Let's open this up for debate. 

Discussion points include recruitment and retention, operations, cash flow, the forthcoming election, Romney's willingness to fight the Supreme Court if elected, growth and development, among other topics. We need to hear from operators, owners, managers, corporate executives and human resource professionals. Let's open this up for discussion today.

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  • I have an idea. Check out Indiegogo campaign Community Ambassador Benefit Fund.

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  • No matter what the direction of health care in America... the insurance companies and the financial institutions that profit from the American healthcare system are the ONLY ones that will profit. That's the way the system has been established and maintained for the past 50-years.

    Why is it that no one questions the those leaders and companies that manipulate American health care for profit rather than serving our citizens?!

    About our industry and health care: we are known for low pay and benefits. Being the expectation is low from the labor pool... the good ones leave and work for the competing industries. Our industry leaders have cried wolf about health care legislation for years. Yet our industry has grown to a financial behemoth... growing year after year... even in the current recession.

    From a pure profit level... it's too expensive to provide... even on a small scale. But we still keep supporting the system by paying ever increasing premiums.

    Our industry, labor force... American citizens are the  only ones losing. I went through a personal financial disaster because of family medical challenges. No fault of our own... a family member just got seriously ill. The only ones that won out was the insurance companies. The only way our family member got the care needed is if we had INSURANCE! What allowed my family to survive was to work 7-days a week (at times off the clock so I would not go into overtime... with my employer(s) full knowledge)

    Why are we such a rich country with the worst healthcare system for its citizens. Whys is our industry is known for it's lack of benefits, when over the past 30-years it has grown to an industry level in the billions of dollars?

    The #1 cause of bankruptcy in the USA is medical care!!

    Paul ~ WaitersWorld

    • Why, you ask- yet you have given the answers. Because the healtcare industries, insurance companies and drug companies have worked hard to build a system where they will be the primary beneficiaries of anyone's ill fortunes, -and they will work hard to grow and maintain that system.  We live in a society where small bribes are illegal, but massive bribes are not only legal but encouraged.  When anyone tries to change that system they are labeled "socialist."

      I've been a Republican most of my life but beleive that balance in capitalist systems and socialistic systems (roads, police, military, sanitation...) are what made this country great. Yes, medical and insurance need to be socialized just like roads and the military. It is no less important and no less vital to the well-being of the nation. 

      Well stated Paul Paz, continue to share your story.

  • I really do not see this as an issue.  Ethical business owners will embrace it or already offer benefits to their employees.  Unethical employers will simply start cutting hours to have part-time employees instead of full-time employees.  A restaurant with 50 or more employees? That does not sound like a small operation to me, at all.  It sounds like a franchise with 2-4 units based on the concept, which would seemingly make this less of a tragedy than the original description sounds. 

    I am finishing up my HRM degree, and I can tell you I have worked for the unethical franchisees and people who do not respect their employees enough to help them provide for themselves.  I mean, the state of Arizona had to MANDATE the tipped wages go up to $4.25 an hour from $2.13 an hour to help the employees.  What did many restaurant operators do? They cut their employees hour, to make sure they do not get over time on $4.25 an hour.

    I can tell you I am looking at socially responsible and ethical operators who understand their employees are their marketing department, their sales people, and their front line of bringing guests back and increasing sales through word of mouth.  Places like Mariott extend not only awesome health benefits to their employees, but fabulous paid vacations, personal time, domestic partner benefits, and other awesome perks, and they do not seem to be struggling. 

    I really think operators need to realize their chicken strips are not going to order themselves and then waltz out to the table cooked and edible looking, and it is time to treat employees better.  Look at the stock of employees for jobs traditionally looked at as "lower end."  Pretty soon it really will be down to high school kids, transients, and junkies - essentially people who are not invested in the job for a career or any connection of loyalty, but for the money. 

    Is the cost of turn-over really worth it? I do not think quality employees will stick around when their earnings are messed with.  Many restaurant operators offer some level of insurance to employees.  I know Denny's Corporate does. 

    I know small operators do not come close to having 50 employees, and they should not be affected.  It seems like this will affect the hazy middle ground of franchisees and small, multi-unit operators who might feel the crunch. 

  • Our healthcare system was broke before and not sustainable.  Regardless of what you think of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it is at least action poised at addressing some of the most heinous outcomes of the system in place.  The radical right or left, doesn't serve the greater good, and Congress collectively is grossly failing in it's duties to us, the American people.  Better solutions?  Propose them; create a bill and present it to the President for signature into law.  Ideas for tweaking the existing law to make it better?  Same thing.  Doing nothing, or continually looking backward do not move our nation forward.  There were--and still are--serious challenges surrounding healthcare in this country, not least of which is legitimate tort reform.  We are better served by serious and appropriate tending to the business at hand, instead of the political grandstanding and rabid politic rhetoric.  The deck has been stacked against the rate payer or would be rate payer, giving significant leeway to insurance companies and big pharma for too long.  Appropriate regulation is essential.

    • I am amused at being called a "lefty".  I've voted in 10 preisidential elections and voted Republican in 8 of them. But then again, I've been in the restaurant industry, I've been called far worse. :)

  • Hey "Righty (Roger)

    Your dead wrong, our country's health care system is much worse. The ROI is horrible. You "Right Wingers" and I am an (Republican) need to focus on the facts not fanatical sound bites from the fringe.


    (Reuters) - Americans spend twice as much as residents of other developed countries on healthcare, but get lower quality, less efficiency and have the least equitable system, according to a report released on Wednesday.



    "Combined public and private spending on health care in the U.S. came to $8,233 per person in 2010, more than twice as much as relatively rich European countries such as France, Sweden and Britain that provide universal health care."

    Per the discussion topic, the restaurant industry will survive and be better for it. A healthy work force is paramount to a successful business. 

  • I worked in the restaurant industry for years and years. Restaurateurs, too much more often than not, don't give a crap about the health & welfare of their employees. It's odd, for these employees are in so many ways tasked to be acrobats, from back-of-the-house to the front. So, restaurant owners demand health risk but turn purple if asked to get serious about employee health insurance.

    • Ditto Christopher. Healthcare is more of a tricky issue in such a high turnover industry where employers already spend as little as possible on employees ($2.13/hour anyone?). Also, good job FOHBOH on staying neutral by not only including Obamacare in the title but starting off your own discussion with a biased press release from the NRA.

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