Health Care

New York City Applebee's Owner Zane Tankel Faces Backlash Over Anti-Obamacare Statements

Applebee's employees and customers are angry over recent comments made by Zane Tankel, who owns 40 Applebee's restaurants in the New York area. Tankel said he would not hire any more workers and was considering cutting the hours of employees because of Obamacare.

There is talk of boycotts and the Applebee's headquarters is distancing itself from Zane and his comments, reports HuffingtonPost.com.

Dan Smith, a spokesman for DineEquity, Applebee's parent company, said in a statement: "It's certainly our hope that our guests recognize and realize that Mr. Tankel's views are not representative of the broader Applebee's brand."

Seattle, Washington Applebee's waiter Brandon Baker told HuffingtonPost.com: "It's ridiculous with all the money they make they can't take care of their employees. They sit in their mansions and we scrape by. I have no idea what it would be like to get a real break or have sick days or insurance."

German Ramos, a former manager at an Applebee's in Newtown, Pennsylvania, added: "Most employees live paycheck to paycheck. As managers, we did not promote the insurance as a benefit because the premium was tough to manage. The [franchisee] has done a lot to cut all benefits for hourly employees and managers."

Former Applebee's worker Krista Trovato said: "Applebee's had an insurance plan, but the cost was more than I was earning. I think paying insurance for employees is the cost of doing business, and if they can't afford it, they need to get out of business and accept their failure."

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