So long, super cheap and tasty breakfast. A Florida restauranteur plans on adding a surcharge at the Denny’s and Hurricane Grill & Wings locations he operates. Why up the price of the Grand Slam?
Beginning in January 2014, John Metz plans to add a five percent surcharge to his customers’ bills in order to offset the costs of ObamaCare. The Affordable Care Act will be fully implemented then. Metz claims that he’s not the only one who’s trying to figure out how to make the new health care system work.
“People are trying to find ways to avoid the penalties and to avoid having to pay for ObamaCare,” Metz told Fox News. “Everyone’s looking for a way to not have to provide insurance for their employees. It’s essentially a huge tax on all us business people.”
Metz, who oversees roughly 1,200 employees at 45 restaurants, says he will also cut most of the staff’s hours to less than 30 hours per week, since it is only employees with over 30 hours a week who are offered the full benefits of ObamaCare.
The president and CEO of RREMC Restaurants, LLC, explained that his employees will know what’s coming.
“I want to explain it to everybody, to let them know what’s coming down the pike,” he said. “We like to keep our employees informed.”
Metz emphasizes that he would love to provide insurance for every one of his employees, but he understands the “severe costs the legislation will impose on employers and employees alike.”
“Obviously, I’d love to cover all our employees under that insurance,” says Metz. “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.”
The changes will force some employees to look for second jobs, Metz noted, but says he simply can’t afford the penalties associated with ObamaCare. “I have a choice,” he said, “try to live within the rules, or go out of business.”
While Metz commends ObamCare as “a great concept,” noting that “we want to have everyone insured,” he reports a problem with the idea’s application.
“The problem is, who is going to pay for it and how are we going to accomplish this?”
Speaking of ObamaCare, Metz states:
“It’s going to be a big issue for all of us — for my employees and for me. The ones that are working more than 28 hours, they’re going to act as if I’m cutting their hours and they’ll have to find another job.”
At Denny’s restaurants operated by Metz, the average check is $9, he said, meaning the ObamaCare surcharge would be 45 cents. At Hurricane Grill & Wings locations, where the average bill is $14.50, the surcharge would total 72 cents.
Metz believes that the entire restaurant industry will eventually embrace this idea, adding that it “is the easier, least painful way to deal with these added costs.”
“In a true playing field, everybody will impose this, from McDonald’s to Denny’s to even maybe the fine dining restaurants in order to have the funds to be able to pay for either insurance or the penalty for not providing insurance to their employees.”
While he thinks the surcharge idea will help, Metz is urging his employees to consider contacting local elected officials to help find another solution to the looming increased costs.
Of increasing customers’ check, he said, “It’s never good news, but it is what it is. We really should look for a better or different way to pay for [ObamaCare]. I think what we’re going to ultimately see here is a European-type system where we have a value added tax or a national sales tax.”