Obama Care - How does the Supreme Court decision affect the restaurant industry?

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.

Tags: obama care, supreme court ruling

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CONTACT: Sue Hensley (202) 331-5964 shensley@restaurant.org or Katie Laning Niebaum (202) 973-3967kniebaum@restaurant.org

National Restaurant Association on TwitterFacebook and YouTube.

 National Restaurant Association Expresses Strong Concern About Supreme Court Decision on Health Care Law

Law’s Impact Will Hurt Thousands of Business Owners and their Employees

 (Washington, D.C.) The National Restaurant Association today expressed strong concern about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the majority of provisions within the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), including all of the employer requirements which threaten the economic health of the restaurant industry.

 “Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is troubling for restaurant operators and business owners across the country,” said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “We encourage Congress to continue efforts to repeal the law, since the Court’s decision leaves the employer requirements in place, provisions which impact restaurant operators’ ability to grow and create jobs.”

Based on the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the law, employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees must offer “affordable” health insurance of minimum value to full-time employees and their dependents or pay penalties. The cost of such coverage or the penalties could threaten the very slim profit margin on which most restaurants operate. 

“This unworkable law cannot stand as is,” said Sweeney. “We need reform that addresses the increasing costs our members are faced with each year. Restaurant owners are looking for solutions that will allow them to provide better health care coverage options for their team members, but they cannot be saddled with excessive costs and regulatory burdens that threaten their very business. We ask members of Congress to take action that helps the restaurant industry continue to help create jobs and grow the national economy.”

 “As the analysis of the Court’s full ruling becomes clearer, we will continue to evaluate the impact of the implementation of the law on the industry,” said Sweeney. 




Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 970,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of nearly 13 million employees. Together with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the Association works to lead America’s restaurant industry into a new era of prosperity, prominence, and participation, enhancing the quality of life for all we serve. For more information, visit our Web site at www.restaurant.org.


View this news release online: http://www.restaurant.org/pressroom/pressrelease/?ID=2293


Subscribe to news release RSS feeds: http://www.restaurant.org/pressroom/rsscategories/


More news and information from the National Restaurant Association: http://www.restaurant.org/pressroom


Okay, you have over 50 full time employees and a few of them get seriously ill or into an accident (outside of work).  What's the alternative?  Have the goverment pay to fix them up and subsidise your restaurant?

The US has the highest per capita healthcare cost in the world and the 49th highest life expectancy. Something is not working right and we can not continue to ignore the problem.

We are all afraid of the word "socialize."  We have a socialized health care system now, it kicks in when a middle class person becomes ill and has to liquidate all assets to pay medical, -then the goverment steps in and pays (the middle class person is now a welfare recipient).  Obamacare is not the end-all; but it's a start and a hell of a lot better than we have.



I'd like to remind Mr Lefty  here that the government has no money of it's own. We the taxpayers are being forced by a so called government that has forced this against the will of the people. Socialized medicine is NOT better than what we have and certainly ObamaDon'tCare is a farce to  further the tyranical grip that is about to implode our freedoms. Vote out this tyrant in November and return to a government by the people and FOR the people.

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.

Max, I totally agree with you.  I actually opened the link because I was offended. I would not expect such bias from an online service aiming to support restauranteurs.  I have fairly liberal views, and while I am not currently working in the industry due to my educational hiatus while I work on my degree, the delivery of this topic simply told me FOHBOH is probably not for me.  I am here for support, ideas, and articles regarding the industry.  Essentially to network and contribute.  I am not here to debate and wonder what kind of agenda this site has.  While I like the NRA for some points - their safety training material is top-notch, I also know they have a political agenda of their own, which leans toward the fears and misunderstandings of those that make up their board, as well as their largest contributors, as opposed to their members.

The industry is growing and changing.  It is growing into a reputable industry where saying "I am a restaurant manager" is no longer equal with saying, "I'm a used car salesman."

There is no reason to embrace high turn-over and trade off ethics and quality for the bottom line.  Those who are always staring down and their bottom line are missing all the opportunities around them. 

If you sincerely sit down and figure out all of the associated costs to turn-over - uniforms, training, employee meals, worker's comp insurance, advertising, background check (if you are an operator and you are not performing background checks, you are seriously placing yourself at a huge liability if they are freaking nuts and hurt someone at your operation, by the way), time spent interviewing, the holes in service with that missing person, etc., I bet it is cheaper to just take better care of your employees.  I know it was when I was managing. 

I am here for support, not an agenda - way to cross that line FOHBOH!

Right well I now see that this is posted in the Advertising category which is pretty laughable. Typically in a forum setting the ads are entirely separate from forum content other than sometimes being placed in between posts. I never see ads actually being the forum content. FOHBOH was promising when starting out but not it's just annoying to use the site. They're trying to squeeze money out of every corner of the site in exchange for making it less valuable to users. 

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."http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/u-s-health-care-cost...

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

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. :)

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. 

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





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