Franchise owners of several popular restaurants like Applebees, Dennys and Papa-Johns have said recently they will either increase prices, lay-off workers, cut workers' hours and more because of the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare.
The manager of South Whitehall's Applebees on Cedar Crest Boulevard said corporate rules prevented her from commenting on the issue.
However, the franchisee of 40 Applebee's chains in the metro New York area, Zane Tankel, recently appeared on Fox Business Network and said government fines for not insuring employees or costs to insure them will ultimately prevent him from expanding and hiring more employees.
Although comments were made from just one owner, opponents have have launched boycott campaigns against all Applebees restaurants. On one Boycott Applebees Facebook page there are 261 likes and an interesting mix of opinions on the subject.
Anne F says: "I will not go to Applebees this year with my 3 friends, we used to go to lunch at to the local Applebees once a month. We ordered aways started with wine & appetizers, lunch and stayed through dessert & coffee and on birthdays we'd have a drink to celebrate. So they will lose 48 long lunches a year. And we are going to spread the word to our other friends too. Why do we care? We all have children who are young adults and the quality of their lives will be profoundly affected by the Affordable Care Act. What do I mean by "profoundly affected"? I mean whether they can see a doctor, the total length of their life may be shortened or lengthened by the quality of health care they receive. So the ACA isn't just a social policy with abstract concepts and fair away results, individual owner and not by the franchise's corporate Supporters of Obamacare have launched boycott campaigns against the chain in response to his comments."
Rick Johns says: This franchisee has invested a huge amount of his own money to take the risks that come with having your own business. He is going to have to adjust his employees' hours to deal with Obamacare. His cost of doing business is going up. Does he raise his prices or does he make personnel cuts? The majority of people supporting a boycott have never owned their own business and have no idea what it takes to do that. This country used to respect and aspire to have success. Now it seems we have a huge group of people that are jealous and angry at the successes of others.
There are almost 2,000 Applebees restaurants nationwide and according to an article on Twitchy USA Politics the Applebee’s corporate office was anxious to distance itself from the Obamacare controversy and point out that franchisees speak for themselves.
The article also says: Note that in his TV appearance Tankel did not say he was laying off any employees; rather, he speculated that “if it’s possible to do without cutting people back, I am delighted to do it, but that also rolls back expansion, it rolls back hiring more people, and in a best-case scenario, we only shrink the labor force minimally. Best case.”
So what do you think? Will you boycott any of these businesses for their actions against employees and customers? Or you think that small business owners are suffering due to Obamacare? Tell us in the comments.