LAKE COUNTY, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – A restaurant group in central Florida is charging customers extra in an attempt to offset the costs of the Affordable Care Act.
A one-percent fee is being added to each bill for customers dining at one of the 10 Gator’s Dockside restaurants in Lake County, Lakeland and the Jacksonville-area, WPEC-TV reported.
Managers at those locations have posted signs alerting customers of the extra charge to their bills.
“We wanted to definitely be transparent that affordable healthcare is part of the cost of doing business,” Sandra Clark, director of operations with Gator’s Dockside Group, explained.
Owners of the restaurants said the extra charge will assist them in paying the healthcare costs for their 500 full-time employees.
However, some customers disagree with the extra charge on their bills.
“I don’t agree with it. I don’t,” customer Brian Earwood complained.
“I don’t think it’s the right thing to do because, you know, you’re penalizing us. But at the same time you have to pay employees and take care of them as well and I totally understand that too,” customer Mauri Carver shared.
Clark explained that the company believes this extra one-percent surcharge is the best solution possible.
“We’re definitely doing it to stay afloat. It’s not political in anyway. The president may have brought this agenda to forefront. It’s law now and what’s law made it real for us,” said Clark.
Obamacare requires businesses with more than 50 full-time employees to offer affordable healthcare benefits.
The restaurant group expects to pay nearly $500,000 a year for its employees’ healthcare, Clark said.
Restaurant locations in the Seminole, Orange and Osceola counties won’t be surcharging customers because they’re owned by a different restaurant group.