Restaurants in California, USA, have adopted an unusual approach to address issues related to customer intoxication, especially during bottomless brunches. To deter patrons from becoming excessively intoxicated and causing disturbances, some eateries are implementing what they refer to as “vomit fees.”
As per a CBS News report, a restaurant located in Oakland has prominently displayed a sign for the last two years to alert mimosa enthusiasts. This sign serves as a cautionary notice, informing patrons that a $50 cleaning fee will be applied to their bill in the event of any vomiting incidents within the restaurant’s public spaces. The sign reads, “Dear all mimosa lovers, Please drink responsibly and know your limits. A $50 cleaning fee will automatically include in your tab when you throw up in our public areas. Thank you so much for understanding.”
The owner of the establishment mentioned that while he hasn’t yet charged anyone the cleanup fee, the sign has proven to be an effective deterrent. He explained, “It was really tough cleaning. People were scared with COVID. And this was happening a lot. My workers don’t want to do that. It got better. Now [customers] know they have to pay. They understand.”
In a similar vein, a San Francisco restaurant, as reported by People Magazine, also warns brunch-goers that they could face a $50 fee for incidents resulting from intoxication. A message on the restaurant’s menu reads, “Please Drink Responsibly. $50 Cleaning fee per person for any incidents [that] incur as a result from intoxication… responsible for the whole group.”
Since implementing this warning, the restaurant has observed a reduction in indoor vomiting incidents. The owner noted, “It’s better, but every other week we get somebody throwing up or vomiting. Now they go outside.”
These efforts in California are not unique instances. Just recently, a restaurant in Singapore garnered online visibility when a viral video depicted a woman engaged in a dispute with restaurant personnel who were firm in their request for her to cover a $15 cleaning fee following her intoxicated friend’s episode of vomiting.
It’s important to highlight that the practice of implementing cleaning fees for messes isn’t limited to restaurants. Uber, a popular ride-sharing platform, permits its drivers in the United States to impose cleaning fees that can range from $20 to $150 when passengers leave a mess.