Friday, November 23, 2012

Businessmen Backpeddling on Obamacare Threats


Some blabber-mouth business people in the restaurant world have been in the news threatening to raise prices, cut employee hours, and somehow weasel out of giving their workers health insurance promised to them by Obamacare. But after a backlash in the media and at the grassroots level, they are starting to eat their words.

CBS News
Papa John's founder and CEO John Schnatter wrote Tuesday that the media had it all wrong in its reporting on his comments on how the national health care law known widely as "Obamacare" will negatively impact his business.

"Many in the media reported that I said Papa John's is going to close stores and cut jobs because of Obamacare," he wrote in the Huffington Post. "I never said that. The fact is we are going to open over hundreds of stores this year and next and increase employment by over 5,000 jobs worldwide. And, we have no plans to cut team hours as a result of the Affordable Care Act."

Schnatter, who supported and fundraised for Mitt Romney in the presidential election, went on to say that while his company is still researching the impact of the law, "we will honor this law, as we do all laws, and continue to offer 100% of Papa John's corporate employees and workers in company-owned stores health insurance as we have since the company was founded in 1984."

. . . Not addressed in the post are Schnatter's reported comments on a conference call that "Our best estimate is that the Obamacare will cost 11 to 14 cents per pizza, or 15 to 20 cents per order from a corporate basis."

"If Obamacare is in fact not repealed, we will find tactics to shallow out any Obamacare costs and core strategies to pass that cost onto consumers in order to protect our shareholders best interests," he reportedly added.

Huffington Post
Don't expect to hear more about an Obamacare surcharge from Denny's franchisee John Metz.

Denny's chief executive John Miller privately reached out to Metz to express his "disappointment" with the Florida franchisee's controversial statements about Obamacare, which sparked a wave of backlash for the national restaurant chain over the past few days. Metz released a statement Monday night expressing "regret" over his statements.

"We recognize his right to speak on issues, but registered our disappointment that his comments have been interpreted as the company’s position," Miller said in an email to The Huffington Post.

Miller is rushing to put out the fire sparked by Metz's controversial proposal to charge restaurant customers a 5 percent Obamacare fee. "Customers have two choices: They can either pay it and tip 15 or 20 percent, or if they really feel so inclined, they can reduce the amount of tip they give to the server," Metz told HuffPost in an interview last week.

Some Denny's franchisees have since dealt with angry customers, calls for a boycott and declining sales. A spokeswoman for Metz said he will not conduct more interviews.

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