Florida Restaurant Owner Considers Obamacare Surcharge

Business owners nationwide are making preparations for the upcoming Obamacare regulatory tsunami. Citing cumbersome regulations and costs, entrepreneurs are being forced to make very difficult decisions. The stories are becoming all too common. In order to keep their businesses afloat, companies are laying off workers, reducing their hours and in some cases, closing locations. 

The problem is not industry specific either. Energy companies, technology companies, retail establishments and restaurants are all facing the economic challenges created by Obamacare. Following the re-election of President Obama, several restauranteurs have gone to the press to express their disastifaction with the President’s hallmark legislation. 

Yesterday, Florida restaurant owner, John Metz explained that in preparation for the January 2014 regulatory onslaught, he will be forced to take drastic measures. Metz owns 40 Denny’s locations, several Dairy Queens and the Hurricane Grill & Wings franchise. In order to offset the cost of Obamacare, Metz is considering adding a 5% surcharge to all purchases, effectively passing the cost on to the consumer. 

But the consumer would not be the only affected party. According the Huffington Post, Metz plans to meet with employees next month to explain, “that because of Obamacare, we are going to be cutting front-of-the-house employees to under 30 hours, effective immediately.”  Metz went on to say, “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. It’s going to force my employees to go out and get a second job.”

As Newsmax reports, Obamacare requires businesses with over 50 employees to  offer a government-approved insurance plan.  The penalty for not doing so is $2,000 per full-time employee for business employing at least 30 people. Metz said he would, “love to cover all employees” under their insurance plan, “but to pay $5,000 per employee would cost us $175,000 per restaurant, and unfortunately, most of our restaurants don’t make $175,000 a year. I can’t afford it.”

Business owners must operate in reality, and the reality is that capital always finds the most efficient means.  So as businesses are forced to deal with the realities of Obamacare, we can expect to see more reduction of hours, more layoffs and people who in reality cannot afford the “Affordable Care Act.” 

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