Gator's Dockside, a restaurant group in Lake Mary, Florida, has gotten a lot of press lately. It seems the corporate-owned restaurants are charging a 1 percent Affordable Care Act surcharge to compensate for the restaurants' additional costs associated with providing health care to their full-time employees when Obamacare's employer mandate begins in 2015. The additional monies collected are shown on a diner's check as a separate line item called "ACA Surcharge."
Bill Wisser Miami chefs, including Michael Schwartz, weigh in on an Obamacare surcharge.
According to CNN, Gator's Dockside employs 500 people, with about half working full-time. Currently, only management receives health care, but the restaurant must offer benefits to all full-time employees once the Obamacare mandate goes into effect. The fee will allow the company to continue offering full-time hours to workers instead of cutting back hours or laying off employees, according to Sandra Clark, the group's director of operations.
But is adding a surcharge to a diner's check the best way to recoup some of the costs involved with offering health insurance to employees? Granted, Obamacare will raise the cost of doing business in the restaurant industry, but will it do the same to every small business in the United States? Should we then see surcharges with our dry cleaning or when we get our teeth cleaned? And could Miamians ever see an Obamacare surcharge at local restaurants?
We asked several Miami restaurateurs and chefs to weigh in on how they feel about an Obamacare surcharge. The answers are passionate and thought-provoking.More »