Restaurateur's Plan: 5% ObamaCare Surcharge

John Metz to pass the buck to customers
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2012 11:23 AM CST
Restauranteur's Plan: 5% ObamaCare Surcharge
Denny's franchisee may start charging customers to help pay for increased healthcare costs.    (?)

(Newser) – Ordering a Grand Slam breakfast in Florida might soon cost a little bit more. John Metz, owner of Hurricane Grill & Wings and franchisee of 40 Denny's and a number of Dairy Queens in the state, plans to slap a 5% ObamaCare surcharge onto bills once ObamaCare is fully up and running in 2014. He doesn't mince words, telling the Huffington Post customers will have two choices: "Pay it and tip 15 or 20%, or if they really feel so inclined, they can reduce the amount of tip they give to the server, who is the primary beneficiary of ObamaCare."

That's not the only thing he plans to do to offset his expected increase in health-care costs: Next month he'll meet with all employees and announce that front-of-house workers will no longer work more than 30 hours a week, a la Papa John's. He hopes it will encourage them to "speak to their elected officials, to try to convey what this means in terms of their jobs and their livelihoods." And he'd like to see other restaurant owners follow his lead. But at least one analyst says there's a good chance his plan will backfire: "Some may find the explicit charge a turnoff, and vote with their feet and their money and choose not to eat there." (Read more Denny's stories.)

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