Now On Your Restaurant Bill: Obamacare Fee

By  //  February 28, 2014


ABOVE VIDEO: Local 6 in Orlando reports on the restaurants in the Gator Dockside Group that have added an Affordable Care Act surcharge to their customers’ tabs to offset the increased cost of the law’s employer mandate.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Some of the franchises in a Florida restaurant chain have taken an apporach to cover the increased costs of mandatory employee health insurance required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) and, at least outwardly, avoid raising the prices on their fare.

The CNNMoney article excerpted below reports on the eight Gator Dockside restaurants that, like some other eateries across the country, have started applying an ACA “surcharge,” to the price of their products and services to offset the additional revenue that is needed to cover the cost of Obamacare.

The restaurants that are tacking on an Obamacare surcharge are very transparent and careful to inform their customers of the charge and it’s genesis.

When you’re dining out be sure to check the final itemized tally. As the employer mandate kicks in, it’s likely that more restaurants will be applying an Obamacare surcharge.

— Dr. Jim Palermo, Editor-in-Chief

(CNNMoney image)
(CNNMoney image)

CNNMONEY — Diners at eight Gator’s Dockside casual eateries are finding a 1% Affordable Care Act surcharge on their tabs, which comes to 15 cents on a typical $15 lunch tab. Signs on the door and at tables alert diners to the fee, which is also listed separately on the bill.

The Gator Group’s full-time hourly employees won’t actually receive health insurance until December. But the company said it implemented the surcharge now because of the compliance costs it’s facing ahead of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate kicking in in 2015.

“The costs associated with ACA compliance could ultimately close our doors,” the sign reads. “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.”

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.

“I’m just trying to keep the employees I have that I’ve worked hard to train,” Clark said.

CLICK HERE to read the complete story on Money.CNN.