Oh, these restaurants really, really do not want to pay for their employees' health insurance. Who came blame them? All this time, they've managed to get away with paying their employees so little that customers have to supplement their salaries. But now they actually have to pay into the Affordable Care Act so that employees might be able to have some health insurance for once. Woe! So what are they doing? Yes, they are passing that along to customers too. And whining about it. A restaurant chain called Gator's Dockside in Florida has implemented a 1 percent surcharge on all checks to help cover some of their ObamaCare compliance.
Now, it's one thing if you suddenly have to pay out $500,000 a year to be compliant and give your workers a fair shot at getting insurance coverage. Maybe you have to raise your prices a bit -- just like you do when your rent goes up, or you have to pay into the numerous government programs that taxes go toward.
But it's another thing to highlight it on receipts and whine about it. Isn't that just tooooooo bad that your employees aren't getting health insurance from you and might need it from the government?
Currently, Gator's Dockside offers health insurance to management, but not wait and other staff.
Oddly, the restaurant put out a sign to patrons that said:
Instead of raising prices on our products to generate the additional revenue needed to cover the costs of ACA compliance, certain Gator's Dockside locations have implemented a 1% surcharge on all food and beverage purchases only.
Excuse me? What is the difference between adding a surcharge and raising your prices? Oh right, because you want to point the finger. If your landlords had all raised the rent on your buildings, you wouldn't have bothered with the surcharge, you just would have raised your prices or taken a hit.
Way to guilt your employees too. God help them that they might actually want to be able to go see a doctor or dentist once in awhile!
This isn't the first restaurant chain to gripe about having to pony up to pay health care for its employees. Papa John's tried that trick too. Seems the restaurant industry got mighty used to having cheap labor while passing the buck to the taxpayers (who pick up the bill when the uninsured go to the emergency room for care) and customers, who supplement the measly hourly wages with tips. Not to mention the government and taxpayers again, who dole out welfare when hard-working people who earn minimum wage or less can't afford to buy food.
Sorry the free ride is over, restaurants.
What do you think of the "surcharge"?
Image via atl10trader/Flickr