ONTD Political

Papa John's Schnatter Says He Will Honor Obamacare And Give Health Insurance To All Employees

9:23 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.

Writes Schnatter-

“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.

belleweather 25th-Nov-2012 02:31 pm (UTC)
Still not buying your pizza, jackass. Not EVER.
antique_faery 27th-Nov-2012 03:47 pm (UTC)
LOL same.
smirk_dog 29th-Nov-2012 01:00 am (UTC)
Yep. Same here.
aviv_b 25th-Nov-2012 02:44 pm (UTC)
Your company is 'still researching' the Affordable Care Act. I'd like to call bullshit, because if that's true, you really shouldn't be in charge of a corporation.

Every company I know has had their benefits staff fully engaged on this matter. My own little employer has one person responsible for benefits, and I'm betting there isn't anything she doesn't know about the coming changes. You run a huge corporation - if you don't know what the law mandates, then either they are incompetent, or more likely you are.

I'm betting that your benefits department knows exactly what they have to do. Its just that you haven't taken the time to ask them for a summary as you've been too busy crying Socialism! and behaving like a butt-hurt ten year old to understand what its about.

Now that you've gotten a boatload of bad publicity you're doing the major back pedal. Do you realize that there are people like me that won't patronize you even if you don't cut workers' hours to avoid the provisions?

No cookies for you for deciding to act like a decent employer. And that means no PJ pizzas for me. Hope your profits continue to decline. Then you'll have something to cry about.
tabaqui 25th-Nov-2012 03:32 pm (UTC)
+1, so damn much. Jackass.
belleweather 25th-Nov-2012 04:19 pm (UTC)
A lot of businesses actually held off on doing ACA stuff because first they thought the Supreme Court was going to rule against it, and then they thought Romney was going to win the election and repeal it. This is delusional, but I used to spend a lot of time at my former (thank god!) job trying to convince them to see reason. It was about as useful as you'd expect. Now they're all scrambling and I'm enjoying watching their pain. But I expect Mr. Papa John's Dude was on that team.
hinoema 25th-Nov-2012 04:21 pm (UTC)
This, all that needs to be said, etc.
pinksta_r 25th-Nov-2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
+1 I love this comment.
ladypolitik 25th-Nov-2012 07:49 pm (UTC)
Best comment EVER
crossfire 26th-Nov-2012 04:56 am (UTC)
This is a good comment and you should feel good for making it.
romp 26th-Nov-2012 06:54 am (UTC)
pretty much this
rkt 25th-Nov-2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
can someone please post a picture of his castle? i feel like no post about him is complete without it.

also, i don't understand boycotting (by those who would otherwise actually buy his pizza) PJs because of what he has said. the loss of bueiness would just encourage him to lay off employees and blame obama.
effervescent 25th-Nov-2012 05:24 pm (UTC)
By that token we should never boycott a company ever, then, because we might be affecting people's jobs. Sometimes people feel the need to take a stand - they don't want to impact jobs, of course, but this sounds like you feel that the average citizen boycotting PJ's is more at fault than the CEO. Impacting profits is the only way to get a company to change its ways.

veracity 25th-Nov-2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
Especially to a man who has no problem giving away a couple million pizzas a year.
rkt 25th-Nov-2012 06:23 pm (UTC)
lol. ontd_p... don't ever change from trying to be more liberal than thou.
i do think that boycots can be an excellent way to a slacktivist. i've never said otherwise. i was questioning the logic in this specific incidence because i do not understand the specific thought process.

considering i referenced he lives in a castle, and think pics of it are important when discussing his outlandish claims of not being able to afford profit loss due to ACA, what led you to conclude i think it is more the citizens fault? maybe i should have spelled it out harder for you. my bad. the ceo doesn't care about his employees. he's made this clear. if it comes down to a choice between not having a fifth pool and letting a few hundred employees go because his profits have fallen, he is going to let his people go.

effervescent 25th-Nov-2012 06:47 pm (UTC)
I get why you're questioning it, but the thing is, by saying that you don't understand boycotts because they're going to impact profits and potentially jobs, you're coming across as believing the people have an obligation to keep shopping there to make sure that the shitty CEO doesn't have an excuse to fire workers. I mean, what would the alternative be, realistically? Chick-Fil-A is an example of how 'negative publicity' just helps, after all.
rkt 25th-Nov-2012 08:28 pm (UTC)
thank you?

so, people aren't obligated to eat papa john's unless they want to. the pizza is cheap and tastes like it too. it's completely the owner's fault if he chooses to fire his employees so he can continue his own immoral lifestyle during a boycot. but fault doesn't matter when someone else is out of a job. fortunately, even the unemployed can get health care now.

chick fil a stopped talking so much and chose less overtly hateful organizations to support. i'm less convinced that it changed than it went more underground with their antagonism. which, yes, is something, but not entirely an end game of any sort.
chaya 25th-Nov-2012 09:25 pm (UTC)
fauxparadiso 25th-Nov-2012 08:05 pm (UTC)
lol what, boycotting is slacktivism? so instead people should go buy a pizza and then protest outside?
rkt 25th-Nov-2012 08:11 pm (UTC)
because that's what i said.
fauxparadiso 25th-Nov-2012 08:27 pm (UTC)
i do think that boycots can be an excellent way to a slacktivist

Don't get snarky when I'm just going on your statement.
rkt 25th-Nov-2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
boycotting is slacktivism? <

yes. i said this.

so instead people should go buy a pizza and then protest outside?

no. i did not say this.

Don't get snarky

when I'm just going on your statement.

no. you embellished it fox-news style.

fauxparadiso 25th-Nov-2012 08:33 pm (UTC)
As if thinking boycotting is slacktivism isn't a fox news type of opinion to begin with. plus asking a question (which is what i did) is not putting words in your mouth. not my fault if you choose not to explain yourself and go on defense instead.
rkt 25th-Nov-2012 08:36 pm (UTC)
lol u r 2 cute 4 words
fauxparadiso 25th-Nov-2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
at least someone is <3
romp 26th-Nov-2012 07:02 am (UTC)
We didn't call it slacktivism in the '80s when we boycotted South Africa. Why do you think that is?

(pro tip: when you begin a comment with "lol" you will almost certainly come off as immature, like a child faking laughter to show how much she Doesn't Care)
romp 26th-Nov-2012 07:43 am (UTC)
less reactive: I don't think it helps that you mock boycotts while proposing no alternatives. I'm wary of the term "slacktivist" because it's a way of shaming someone who is at least taking some action. And another way the left tends to eat its own.

Boycotting and explaining to your coworkers why you won't have lunch there educates people. Same with posting on FB: it gets mocked by your getting people aren't activists to think and giving them information. I think talking to the people around you creates very real change because I've watched it happen for years. Which doesn't mean some other idea isn't also good. So we can having a boycott AND FB posts AND a hostile corporate takeover or whatever it is you think is better.
thepikey 25th-Nov-2012 08:36 pm (UTC)
No, just his crappy company will go out of business (or that one particular franchise, whatevs).

And some *other* pizza company will move in (either at that same location, or somewhere nearby) to fill the void and satisfy that market.

And hopefully this new company will have picked up a free lesson in corporate responsibility, and treat their employees better.
moonshaz The castle25th-Nov-2012 08:06 pm (UTC)
rkt Re: The castle25th-Nov-2012 08:15 pm (UTC)
thank you!

anyone who can afford this is by no means in danger of going bankrupt because of obamacare. his claim is the result of delusions that defy logic.
spyral_path 25th-Nov-2012 06:04 pm (UTC)
I'd be a lot more impressed if he came right out and admitted he was wrong.
sio 25th-Nov-2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
mrasaki 25th-Nov-2012 07:32 pm (UTC)
yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if he still didn't implement a policy in which they hire only part-timers so they don't have to offer full benefits, as many companies do today -- thereby reinforcing the numbers of the working poor. A basic principle of business management is that happy employees/good employee morale mean better productivity, and the vast majority of companies DO offer healthcare benefits already. This guy is just a stingy asshole.
caerfrli 25th-Nov-2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
Politics aside, I'd think twice about eating anything made by people who don't have health insurance and are therefore likely to bring germs into the workplace.
romp 26th-Nov-2012 07:06 am (UTC)
Bringing up the whole issue of how a lack of health care COSTS a country money! People use ERs for health care, need antibiotics because they had to wait for a crisis, and then the antibiotic-resistant bugs are spread in communities of people in the same situation.
kaelstra 25th-Nov-2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
Still not ever buying Papa John's ever again, dickhole.
shadwrayvn 25th-Nov-2012 09:25 pm (UTC)
totally OT but eeee love your panda icon! I need to level mine!

Edited at 2012-11-25 09:25 pm (UTC)
dragonflyxwings 25th-Nov-2012 10:55 pm (UTC)
Whatever dude. I found a better pizza place thanks to your as shatters so thanks?
owl_eyes_4ever 26th-Nov-2012 12:34 am (UTC)
I'm not sure what's new about this. AFAIK he already said he'd follow it, just that less employees would be offered full-time positions to make up for it.
gangsterdorothy 26th-Nov-2012 09:16 pm (UTC)
I have a question in regards to ACA.

I don't know if anyone here could help me find a clear answer, but my boyfriend has type 2 diabetes. He currently has health insurance through his job.

In general, what does it mean for someone with type 2 diabetes once ACA goes into act fully?
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