Papa John's Schnatter Says He Will Honor Obamacare And Give Health Insurance To All Employees9:23 am - 11/25/2012
In an op-ed written by Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter and published in The Huffington Post on Tuesday, Mr. Schnatter suggests that his intentions regarding the implementation of Obamacare for Papa John’s employees have been misunderstood and that he plans to provide health care benefits to all of his corporate employees along with all employees working in his company owned stores.
“Papa John’s, like most businesses, is still researching what the Affordable Care Act means to our operations. Regardless of the conclusion of our analysis, we will honor this law, as we do all laws, and continue to offer 100% of Papa John’s corporate employees and workers in company-owned stores health insurance as we have since the company was founded in 1984.”
This is good news, indeed.
Papa John’s—and Mr. Schnatter himself—has been the subject of considerable criticism, including in this column, as a result of what has been believed to be his plan to avoid the requirements of the Affordable Care Act by cutting back employee schedules to less than 30 hours per week. Such a move would have exempted Papa John’s from the law’s requirements, resulting in employees not only being denied healh insurance but further punished by losing a large percentage of their income.
According to Mr. Schnatter, his plans with respect to his employees—and the requirement to provide them with a health care benefit—were taken out of context based on remarks he made when speaking to an entrepreneur class at a Florida college.
Covering Schnatter’s comments at Edison State College, Fox News reports,
“Schnatter estimated that these rising costs could adversely affect his workers. Since only full-time employees working 30 hours or more must be covered under the new law, he said he expects franchise owners will be forced to cut employees’ hours because they can’t afford the costs of health insurance plans. ”That’s probably what’s going to happen,” he said according to NaplesNews.com. “It’s common sense. That’s what I call lose-lose.”
And then there was the conference call with Papa John’s shareholders earlier this year where Schnatter added, “We’re not supportive of Obamacare, like most businesses in our industry. But our business model and unit economics are about as ideal as you can get for a food company to absorb Obamacare. If Obamacare is in fact not repealed, we will find tactics to shallow out any Obamacare costs and core strategies to pass that cost onto consumers in order to protect our shareholders best interests.”
On that same call—and on other occasions—Schnatter indicated that the additional cost for a pizza could rise by 11 to 14 cents per pizza, however, Forbes writer Caleb Melby estimates those costs to be closer to 4 cents per pie.
Whether Mr. Schnatter has been misunderstood or has—in the past few days—come to realize that providing health care to his workers is the best thing both for his employees and his business, this is an important development for the many workers who will be positively impacted by John Schnatter’s announcement.
While I will be watching to confirm that Schnatter’s announcement does, in fact, go into effect for 100 percent of Papa John’s corporate and company owned store employees, it is very much my plan to honor the wisdom of John Schnatter’s decision by being among the very first to order and enjoy one of his pizzas on the day Schnatter follows through on his commitment.
Let’s now hope that other Papa John’s franchisees, including Peyton Manning who owns 21 Papa John’s locations, follow Mr. Schnatter’s lead and announce their intention to provide health insurance to 100 percent of the employees in their respective pizza operations.
In a related development, John Metz, the owner/operator of 40 Denny’s restaurants in Florida, has now backed off his announced plans to add a five percent ‘Obamacare’ surcharge to his customer’s tab at the Metz owned restaurants.
As reported here last week, Metz had announced that he would not only cut back his employees hours to avoid the requirements of the Affordable Care Act but would additionally add the surcharge—a decision I noted made absolutely no sense. If Metz's plan is to avoid the law all together by cutting worker hours, why would it be necessary to add the 5 percent—except to punish his servers who would no doubt, see customers make-up the additional 5 percent on their bills by reducing their server’s tips?
It seems that Mr. Metz’s plan resulted in a considerable amount of flak—not only from Denny’s customers throughout Florida who have chosen to avoid eating at Denny’s locations as an expression of their anger, but from Denny’s corporate CEO, John Miller, who expressed his “disappointment” with Mr. Metz’s controversial statements.
While many restaurant chain owners continue to promise work hour cutbacks for their employees as their weapon of choice to avoid the requirements of Obamacare, let’s hope that customers continue to let these owners know exactly how they feel about this by casting their vote with the choices they make.
Source at Forbes.
Yeah dude, I don't think people are really gonna believe that this was your plan all along. Unsurprised by how many buttmad Repubs are backing off their 'Obamacare tax' plans.