5 National Restaurants Sticking to Anti "Obamacare" Policies
Since President Barack Obama's reelection last week, several national restaurant chains and franchise owners have said they're sticking to anti-"Obamacare" threats made during campaign season. Many restaurants said that if the President was reelected they would enforce layoffs, restaurant closures or reduce staff hours to eliminate health benefits in reaction to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Image via Notable plutocrat Charles Montgomery Burns.
And some of those robber barons weren't crying wolf.
John Schnatter, chief executive of Papa John's, is perhaps the most public food service opponent to the Affordable Care Act. In August Schnatter threatened to raise pizza prices if Obama was reelected, and since that's come to pass, he's said employees might have hours cut.
Schnatter's stance on the Affordable Care Act has garnered criticism and support, with some customers calling for a Papa John's boycott, and others -- more than 15,000 of 'em -- rallying behind Facebook to make Friday, November 16, National Papa John's Appreciation Day.
According to a Forbes report that examines Papa John's financials, the company spends more on pizza promotions and giveaways each year than it would spend on employee healthcare under the Affordable Care Act.
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Like Papa John's Schnatter, Zane Tankel, chief executive officer of Apple-Metro, which operates Applebee's franchises across the United States, also found himself a source of media support and derision (see video above where Jon Stewart eviscerates Tankel and Schnatter) after blaming the Affordable Care Act for employee hour cuts and hiring freezes.
While speaking with Fox Business Network last week, Tankel said his Applebee's franchises wouldn't hire new employees or build new restaurants.
In October, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Florida-based Darden Restaurants, which operates Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants, would test cutting employee hours from full-time to part-time in response to the Affordable Care Act.
Currently 25 percent of Darden staff are full-time, which the company defines as workers who put in 30 hours or more per week.