HomeEconomic Issues‘Patriotic’ Restaurant Owners Adding Obamacare Surcharge to Bills

‘Patriotic’ Restaurant Owners Adding Obamacare Surcharge to Bills

In what they say is not in any way  a political statement, the owners of three Gator’s Dockside restaurants in Central Florida are now adding an “ACA surcharge” to customer’s bills.

The three locations in The Villages, Eustis, and Clermont, Florida have, in what is totally not in any way politically motivated, have been plastered with notifications that Obamacare has caused them to have to add an additional 1% surcharge to customers’ bills.

According to the notifications prominently displayed on doors, at tables, and even in restrooms, the benevolent “job creators” have chosen to keep full-time employees, so naturally they must pass along the additional cost to customers.


“We just want to be transparent with that cost.  We want everyone to know this is what its going towards,” Clermont Gator’s Dockside General Manager Chayse Neal WKMG Local 6. “We’re not increasing costs just because.  It is a fee that we’re paying.”

The owners say that the additional charge which, once again, is not in any way politically motivated or a publicity stunt, will not cover all of the additional costs. Apparently unaware that costs of doing business fluctuate, they complain that they have had to deal with additional paperwork and lament their choice to hire an outside compliance firm.

The restaurants that have chosen to add the fee say that, without it, they would have to cut employee hours. “Instead of increasing menu prices 5, 10, 20 percent or whatever we need to do, if we did a one time untaxed surcharge it would be cheaper in the long run,” Neal said.


Of course, the notices have had a negative impact on employees. According to Local 6, the General Manager confirmed that there have been “rumors” of customers withholding servers’ tips because of the notification.

Not all Gator’s are adding the surcharge. Locations owned directly by the company will not be adding the surcharge. “We chose not to do it because we know its the cost of doing business,” said Joe Foranoce, director of operations of the Baldwin Park Gator’s Dockside. “We felt we did not want to pass that surcharge or that cost on to our guests.” He told Local 6 that the chain does not plan to hide the surcharge by increasing food and drink prices, either.

Watch a news report on this “necessary” surcharge that is totally “not a political statement” below:

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About John Prager

John Prager
John Prager is an unfortunate Liberal soul who lives uncomfortably in the middle of a Conservative hellscape and likes to refer to himself as an "island of reason in a sea of insanity." While he is not a fan of politicians, period, he has developed a deep-seated hatred for the bigotry, fear mongering, and lies of the Right Wing. John also works as a counselor at one of Barry Soetoro's FEMA re-education camps and as a HAARP weather control coordinator. John's life's aspiration is to rule the world with an iron fist, or find that sock he's been looking for. John can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions or comments.

    The masses are on the LIBERAL side and they will boycott the restaurants that show this form of ignorance.

  • Mandrake

    I’m not sure of the tax law in FL, but in most jurisdictions with a sales tax any ‘unavoidable’ charge – like this surcharge – has to be considered in the taxable portion of the bill. By putting the surcharge below the tax they are potentially committing tax fraud by not charging and remitting sales tax on this surcharge.

  • https://www.facebook.com/john.st.john61 John St John

    All this amounts to is an illegal tax.

  • Pingback: Restaurant Charging ‘ACA Surcharge’ For Fee That DOESN’T EXIST Yet, Not Actually Insuring Employees | Americans Against the Tea Party()

  • Kevan Scott

    I know of one surefire way to stop this ! No longer patronize their places of business! I know I wouldn’t if I lived in any of the towns they are in!

    • Neal Feldman

      I consider it to be similar to places that include a mandatory gratuity. Those which do so need a refresher on the definition of the term ‘gratuity':

      gra·tu·i·ty n. pl. gra·tu·i·ties. A favor or gift, usually in the form of money, given in return for service.

      I see that notice and I leave the restaurant and make sure the management knows why. If it is not warned in advance I will refuse to pay it and will only pay the bill without the mandatory gratuity (what an oxymoron). I tip the wait staff separately based on service quality.

      I will not be strong armed in such a way. And either way I make sure that management is fully aware that I will not be returning so long as the policy persists, and will be quite vocal about it to others.

      They can stick that in their sock and suck it.

  • biancaneve

    Don’t they know that only liberals are allowed to engage in politically motivated stunts?

    • Hooper

      How utterly true. The hypocrisy of liberalism is astounding.

      • Neal Feldman

        “Look, dear! Teatards!”

  • Skyhawk

    “Instead of increasing menu prices 5, 10, 20 percent or whatever we need to do, if we did a one time untaxed surcharge it would be cheaper in the long run,”

    Seriously??? We can take our MENU PRICES and add 1% in the form of a surcharge, otherwise we would have to take our MENU PRICES and add 5, 10, 20 percent…???

    SERIOUSLY???? 1% of menu prices equals 1% of menu prices whether it is labelled a “surcharge” or a “price increase”!!! You do not have to raise prices by 20% if 1% covers it — whether you call it a “surcharge” or “price increase” or anything else!

    • https://www.facebook.com/danny.murdock.35 Danny Murdock

      It is so rare & awesome to see an intelligent observation,thank you

      • Brian Murdock

        It also helps to illuminate at the end of the day just how affordable it is for cover health care. All these scare stories of being forced to fire people etch… and we learn it’s 1%.

  • eneklin

    I don’t have a problem with them showing HOW LITTLE it costs to provide the people that handle my food with health insurance. If they are actually helping to provide that insurance. No one seems to be upset about showing the amount paid in sales taxes that will most likely go to Rick Scotts cronies in no bid contracts.

  • kitcumbie

    Well with all the good restaurants to choose from there is no reason to eat at this primitive place.

  • Monty

    Leave your review for them here and help this douche find a need for ACA coverage himself once his place has gone under http://www.yelp.com/biz/gators-dockside-gainesville?fsid=JajljXZ5i2plJkPyc3xZHQ

    • Hooper

      Yes… political discourse by intimidation and sabotage. Liberalism at its finest.

  • Cis

    What a tragedy! I guess I’ll just have to go to one of the other infinite restaurant options that isn’t butthurt over healthcare.

  • https://plus.google.com/108962637149004259721 Larry Narachi

    What a joke – and from what I can tell, the food is reheated SYSCO slop

  • Jeff anders

    How does one shitty restaurant have more than 50 full time employees?

    • AATTP

      There are 3 locations.

  • James

    Boycott these restaurants and have them prove they are providing health insurance!!!!

    • Hooper

      Right. Let’s put them out of business so their employees can go without health insurance and a job. Great plan!

  • cheryl

    One more reason to never set foot in FL again.

    • mIKE

      1% is not a big deal?. Of course the cost was going to be passed to the consumer one way or another. That’s just business.

      • arlo

        Unless, of course, that money does not go to ACA, and he just keeps it, rubbing his hands together and saying “Excellent.”.

      • Monty

        Being a dick about it is a big deal. Mixing politics and business is never a good idea. DId he add a minimum wage increase surcharge? Did he add a gas increase surcharge, toll road surcharge……food cost increase surcharge?

        • Hooper

          Of course he did. They’re called taxes.

  • Justine

    Who in the world of food service offers employees insurance?? Except managers and the chief, maybe??

    • Madbunny

      @Justine: Don’t know. On the other hand why not if they’re full time workers. Food service workers get really screwed over with the sub minimum wages, tip sharing and lack of security.

    • Joerg

      Germany f.ex. .

    • Melissa

      Starbucks Coffee Company offers any partner that works twenty hours a week or more health insurance. It is a good idea, but on part time wages the insurance is hard to pay.

  • https://www.facebook.com/DaGoRgeOus1 Stacy Robinson

    I am perfectly fine with paying this surcharge… It will cost me less than paying their emergency room bill.

  • Lifesaved by ACA

    It’s bad enough he’s in a business where the customer is expected to pay most of his wages, via tips, but now he thinks customers should pay for decent healthcare for his employees, too. Well, I live two miles from one of these restaurants and this patriotic customer and his wife will eat elsewhere! (Nice Cracker Barrel just north of here.) You see, this customer probably had his life saved through the ACA. We did not have insurance prior to Jan. 1st and now I am scheduled for cardiac surgery in a few days. I could have stroked out or had a heart attack. Thank God for the ACA!!

    • http://www.johnprager.com John Prager

      Remember that it’s three locations. The corporate-run ones view it as a cost of doing business.

      • Hooper

        So do the franchisees. They just choose to delineate this cost to their customers. Why should this bother you? Shouldn’t we all be happy to pay this as our patriotic duty? Sounds to me like you would be pushing for every company to show this charge in the bill to its customers. That way we all would know that we are contributing to Obamacare. Why do you want to hide this? (Oh, that’s right, your liberals)

    • Hooper

      Wow.. what a dumb comment. The customer pays for EVERYTHING.

      Hope all goes well with the surgery.

      • Jo

        Wow..what a dumb person. You are a jerk (oh, that’s right, you’re a republican who doesn’t know proper grammar).

  • https://www.facebook.com/robert.s.mcknight1 Robert Scott McKnight

    Why of course. I mean your cost of business is so expensive only having to pay your servers $2.35 an hour, because they make tips. You guys are probably the type of jerks that go ahead say they just get a blanket 15% of the bill as a tip every time to justify your slave wages. All the while going home after your hard 8 hours of counting money, while your server heads of to one of their three other jobs, because you’re nothing more than a plantation master.

    • http://twitter.com/bunnychi75 bunnychi75 (@bunnychi75)

      Sad thing is, that 2nd/3rd job thing is too real; I was doing a temp job doing surveys at one of the Hampton Roads Denny’s, and one of the waitresses said that after she was done there, she gotta go to her second job. And she had been there since before 7am, and she had to get to that second job by 4:30! That was the one that REALLY helped pay her bills, she said! What’s more, they were cutting their hours at that restaurant!

  • rnf

    The mgr is crazy. I think & would bet the restaurant isn’t paying employees health insurance.

  • http://gravatar.com/zeebanaybuh zeebanaybuh

    So, for an additional 1 percent charge, everyone can get health care? Excuse me? If it’s that cheap, why didn’t we do this years ago?

  • Thomas

    Political statement? Yes it is. Why? Because it is cutting into his profits and like any good job creator, he wants to keep as much money for himself as possible.

  • joebbz2

    The only people in his employ that qualify for ANY benefits are the Managers, not assistant ,not cooks, not wait staff, not busboys, dishwashers etc….
    This wanna be Papa Johns, same deal, cry about Healthcare but no one in the store has any benefits , zero ,nada, none.. and the rising cost to those lucky enough to get benefits found relief with the constraints the Affordable Healthcare Act imbued upon the Monopolies called health insurance companies
    The ACA is trying to fix insurance companies, Most billion dollar corporations don’t want to come under public scrutiny, especially if it causes them to lose their strangle hold on the client/rate payer

    • http://gravatar.com/flaitguy flaitguy

      Right, they are actually complaining because they can’t send their own employees to the ER all the time thus forcing Joe Public to subsidize the company health care for them.

  • Shawn Crippen

    Not politically motivated MY ASS.

  • Hooper

    You wrote: Apparently unaware that costs of doing business fluctuate….

    Right. They have no idea. They are IN the restaurant business and they have no idea how it operates.

    • http://thunderinthepost.wordpress.com Shifflett

      Is it really that hard to understand that just because somebody owns a franchise doesn’t mean they know all of the nuances of their franchise’s day-to-day operations? Obviously the corporate owners do better business than these idiot franchise owners. All franchise owners look at is their bottom line. Whether they are gaining or losing money is, most of the time, the ONLY thing they know about the franchise they own. Half of the restaurant owners I know aren’t all that aware of how the restaurant business actually functions, hence their need to hire General Managers that can better operate the day-to-day affairs, despite the fact that they only have one location. Think before you type, Hooper. You’ll save yourself a lot of embarassment down the line.

      • Comicus

        They do know how the restaurant business works but they have no grasp on public relations. When people bitch about this, they call the corporate offices who inform the unhappy customers that it’s just some franchisees doing this and their restaurants didn’t need to add surcharges, making these clowns look like petty douchebags. I can understand why you might think these businessmen idiots as they’ve been seemingly blindsided by events years in the making.

        • http://thunderinthepost.wordpress.com Shifflett

          I see your point about the lack of P.R. knowledge or ability. You could have pointed to any one of a numerous amount of P.R. disasters just in the last 5 years alone to make your point, but you’re point was made in the more subtle way of being generic and letting these P.R. nightmares of recent years creep into the reader’s mind organically. Very well stated.

        • Hooper

          Comicus… that’s true. I never said it was a good idea nor a bad one. AATTP wants us to believe that these guys don’t know how restaurants operate. That’s just plain stupid.

          As for being blindsided…”if you like your health insurance, you can keep it.”

      • Hooper

        Shifflett.. your comment is beyond dumb. AATTP wrote that the owners don’t know that the restaurant business fluctuates. That stupidity rivals your stupidity. They are IN the restaurant business. Of course they know this. Face the facts… AATTP just makes it up and they/it lie. They’ve been caught too many times to deny it. But then, you’re so caught up in your seething hatred and bigotry that you can’t or won’t see it.

        • http://thunderinthepost.wordpress.com Shifflett

          Sure thing. You already come across as a paid teabagger troll, so you’re comments are worthless on this site, and aren’t going to change anyone else’s opinion. I really fail to see why you even bother.

        • http://thunderinthepost.wordpress.com Shifflett

          Besides, if every restaurant owner knew the ins-and-outs of business, why do shows like Restaurant: Impossible exist to begin with? Why do restaurant’s tank on a daily basis? Now, Prager’s statement may be inaccurate as it pertains to this particular company, but don’t sit here and act like every busness owner is smart enough to do their homework before picking a market to jump into. Believing otherwise already proves your ignorance, and leaves your referring to anything as dumb the equivalent to the pot calling the kettle black. Truth hurts.

          • Hooper

            Except for AATTP’s comments and this discussion is about this particular restaurant – a franchise. You lose again.

          • http://thunderinthepost.wordpress.com Shifflett

            If you looked at a comment above, I’d agree with that person that the most likely scenario is that these are corporate-owned restaurants selling out their GMs as “franchise owners” because of an unpopular decision they attempted. The one thing we certainly do agree on is that this particular restaurant knows full well what they’re doing, and their potentially throwing their own GMs under the bus by referring to them as “franchise owners”, while more than likely paying said GMs to publicly defend this particualr policy means that they’ve also got a pretty devious, yet very crafty P.R. campaign in response to the potential (and turning out to be very real) rejection of said particular policy. You can tell they’ve covered their bases well. So if your initial response was merely to give credit to the owners (or most likely board members in this scenario), then we’ve actually been in agreement from the beginning in terms of this particular “franchise”.

  • Madbunny

    Know what I’m wiling to bet? I’d bet that it actually costs the restaurant less than that, once all the SMB tax breaks and ACA savings are accounted for. In other words, I bet this jerk is actually profiting from this.

    Honestly, I’d pay .20 cents to a meal if it means everybody in the restaurant gets decent health care.

    • Desertrat

      I ate there last year. Not worth the money. Food was incredibly bland

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