When President Barack Obama signed monumental health care legislation bill into law last week 30 million uninsured Americans breathed a little easier.
But many restaurateurs view the bill as an instant death sentence. Although industry experts and owners knew for some time the legislation’s passing would be increase operating costs, reality didn’t set in until President Obama used the twenty two pens to actually sign the bill.
Still unsure of the overall stipulations the massive 2400 page legislation package has in store for the restaurant industry, two things are apparent: Costs will increase for all restaurants and twenty unit plus chains will have to publish calorie counts on their menus.
Restaurateurs look at both of these points as detrimental to business.
For the Beaupre’s awards have been plentiful as they strive to run a community oriented, profitable, organization serving quality food. In 2002 the
However, in a recent article in Nation’s Restaurant News, Pearl Beaupre said “This will close our business,” adding, “We have dipped into our own savings to meet restaurant expenses.”
One of the primary downfalls owners face today is continually borrowing from their personal accounts in order to save, or at least shore up, their struggling businesses, often to find business profitability is merely a fantasy.
The health bill legislation could be the final financial trauma for restaurants already on life support and for those barely profitable the added expense could turn a worthwhile venture into a very annoying hobby.
On top of the financial ramifications, the confusion the 2400 hundred page tome is causing could be more disastrous. In a recent discussion with two Sonoma restaurateurs, Sondra Bernstein, of Girl and the Fig and Estate and Caf? Le Haye’s Saul Gropman, confusion as to when the bill took effect, how many employees a restaurant could have and avoid the mandatory health care provision where all questions that came up.
Bernstein, who has built a prosperous
Restaurant owners have just experienced one of the leanest periods in the industry’s history. And now, with a small ray of light on the horizon, the health care legislation could not have come at a worse time.
Owner’s have sold their assets, dipped into savings, and have remortgaged their houses attempting to fight off failure and hang on until the economy turned the corner. Just as consumers are beginning to venture to their favorite dining rooms again, the added costs of health care for all full time employees could be the final straw.
For Kathy Burks the legislation is a cost increase Randy’s Steakhouse doesn’t need.
“I certainly understand the need for health care, but this could be crippling for many restaurants. This past year has been nothing more than increased costs and decreased customers. It’s difficult to make it work,” Burks said.
And the Frisco,
As one restaurant owner, who wished to remain anonymous claimed, “I am just going to divide my health care costs between all of my customers. I am going to call it “The Obama Tip.”
From the sounds of it, he may not be alone.