Hey restaurants owners.
We get you're unhappy about some of the regulations in Obamacare that require you to provide basic health care to your employees who work over 30 hours a week.
How about you Taco Bell?
What about you, Wendy's?Johnna Davis has worked at the Taco Bell in Guthrie since September. She's seen a 200 dollar cut in her paycheck since a new store policy went into effect."What we were being told was one thing, and that was, ‘we're going to offer benefits, we'll just keep all of our full time employees and then come December, their whole story changed," Johnna Davis said.She says her manager held a meeting before Christmas, saying employees' hours would be cut in the new year."They informed everybody that nobody was considered full-time any longer, that everybody was now considered part-time, and [they] would be cutting hours back to 28 hours or less due to Obamacare," Davis said.Under the Affordable Care Act, companies are required to provide insurance to its full-time employees, or face fines. Davis would've qualified for an insurance plan.
A Denny's franchise owner threatened to put a 5% Obamacare surcharge on the menu, noting customers can take it out of the waitstaff tip
An Applebee's franchise owner threatened a hiring and building freeze.
Papa John's CEO John Schnatter threatened that he has to raise the price of pizza $.14 to cover the costs (even though the company can afford to give away 2 million pizzas and the actual cost would be no more than $.10 a pie to provide health care to his employees).
Here's the thing...
1. Costs go up all the time for restaurants, particularly when it comes to changes in the cost of ingredients to make the meals. Just ask Buffalo Wild Wings, who've had to raise the cost of their chicken wings to offset the soaring price of chicken. We as consumers are not happy about it...but we understand, particularly if you are transparent about the cost increase.
2. When I, and other consumers, go to restaurants, not only do we hope for a delicious meal, we also hope that we don't get sick from it. When 90% of employees in the food service industry are not provided sick leave, and you are now making it known that you are cutting hours to avoid providing health insurance to your employees, it lowers my confidence in the quality and care of what you are offering.
If employees do not have health insurance, they are also not seeking health care when ill, and, with reduced hours, they are coming to work and handling the food that we all eat.
So, enjoy that pizza from Papa John's during the Super Bowl. Just remember, you don't know who's been touching the cheese and whether they are healthy or not.