Applebee’s CEO Announces Hiring Freeze And Layoffs Over Obamacare, Boycott Threatened

The CEO of a huge New York Applebees franchise decided to join fellow fast food CEO John Shattner of Papa John’s in saying that he will layoff workers and stop hiring new ones if the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is implemented. Applebees franchise owner Zane Tankel, announced his plans almost immediately after President Obama’s reelection.

The Twitterverse immediately went crazy with plans for boycotts.

One tweet read:

“So far I’ve seen Papa John’s and Applebees threatening to fire people since their choice didn’t win the election. Disgusting on either side.”

Others said:


“Add @Applebees to the list of unpatriotic businesses who are firing people because Barack Obama won.”

Zanr Tankel announced his plans on Fox News. Tankel is CEO of Apple-Metro which owns 40 New York Area Applebees. Each restaurant employs between 80 and 300 people. Under the Affordable Care Act any employer with more than 50 employees has to offer a federally approved insurance plan to their employees or face a fine of $2,000.

Zane said on Fox:

“We’ve calculated it will [cost] some millions of dollars across our system. So what does that say — that says we won’t build more restaurants. We won’t hire more people. If you have 40 or 50 employees at a restaurant, and the penalty is $2,000, and you’re going to pay $80,000 or $100,000 penalty, there goes the profit in your restaurant. I want to simply say we are looking at it, we are evaluating. If it’s possible to do without cutting people back, I am delighted to do it, but that also rolls back expansion, it rolls back hiring more people, and in a best-case scenario, we only shrink the labor force minimally. Best case.”

Papa John’s CEO John Shattner told shareholders this week he was going to have to add eleven to fourteen cents per pie to the final cost to the consumer.

Shattner was subjected to a whipping on Twitter for his comments as well.

Schnatter defended his plan saying:

“That’s what you do, is you pass on the costs. Unfortunately, I don’t think people know what they’re going to pay for [Obamacare].”

Because Obamacare’s insurance mandates only apply to workers working more than 30 hours per week, chains like Red Lobster and the Olive Garden have said they will look into cutting worker’s hours also.