Recently we’ve been hearing from business leaders (Papa Johns CEO, Major Applebees Franchisees, etc) who say they will have to move more employees to part-time, cut back on opening news establishments, and potentially lay off workers due to the increased costs they expect from the Healthcare Reform Act (AKA Obamacare) in 2014. They suggest they cannot pass along the additional costs to the consumer in this market / economy.
Every company passes along every additional cost of doing business to the consumer. They have to, if they don’t they don’t make a profit and ultimately go out of business. This is not new. What is new is CEOs playing politics so openly. In this case we are talking about less that a single quarter per meal which is unlikely to tank any of your businesses or market share. Who do they think they are fooling?
To John Schnatter (Papa Johns), Zane Tankel (Applebees Franchisee (40 locations), Rich Jeffers (spokesman for Darden Restaurants (Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, etc)):
You run restaurants. Your employees generally earn deplorable wages (often less than minimum wage because of tips), while your executives live lavish lifestyles. Please get over yourselves. ALL of your competition has to address these costs as well. You’re unlikely to loose business adding 11-24 cents to the cost of a pizza or a meal. You are however, very likely to loose business due to your actions and your obvious attempt at deception. Boycotts are all the rage these days.
You want to pay for the costs of providing healthcare to your restaurant employees without increasing costs to the consumers? How about making your executives and corporate staff pay a little bit more for the healthcare benefits you provide them? What about a small percentage cut in executive bonuses or your own pay?
America sees through your idiotic attempt to portray yourselves as struggling small businesses just barely holding on (while living in your extensive mansions with private golf courses and the like). Please, get over yourselves, no one is buying it. Looks like a classic need for labor organization to us. We recommend that Papa John’s, Applebees, Red Lobster, etc employees reach out to the SIEU (http://www.seiu.org/) and learn how organizing and collective bargining can solve these healthcare issues for you and your CEOs.