A chain of restaurants based in central Florida is attempting to make up the extra money that Obamacare is costing the company by charging a one percent “ACA surcharge” to its customers’ final tab.
Diners at Gator’s Dockside restaurants have noticed a new addition to their receipts. At the bottom, right above the final total, is a one percent surcharge assigned to the “ACA,” or the Affordable Care Act, the official name of Obamacare.
The company told the media that full-time, hourly employees will be getting new insurance policies starting in December to comply with the employer mandate that was to begin in 2015. (The President recently put it off until 2016.) But the restaurant has to implement the surcharge to begin banking money to pay the new expenses, as well as to pay for compliance costs.
The company has posted signs in its restaurants to explain to customers what the surcharge is all about:
The costs associated with ACA compliance could ultimately close our doors. Instead of raising prices on our products to generate the additional revenue needed to cover the costs of ACA compliance, certain Gator’s Dockside locations have implemented a 1% surcharge on all food and beverage purchases only.
Gator’s employs approximately 500 people, so there is no way they can get under the 50 employee limit that excuses companies from the employer mandate, meaning they would have to figure some way to pay for the massive costs of Obamacare.
The only other choice the company has is to cut employees’ hours to avoid the new costs imposed by Obamacare. This company did not want to do that to its employees, so it is passing on the costs to customers.
Gator’s Dockside did not tell the media what its Obamacare compliance costs are, but CNN Money reports that it could cost upwards of $500,000 a year for the extended insurance required by the law.
Perhaps as a harbinger of extra costs to come, a restaurant in Los Angeles also recently introduced a surcharge to recoup Obamacare costs. Industry experts expect to see more of these sorts of charges passed on to Americans, raising the cost of living for us all.