2012 Election

Denny’s Owner John Metz to Charge Customers 5% 'Obamacare Surcharge'

John Metz, the owner of 40 Denny’s franchise restaurants in Florida, plans to add a 5 percent surcharge to his customers’ checks to pay for his legal responsibility to provide health care coverage to his employees per Obamacare.

Obamacare requires that businesses with more than 50 workers must offer a health insurance plan or pay a penalty of $2,000 for each full-time worker over 30 workers.

Metz told HuffingtonPost.com that the direct surcharge is “the only alternative. I’ve got to pass on the cost to the customer.”

“Obviously, I’d love to cover all our employees under that insurance, but to pay $5,000 per employee would cost us $175,000 per restaurant and unfortunately, most of our restaurants don’t make $175,000 a year. I can’t afford it.”

Metz, who is concerned about his financial income, said he is unconcerned with the potential backlash or boycotts. 

Metz said he hopes to get more restaurant owners to add a 5 percent surcharge on customers' checks: “We’re trying to get more restaurant operators rallied around the concept of adding a 5 percent surcharge to their bill to cover the costs of Obamacare as opposed to raising prices.”

Metz also announced that he will cut employee hours, but shifted the responsibility to Obamacare again: “I think it’s a terrible thing. It’s ridiculous that the maximum hours we can give people is 28 hours a week instead of 40. It’s going to force my employees to go out and get a second job.”

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