Skip to main content

Brunch vomiting: San Francisco restaurants are fining customers for this gross habit, and every city should do the same

Bottomless mimosas are great, but not holding your liquor isn't

Sabel Blanco / Pexels

It may very well be that until now, brunch was the last nice thing. It’s the one meal that remains untouched and cheapened by paper napkins and obnoxiously fluorescent drive-thru menus. It’s the one meal where people still dare to dress for the occasion in pretty florals and sophisticated neckwear. If guests are invited for brunch, it’s more than likely to be an occasion with soft linens and sparkling china. Yes, we’ve been good to brunch. And brunch has returned the favor, magically turning day drinking into something sophisticated instead of tacky. But, as it goes, all good things must come to an end. And it would appear that time is now. At least in San Francisco restaurants.

Of course, not being able to hold one’s alcohol isn’t a new development, but it’s always carried with it a good level of deserved embarrassment and secrecy. Now, we certainly aren’t here to judge, and overindulgence is something that’s gotten the better of all of us more than a handful of times, to be sure. But when public vomiting is a brunch behavior that’s become so normalized that restaurants are making rules around this one specific issue, we, as a society, have a problem.

Due to an increased level of tableside vomiting as a result of brunchtime bottomless mimosas, many Bay Area restaurants have begun charging a standard cleaning fee for the occurrence. So regular is this service necessary that it is posted directly in many restaurants right next there on the menu. You know, just your typical San Francisco brunch menu: Eggs benedict, French toast, vomit service, housemade granola with blackberries. The usual.

Because so many people these days are overindulging in the ever-popular brunchtime favorite, bottomless mimosas, restaurants are starting to take a stand. The disgusting burden of having to mop up more than crumbs and maple syrup has taken its toll on servers, and now, those who can’t hang must pay.

SF Gate reports that at Kitchen Story, an Asian-inspired restaurant in Oakland best known for its Millionaire’s Bacon, a sign is posted in the restrooms that reads, “Dear all mimosa lovers, please drink responsibly and know your limits. A $50 cleaning fee will automatically include in your tip when you throw up in our public areas. Thank you so much for understanding.”

The idea seems to be that charging per upchuck will force drunken customers to leave the premises and puke in the street and not all over their onion frittatas. Teerut Boon, owner of the popular Lombard street restaurant, Home Plate, told SF Gate, “We had a problem with intoxication, and also, we needed to turn tables to serve more customers. It’s better, but every other week we get somebody throwing up or vomiting. Now they go outside.”

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Editors' Recommendations

Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
Bloody Mary, espresso martini, mimosas, and more: Breakfast cocktails everyone should know how to make
Our favorite breakfast cocktails
Bloody Mary

If you ask our opinion, breakfast (or brunch for those who prefer to sleep in) is the best meal of the day. What’s better than warm waffles, pancakes, sizzling sausage, bacon, omelets, granola, yogurt, and a tropical island’s worth of fruit? What’s not to love? As great as lunch, dinner, and midnight snacks are concerned, there’s no beating the day’s first meal. Especially when you pair it with a boozy morning beverage. And we prefer to pair it with a booze-filled cocktail whenever possible.

But not just any alcohol-based drink works during the morning hours. Your friends and family might look at you funny if you crack open a lager or pour a glass of bourbon at 9 am, even if the thought of a crisp, refreshing beer or a sweet, oaky, corn-based whiskey paired with breakfast foods does sound delightful. There’s a time and a place for these drinks, and it’s during the afternoon at the earliest. But, when it comes to alcohol-based beverages, there’s nothing wrong with a delicious breakfast-centric cocktail while you’re still wearing pajama pants.

Read more
How to prevent a hangover: 4 steps you should always take before heading to bed after a busy night of drinking
You don't need a hangover cure if you don't get one in the first place
hangover bed water

Hangover symptoms can feel like they go on forever -- causing a series of uncomfortable symptoms that seem to last the whole next day after drinking. From fatigue to headaches to nausea, a hangover can make you instantly regret drinking and cause you to have a pretty unproductive day. If you've ever thought: "I'm never drinking again" after a night out, you're likely to know hangover symptoms all too well.

Although many of us have thought this at the moment, we often forget all about those annoying hangover symptoms by the time the next night outcomes. While there is no true hangover cure, it is possible to reduce the severity of your hangover symptoms before they occur. Taking these four steps before heading to bed after a busy night of drinking can help you set yourself up for a better post-drinking day with fewer symptoms.

Read more
Why you should fat-wash your whiskey in brown butter
It'll taste decadent (we promise)
Whiskey Glass

In the last few decades, there’s been a cocktail renaissance in the US. Perhaps you missed it. If you didn’t, you’ve likely seen the return of classic cocktails, the rise of mixology, and the emphasis on exciting, flavor-enhancing techniques. One of our favorites of the latter is fat-washing whiskey.

For those new to the concept, fat washing isn’t the act of “washing” your whiskey with fat in the sink or some other washing receptacle. It’s a cocktailing technique in which a fat (like butter, bacon fat, coconut oil, or some other fat) or an oil is used to infuse an alcohol. In this example, it’s whiskey.

Read more