Many restaurant owners cut back because of Obamacare

Saturday, November 17, 2012
Chris Woodward (

Restaurant companies are limiting employee hours to avoid healthcare costs as called for in Obamacare. But some believe companies and their CEOs may be using the healthcare law as an excuse to do that.

This fall, after an Associated Press story about Red Lobster and Olive Garden limiting hours was posted on OneNewsNow, one reader posted a comment saying that restaurants had been limiting hours long before the healthcare law started as a bill.

Holly Wade, senior policy analyst of the National Federation of Independent Business, an organization that has been critical of the new healthcare law, says businesses are legitimately concerned.


"I think there are a lot of businesses out there looking to see how the new healthcare law is going to affect their cost hurdles and how much they're going to have to pay in providing health insurance," she tells OneNewsNow.

"The law is very complicated when it comes to part-time and part-time equivalence and what the penalties are with the tax now."

Wade adds that the final regulations are still pending.

"So there is a lot of uncertainty regarding health insurance and how it's going to affect people's business," she says. "They're struggling to try and figure out what's best for them, especially in a down economy when sales is one of the biggest problems -- and having to face this is certainly is not helpful."

Since the announcement involving Red Lobster and Olive Garden, the CEO of Papa John's has stated that his employees may face reduced hours because of ObamaCare. Meanwhile, an Applebee's franchisee in New York says that he may have to fire people, and the owner of multiple Denny's locations in the Southeast intends to add a five-percent surcharge to customers' bills to offset costs, beginning in January 2014 when the healthcare law is fully implemented.

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