When was the last time you got shitfaced at lunch and then headed back to the office? How many days this week have you not pounded a bottle of tequila and returned to the desk to put on some trades? Going to go out on a limb and guess "not in forever" and "all of them" due to fear of what people would think and a firm-wide rule about not trading while under the influence. Well no longer. Tomorrow, you have those 10 martinis for lunch-- it's cool now and everyone else is doing it anyway.
Julian Niccolini, co-owner of Manhattan's Four Seasons restaurant claims he now pours a lot of wine at lunch, particularly to parties of four or more. One reason for this, he attests, is that he's seeing fewer judgmental teetotaling diners at lunch. "It's no longer, 'Is somebody going to badmouth me?' That's gone out the window," he says.
While many people in financial services eschew boozy lunches in order to eat at their desks and follow the markets, some have gotten back on the bandwagon, albeit privately—lest they be accused of throwing around their largesse during a recession. "Bankers are drinking in secret. It's sort of Prohibition-esque," says Sebastian Fogg, a former general manager of New York's Monkey Bar and current operations manager for Caprice Holdings, a British-based owner of haute restaurants. "Being the despicable creatures they are, they hide at chefs tables and private rooms and drink as much as possible."