked into the bill. But Americans are so accustomed to tipping that the habit often gets the best of them, a trend rarely missed by European waiters. You could say it's almost expected of Americans to tip, but certainly not locals. Hey, Nonna Betta, see the lady in the red jacket in the middle of the picture, how much did she tip?

Obviously things are different when you're Zuck. In Jim Carrey fashion, a la Dumb and Dumber, he should walk through places throwing money, right?

In lieu of a five Euro tip, we came up with five (eight after converting to the Euro) tips for the owners of Nonna Betta:

Tip 1: Maybe start a Facebook page ripping on Zuck for not leaving a tip. Or, even better, #YoZucks,Where'sMyTip?

Tip 2: You had the opportunity to handle this with grace and gratitude since they chose to dine at your restaurant while on their honeymoon. If he gets married again, I wouldn't hold a table.

Tip 3: Treat every customer as a Yelper with elite status. You have no idea what this man is capable of after he's had a few beers and is a ruing from public embarrassment -- in a crowded restaurant, nonetheless.

Tip 4: Zuckerberg's estimated worth is around $19 billion and some change, while today Italy is having a fire sale on billions in debt. I'm not sure of the specifics, but I'm thinking he could buy your country. "Country of Zuckerberg" or "Facebook-landia" or even "Like This" doesn't quite roll of the tongue like "Italy."

Tip 5: Before getting snippy about Zuckerberg's lack of "parsimony," consider that the FB founder's visit just made you the most popular little mom-and-pop restaurant in all of Rome.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.