Speak Out: Will You Boycott Applebee's and Papa John's?

The franchise owners of some popular chains are making big changes to offset costs of Obamacare, but it's causing some customers to rethink which businesses they'll support.


Several franchise owners of popular restaurant chains say that the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare will increase costs for small business owners—and in order to offset costs they are adding surcharges to bills, threatening layoffs and more.

Apple-Metro CEO Zane Tankel, who owns more than 40 Applebee's chains in the metro New York area, slammed Obamacare on Fox Business Network, Huffington Post reported, stating he would not hire any more employees and may cut the hours of current employees. 

According to the Huffington Post, John Metz, a Florida-based Denny's franchise owner, is adding a 5 percent surcharge to customers' bills to offset costs for healthcare.

But a Twitter campaign has already begun against Papa John's after CEO John Schnatter’s said the chain would increase prices to offset costs related to the  Affordable Care Act. Protestors are asking Americans to support local pizza chains over Papa John's.

So what do you think? Will you boycott the Applebee's (which is not owned by Apple-Metro) and Papa John's for their corporation's actions against employees and customers? Or you think that small business owners are suffering due to Obamacare? Tell us in the comments.

Ken Montville November 19, 2012 at 12:21 PM
I eat at Applebee's rarely so they can do what they want. They are not exactly "small business" so I'm sure they are using the new health care law as an excuse to raise prices. It's a basic fundamental of business that any costs that are mandated by regulation or the increased costs of materials (food, dishes, electricity, etc.) are always passed on to the consumer. Business need to make a profit so they do so by asking the consumer to pay more. The real questions is how elastic the price of a dinner out at Applebee's really is. Will they price themselves out of the market? I think not. This is just a way for some conservative business owners to increase prices and blame it on government. If they had said the price of beef had gone up or the electric utility is charging more, this wouldn't be such a big deal. Papa John's makes a great product and I'll continue to buy their pizza whenever I buy pizza until it becomes to expensive regardless of the reason..
david November 19, 2012 at 12:35 PM
I agree with Ken.
Peggy Anne November 19, 2012 at 03:22 PM
I don't eat at such places. I would gladly pay a surcharge at a vegan restaurant because they are promoting healthy eating habits.
Adelphi Sky November 19, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Fortunately, living in a urban area, there are many more choices than the two mentioned. I guess if you lived in more rural areas and there wasn't much there other than Applebee's and Pap Johns you may still need to eat at those places. But I can think of tons of restaurants and pizza joints that I can go to other than Applebee's and Papa Johns. Papa Johns Pizza tastes like cardboard. And Applebee's? Well, I only go there if invited.
Pachacutec November 19, 2012 at 06:11 PM
I think chain restaurants are an abomination; lots of salty/greasy food, the same stuff no matter where you go in the country, who needs them? Can't see why these big corporate chains are whining about the "Obamacare" anyhow; I mean, it's not like they're paying big wages to their employees!
Chris Tennant November 19, 2012 at 06:39 PM
I will definitely boycott such establishments!
Chris Tennant November 19, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I also want to state that I agree with most of the comments above. Besides, they pay such low wages to begin with that they can afford to absorb any increased costs. In any case, I don't eat at any fast-food places as a rule because one can eat much healthier and tastier food at ethnic eateries.
NoGames52 November 19, 2012 at 07:08 PM
I agree with the earlier posts. I don't eat at Applebee's or Papa Johns. I prefer healthier food. Having said that, neither of these is a small business. It's a lot of whining about nothing but greed. The CEO's are millionaires with lavish lifestyles compared to their middle to lower class workers, just glad to have a job. When you down their food you're swallowing exploitation. How much money do these CEO's and their corporations need? There are small neighborhood businesses/eateries who serve a healthier product, care about employing their neighbors and paying them fairly and providing some health insurance, if they can. If I'm going to spend a dollar "out" on food, from now on I'll really be thinking about the food and who served it to me. My neighbor or some corporate fat cat. Am I eating poison or am I eating healthy food? The corporations ought to provide health insurance since their offerings are so unhealthy - e.g., high in sodium or sugar, highly processed foods, servings with trans fat. I hope they don't offer their employees minimum wage and free food at their establishments. That's all the more reason they need to offer health insurance to their employees if their employees regularly consume the products they sell.
Rick Hudson November 19, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Is any of this a surprise. Lots of people were saying this would be the consequence of Obamacare... cost will be passed on to consumeres and corporations would move to cut jobs or cut hours to prevent the cost from being to much. Yet instead of everyone realizing it was a bad law with more consequences then we can predict (because I am sure more will come out of the woodwork) our congress passed and our President signed a law they had never even read. I am calling Pap Johns and getting my 8 toppings free (thanks to the Redskins emabarassing the Eagles yesterday) and will probably go to these restaurants even more often because I have a lot of respect for people who call a spade a spade!!
Chris Tennant November 19, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Almost all of these food "joints" pay the lowest wages possible, which leaves their employees dependent on tips, which means that they end up with very little to live on. Many of these individuals are college students desperately trying to survive on whatever they can get. It's a disgrace!
Chris Tennant November 19, 2012 at 08:19 PM
It has nothing to do with Obamacare! It has to do with the stingy tactics of corporate owners. To see how corporate enterprises and owners live and operate, check out a film title PARK AVENUE! These robber barons and the way they live, along with their total lack of common decency and social conscience, are disgusting! At lease those people "coming out of the woodwork," as you call them, are not termites eating away at the foundation of our society
Rick Hudson November 20, 2012 at 02:41 PM
I wasn't saying people would come out of the wood work, I was referring to unforeseen consequences of a law that the house speaker at the time said "we will pass it and then find out what is in it." Or something along those lines. There are always in intended consequences of massive laws like that that no one saw coming. All the business people I know we're opposed to this because of the cost. When a business incur a new cost they either cut costs elsewhere, labor via layoffs or reduction in benefits, or by passing the cost on to the consumer. It is not news that with the costs this law will add to businesses that one or both of those options is going to occur. I was in favor of healthcare reform, but smart reform that was not one law fixes all. A giant law like that will always do more harm then good.
suzanne lehman November 21, 2012 at 03:20 AM
"I'll support small-businesses alright!!! These guys aren't my idea of small business!! I'm taking buy-local, shop small mom and pop businesses. As far as Denny's, Applebees, and Papa John's go....I'd rather go hungry. They truly have no respect for their employees or for a living wage. I'll stand by my people anytime!
suzanne lehman November 21, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Right on!! I've had it with corporate whiners!!


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