Florida Restaurateur to Impose Surcharge for ObamaCare
Get ready to pay more for your Grand Slam.
A Florida restaurateur who operates roughly 40 Denny’s locations and five Hurricane Grill & Wings franchises in Florida, Virginia and Georgia intends to add a 5 percent surcharge to customers’ bills to offset costs from ObamaCare beginning in January 2014 when the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented.
“People are trying to find ways to avoid the penalties and to avoid having to pay for ObamaCare,” John Metz told FoxNews.com. “Everyone’s looking for a way to not have to provide insurance for their employees. It’s essentially a huge tax on all us business people.”
To further offset the costs, Metz, who oversees roughly 1,200 employees as president and CEO of RREMC Restaurants, LLC, said he also will slash most of the staff's time to fewer than 30 hours per week. That change will be announced to employees next month, he said.
“I want to explain it to everybody, to let them know what’s coming down the pike,” he said. “We like to keep our employees informed.”
The changes will force some front-of-the-house employees to look for second jobs, Metz said, but he simply cannot afford the penalties associated with ObamaCare.
“It’s a great concept,” he said. “We want to have everyone insured. The problem is, who is going to pay for it and how are we going to accomplish this?”
Under the current law, employers with more than 50 full-time (or equivalent) workers will be charged a penalty for the number of employees exceeding 30 full-time staffers who are not covered. With an average of 35 full-time employees per location, Metz said the $2,000 penalty would total roughly $70,000 per restaurant. Current coverage costs Metz up to $6,000 annually per full-time employee, he said. He currently provides coverage to about 250 employees.
read more: Denny's owner plans 'Obamacare surcharge'