Denny’s Franchise Owner Imposes Surcharge For Obamacare

Today’s idiot:

While some business owners threaten to cut workers’ hours to avoid paying for their health care, a West Palm Beach, Fla., restaurant owner is going even further. John Metz said he will add a 5 percent surcharge to customers’ bills to offset what he said are the increased costs of Obamacare, along with reducing his employees’ hours.

“If I leave the prices the same, but say on the menu that there is a 5 percent surcharge for Obamacare, 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, who is the primary beneficiary of Obamacare,” Metz told The Huffington Post. “Although it may sound terrible that I’m doing this, it’s the only alternative. I’ve got to pass the cost on to the consumer.”

Actually, they have three choices. And the third one is to not eat at your restaurant.


  1. I’d like to see the math on this. It seems that the 5% figure is calculated to make a point while minimizing the downside of driving away customers. It would be interesting to see exactly how much the new law actually costs and whether it’s anywhere near requiring a 5% increase in GROSS revenues–that’s a lot of money. Figure how many meals an employee serves in a day and add up all that extra revenue–Does it really cost that much per day to meet the requirements of the law? The comment about having customers take it out of the server’s tip is the giveaway here–this guy really resents having to pay people to work.

  2. Seems like America’s Corporations will not be content until they break the backs of their workers. Most jobs here in Florida are service or retail ones offering part time hours and low wages. These companies are so driven to deliver returns to their shareholders that any shred of decency and compassion towards their workforce has been cast to the wind.

    I can see the next step in this cost cutting progression: day labor provided by privatized prisons.

  3. I’ve worked for assholes like this before.

    Just remember, if he’s going to treat the customers, who are giving him money, like this, just imagine how he treats his employees.

    Last time I worked at a breakfast place, the owner tried to skip out on my paycheck after I walked out on the job. Yeah, I walked out on a busy Sunday morning when they were inundated, and I planned to do it because I knew that it was a three day weekend and it was the best way to totally fuck them over.

    Just to be clear, I hated these people. But, when I did walk out, they tried to get away with not paying me for my last two weeks of labor that I had done.

    I don’t care how butt hurt you are, jacking money form an employee is called “Theft of Services”.

    Things are more ambiguous when it comes to gratuity, but if I were to ever eat in this d-bag’s store, I would make it a point to put the tip in cash directly into the server’s hand and pay the bill minus the surcharge with a big fat “FUCK YOU” note to the owner.

    BTW, in my case I filed a claim with Bureau of Labor and Industry. It took six months, but they finally paid me. And they got a black mark on their record.

  4. I now have a new rule to live by: Don’t patronize companies that treat their workers like shit.

    (My main rule to live by is Bill & Ted’s “Be excellent to each other”. Such a great piece of moral philosophy)

  5. First off, the new laws won’t go into effect until 2014. So what’s he doing with the extra profit until then?

    I haven’t read all 1,000+ pages of the new Health Care act, so I don’t yet have all the details. Does anyone know if the premium is actually coming out of the business owners’ profit, or will it be funded through a higher tax rate on sales and services (or a combination of both)? If the businesses are required to cover the cost, will they get a tax deduction for each employee under the plan to help offset the loss? These could all be benefits the owners aren’t mentioning.
    In most (if not all) countries with universal health care the taxes are exorbitant compared to the U.S. I don’t know how much, if any, of that extra tax is going to their health care programs, but I’m guessing that’s part of it, If our universal health care is financed in the form of sales/service taxes, then the consumer will be paying for it, not the business owner.

    I guess what I’m saying here is, fuck that guy.

    1. Canada personal income tax rate. 29% of taxable income over $132,406.
      USA personal income tax rate. 28% on taxable income over $85,650 to $178,650, plus
      Trust me, we’re not hurting.

      1. Here in BC I pay $64 a month into the government Medical Services Plan. Everybody that’s able to pay puts money in. There are three rates: Indivitual, family of two, and family of 3+

        They collect over $2 Billion per year, which actually only accounts for about 1/8 of annual healthcare expendatures.

      2. I was thinking about sales tax. Here in the U.S. it’s between 5% to 8%, depending on the area. It would make sense that if ObamaCare was funded through taxes, it would be part of the sales tax, since that’s where the impact of workers rests. Seems like I remember the sales tax in Canada to be much higher. Any info on how that’s distributed?

  6. i ate at a Denny’s once while visiting Maryland around 10am in the morning. I literally couldnt eat for the rest of the day because of how much fat and oil they put into two scrambled eggs.

  7. I’m surprised Denny’s even offers health insurance to its workers. Most places I’ve worked don’t (and the two that did had such high premiums that employees did not buy it). It’s not required. There’s no real reason health insurance should be tied to workplaces.

    1. I think that’s part of the point this guy is trying to make. Under Obamacare he’ll have to offer healthcare to full time workers.

      My boss is very conservative, very anti Obama but also generous to his workers with very competitive wages and benefits. I asked him recently how Obamacare will affect us (the company’s bottom line). He said “I don’t know for sure yet, but I don’t think it will.” The lesson here is, if you are treating your employees like valued members of your business, Obamacare is nothing to be butthurt about.

      1. “I don’t know for sure yet, but I don’t think it will.”

        Key thought there is he doesn’t know the affect on his business. That isn’t the same as a promise that no matter what happens to his bottom line he’ll just absorb the cost.

        It is naive, silly, and greedy to expect him to pay the same wages and keep his selling price the same no matter what his costs are. If the impact is severe then it will be treated no differently then if his suppliers greatly increased their prices or if any other cost of goods went up.

      2. Actually… My company is in textiles and in the last 4 years there have been incredible shortages and price increases in cotton. It’s finally going back down, but it’s been a real crisis in our industry. Goods that we booked to clients 6-12 months ahead were now costing 10% more to make. We can’t just go to the client with a new price, they’ve already budgeted their money as well.
        Rather than asking everyone at the company to absorb the hit with their paycheck, management pursued new clients and found ways to increase customer service to existing clients to strengthen our relationships with them and greatly grow our revenue. We continued to grow through this difficult time for our industry and we have doubled our workforce in the 4 years.
        NOW the point I’m trying to make is, when something unexpected comes down and affects your bottom line, the only options aren’t “The boss absorbs the cost” or “The employees take a hit.” More creative thinking than that is a big part of the reason my company has done so well in a crappy economy with increased supply costs when our competitors are struggling.

  8. Why didn’t any of these businesses put surcharges on their products when Bush got us into Iraq? Pretty sure that cost about $1 trillion.

    I’ll never understand why the GOP has no problem allowing their tax dollars to go towards bombs and destruction, but flips out when public monies are used to help poor people get/stay healthy. I guess this is how Jesus would want it.

    1. Why didn’t any of these businesses put surcharges on their products when Bush got us into Iraq? Pretty sure that cost about $1 trillion.

      Because that cost was absorbed by everyone. There was not a surcharge to the businesses. The companies are merely passing along their increased costs to their customers/employees. This is how all business operate. This is how you operate. You have less income or increased bills you change how you spend the money you do have.

  9. To the Anonymous Down-Voter:

    I hope the employees you mistreat rise up, quit en masse during the busiest part of the day and start up a competing company that treats its employees well and totally puts your hateful butt outta bidness.

  10. Bye-bye Denny’s….. Hey, maybe you should bar all those ‘Black folks’ who voted for Mr. Obama, like you used to…… That would help your business too, don’t ya think?

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