Some restaurants in Florida and California have tacked on a surcharge to their diners’ food and beverage bills to help defray the looming costs of the Affordable Care Act. The Gator’s Dockside chain of restaurants in Florida has added a 1 percent surcharge while Republique, a trendy restaurant in Los Angeles, is increasing patrons’ tabs by 3 percent. A sign in a Gator’s Dockside restaurant advises customers:
The costs associated with ACA compliance could ultimately close our doors. 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.
Half of the Gator Group’s 500 employees work full time and the company opted for the surcharge in lieu of avoiding the costs of Obamacare by reducing the hours of these employees so that they qualify as part-time. The company estimates the costs of extending Obamacare to their full-time hourly employees, who currently do not receive any health benefits, to be $500,000. The surcharge is expected to to raise $160,000.