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How Many Mimosas Will Trigger The Restaurant Vomit Fee?

By Orgesta Tolaj


23 October 2023

Restaurant vomit fee

Are you a responsible drinker? Well, to test it out, in recent years, some restaurants in California have adopted creative strategies to encourage responsible alcohol consumption, particularly during events like bottomless brunch. One notable approach involves imposing a restaurant vomit fee on customers who vomit in public spaces due to excessive drinking. San Francisco’s Kitchen Story initiated this practice, with a sign in the bathroom clearly warning patrons of a $50 cleaning fee if they were to throw up in the restaurant. Here is what the purpose of it all is.

What Is the Restaurant Vomit Fee?

Several restaurants in California, including Kitchen Story in San Francisco, have taken an unconventional approach to curb excessive drinking during bottomless brunch. They are initiating a cleaning fee for customers who vomit in public spaces. Kitchen Story, a popular brunch spot that offers bottomless mimosas for 60 minutes, made this policy known through a sign in their restroom, as reported by SFGate. The sign conveys a message to “mimosa lovers,” urging them to consume alcohol responsibly and be aware of their limits. It further warns that a $50 restaurant vomit fee will automatically be added to their bill if they throw up in the restaurant’s public areas.

restaurant vomit fee
© Monika Grabkowska / Unsplash

The owner of Kitchen Story, Steven Choi, revealed that this sign has been in place for nearly two years. It was introduced after the staff had to invest a considerable amount of time cleaning up after customers who had imbibed a bit too much. The policy became especially relevant during the pandemic when the sensitivity of both customers and staff was heightened. However, Kitchen Story is not the only establishment implementing such a policy. Its primary purpose is to encourage customers to think about the impact of their actions on others. Additionally, it would show people to act more responsibly when enjoying their bottomless mimosas during brunch.

What Is the Purpose Behind the Restaurant Vomit Fee?

The co-owner of Kitchen Story, Chaiporn Kitsadaviseksak, reported that the sign warning of a cleaning fee has effectively discouraged customers from getting sick in the restaurant’s public spaces. He couldn’t recall the last time someone was charged the restaurant vomit fee. However, there were multiple incidents of customers vomiting before the sign was installed. The fear of COVID-19 played a role in customers’ behavior, making them more conscious of their actions. Another San Francisco restaurant, Home Plate, also put up a similar sign. Their sign is a warning to customers about a $50 cleaning fee for incidents related to intoxication. Owner Teerut Boon mentioned that this policy was introduced due to issues with customers vomiting after drinking in 2021, similar to Kitchen Story’s concerns.

How Does It Work?

The Sycamore, a San Francisco gastropub, employs a unique approach to ensure responsible drinking. They have a designated staff member known as the “mimosa fairy” who refills glasses with mimosas from a pitcher during the two-hour brunch. The “mimosa fairy” makes regular rounds to the dining area. Afterward, refilling drinks approximately every 15 minutes while also monitoring customer behavior.

The staff at The Sycamore is trained to prevent customers from overindulging in alcohol. This comes following Responsible Beverage Service training guidelines from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The goal is to create a pleasant and safe atmosphere for patrons. The issue comes as excessive drinking and its consequences, such as vomiting, can disrupt the enjoyable dining experience.

How Did People React to the Excessive Drinking Fee at Restaurants?

Despite customer complaints leading to the removal of the warning sign in July, the restaurant vomit fee policy remains in place at Home Plate. The warning from the sign has been relocated to the bottom of the restaurant’s menu. It is located right under the price of bottomless mimosas per person. Additionally, the menu also states that customers are limited to 75 minutes of bottomless mimosas.

In a different approach to promoting responsible drinking, The Sycamore, a San Francisco gastropub, monitors customer alcohol consumption without imposing a cleaning fee. Co-owner Liz Ryan mentioned that one staff member keeps an eye on patrons to ensure they drink responsibly. However, the approach differs from that of Home Plate and Kitchen Story.

Do you think the restaurant vomit fee should be included everywhere? Or are these way too extreme measures? Let us know in the comments below!

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Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!