Friday, November 16, 2012

Florida Denny's, Dairy Queens Putting 'Obamacare Surcharge' on Bill

Thursday, 15 Nov 2012 10:39 AM
By Bill Hoffman


Financial fallout from Obamacare will spur dozens of eateries in South Florida to tack a five-percent surcharge onto all meals, one restaurant mogul says.

John Metz — who runs 40 Denny's and Dairy Queens and owns the Hurricane Grill & Wings franchise — says his business will be hit hard by the January 2014 start of President Barack Obama’s healthcare mandate.

And his only alternative is, “I’ve got to pass on the cost to the customer,’’ he told the Huffington Post.

When patrons see they have to cough up a five-percent surcharge, one possibility is they could end up reducing the amount of the tip they leave for their server.
When patrons see they have to cough up a five-percent surcharge, one possibility is they could end up reducing the amount of the tip they leave for their server.

In addition, Metz will reduce the hours of his employees.

“I think it's a terrible thing. It's ridiculous that the maximum hours we can give people is 28 hours a week instead of 40,’’ the West Palm Beach businessman said. “It's going to force my employees to go out and get a second job.'’

Metz plans to hold meetings at his restaurants next month to tell his staffers of the upcoming changes.

Obamacare will make businesses or franchises with more than 50 workers to offer a government-approved insurance plan.

Either that or they will have to pay a penalty of $2,000 for each full-time worker in businesses with more than 30 workers.

Other restaurant chains including Papa John's, Olive Garden and Red Lobsters have already announced that they will have to reduce employees’ hours.

Despite the potential turmoil to Americans’ wallets, a recent poll for Kaiser Health Tracking found 43 percent Americans had a favorable opinion of Obamacare as opposed to 39 percent against it.

The decision to tack on an Obamacare surcharge has caused plenty of reaction on Twitter, such as MPHUnlimited, who wrote: "Denny's to feature new 'Obabam Slam', you order one meal but you have to pay for every Taker currently waiting in the restaurant."

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