Is Red Lobster closing down due to Obamacare?
For Red Lobster, Obamacare influenced a financial business decision that cost the employees. The Darden Restaurant group cut more employees from full to part-time hours in a bid to save on health care costs, blaming Obamacare for the decision. This was after the company began forcing servers to share tips with other workers in the restaurants starting in 2011.
Reports about Red Lobster closing down noted Darden has a market value of $6.7 billion and the seafood restaurant represents one of their core chains, accounting for $2.6 billion in 2013 with its 705 restaurants scattered across the United States and Canada. Some thought Darden was having Red Lobster shut down as a “tax-free spin-off.” Even Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse expansion will be slowed.
Congressional estimates claim the largest 100 companies could save $422 billion over the next decade if they declined to offer insurance as required by Obamacare. That might not be an option since Congress has been working on changing the full time requirements definition under Obamacare. But Darden Chief Executive Clarence Otis seems to be blaming the stagnant US economy for Red Lobster closing down, not Obamacare:
“Our industry is in a period of significant change, with relatively low levels of consumer demand in each of the past several years for restaurants generally, and for casual dining in particular.”
But is Red Lobster closing down for real? Even in my hometown I’ve heard such rumors for months. Although Darden hasn’t received any firm offers from any buyers, they felt it was time to squash such rumors:
“Never have we said we would be closing restaurants. [Any transaction would] simply be a change in ownership.”
Of course, if Darden sells off the restaurant chain then they don’t really have any control. It’s possible we may see Red Lobster closing down in specific markets that are performing poorly, but it sounds like the majority of the restaurants would remain open.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, an Obamacare enrollment video was blasted for stereotyping homosexuals.