Food Healthcare

Don’t Eat at This Terrible Restaurant

The Florida-based Gator’s Dockside restaurant chain has began adding an Obamacare surcharge to meal tickets for the purposes of covering healthcare for their employees, but there’s a catch you may already be aware of.


via TPM

“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.” a sign reads at one of the restaurants, alerting customers to the surcharge, according to CNN.

The catch is the employer mandate that requires businesses with over 50 employees to provide health insurance does not take effect until 2015. Moreover, Gator’s only provides insurance to management as of this time.

The company employs a total of 500 people, with about half working full-time. Currently only management receives health benefits, but the restaurant will have to offer coverage to all full-timers once the mandate takes effect. The fee will allow the company to continue offering full-time hours to many workers, according to Sandra Clark, the group’s director of operations.

Gator’s Dockside has added an Obamacare surcharge for no reason at all.

Even if the employer mandate were live today, that wouldn’t be an excuse for instituting an Obamacare surcharge, but it isn’t live today. This is a farce. Gator’s Dockside is not currently obligated to provide health insurance and they do not, in fact, provide health insurance for anyone outside of management.

  • Treading_Water

    For the sake of fairness and transparency, where is the wastewater surcharge, the cleaning supply surcharge, the laundry surcharge for the restaurant linens and towels, the utilities surcharge, and the health code compliance surcharge for the various tasks related to maintaining a health code compliant restaurant? Perhaps if he really wants to break down costs, he should also should show the actual food costs on the bill as well.

    • Good point, if they’re itemizing ACA, why not itemize everything!

  • muselet

    Steve Benen asked a reasonable question this morning:

    Let’s say the next time I go to a restaurant with my wife for lunch, instead of getting a bill for $22.64, we’ll get a bill for $22.84. And with those two extra dimes, we’re told everyone who works at that restaurant will be able to receive affordable medical care.

    Putting aside the question of whether a restaurant actually faces any meaningful financial burdens associated with the Affordable Care Act, am I really supposed to find this scandalous?

    This is really an attempt by (some, not all) Gator’s Dockside restaurants to rake in an extra 1% profit and score a cheap political point at the same time. Since some franchisees are not adding the surcharge, I’d expect the scheme to come to a juddering halt within a few days.


    • Christopher Foxx

      If the manager of those Gator’s was actually trying to provide health care for his employees, Steve Benen’s point would be worth discussing.

      But, as you point out, that is not what the manager is doing. Far from it.

  • So less than 1% of my bill helps make sure that the people cooking and serving my food are healthy. Socialism, pinko, commie stuff right there! I thought the Constitution gave us the right to be served extra germs!!!

    • Christopher Foxx

      Excellent point.

  • i_a_c

    I personally am more than happy to pay 10 cents every 10 dollars so that employees of an establishment can have health insurance. I don’t care if the owners list it on a receipt out of spite or not.

    • Except the employees may never see a dime of that money for their health insurance. As Chris said above, watch them move all their full-time employees to part-time to avoid having to cover them before the 2015 deadline.

  • Toolymegapoopoo

    These idiots cannot even calculate 1% correctly. Don’t they know how much more they can fleece their customers for if they could properly calculate 1% of $21.15 as $0.21 and not $0.20? Maybe they aren’t idiots at all. They are in Florida which means maybe they understand that Tea Party fuckwads will flock to their restaurants to pay more in order to “stick it to Obama.”

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Remember, kids, both sides are just as bad. Remember all those liberal restaurateurs who added an “Iraq War surcharge” to their customers’ tabs during the 2000s?

    • Al Iriberri

      No, I don’t. Please cite a source for that claim as a search for “restaurant surcharge iraq war” turned up only citations for Obamacare surcharges….over 2m of them in fact.

      • i_a_c

        Relax, that comment was snark.

        • Al Iriberri

          *zoop* right over my head. 😛 heh

      • Robert Scalzi

        come back more often to the comments section and you will realize that you have been SNARKED !! good one Graf

      • GrafZeppelin127

        We’ve got a live one.

  • PhilSimms97

    So $0.20 is needed to provide employees health care and that’s somehow unreasonable but $2.49 for ice tea is reasonable? Huh?

    You know you can make 28 quarts of ice tea for about $5.

  • Christopher Foxx

    I read in another article mentioning this that some of the other Gator’s franchises, not owned by the person who owns these, are trying damage control. At least some of them aren’t assholes.

    In a more perfect world, they’d be able to advertise as “The Good Gator’s, who aren’t trying to shaft you.”, steal his customers, and then buy up his franchises cheep.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Currently only management receives health benefits, but the restaurant will have to offer coverage to all full-timers once the mandate takes effect.

    What do you bet, by the time the law eventually takes effect, that the manager of Gator’s will have eliminated full-time waiter positions?

    Se he’ll have collected, for a year, a “surcharge” to cover the a cost he never has. Because Benghazi.

  • Robert Scalzi

    Is what they are doing even Legal ??

  • zirgar

    Gator’s What-A-Load-Of-Crockside