If you're planning to dine at one of the Florida restaurants owned by chain Gator's Dockside, keep this one in mind: Along with tax, tip, and the price of your food, several Gator's Dockside establishments are asking customers to chip in for Obamacare fees. Yup, you read that right. Because the Affordable Care Act requires employers to cover the health insurance of full-time employees, at least eight of the Florida chain's restaurants are charging customers a one percent surcharge to help cover the price.
If there was ever a creative way to crowdfund, this is it.
The restaurant employees won't actually receive healthcare until Dec. 2014, but Gator's Dockside wanted to get an early start on paying their Obamacare fee, which will cost them up to $500,000 per year. The one percent surcharge won't help them out that much — right now, they're estimating it will bring in $160,000 a year — but it'll help.
The chain recently placed a sign up announcing the reasons for the new surcharge, which reads:
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.
And here's copy of an infamous Gator's Dockside receipt, which isn't shy about pointing out the surcharge.
Now, we're just waiting for conservative pundits to take on this new development.
And even if Gator's Dockside is struggling with the additional costs the ACA incurs, Obamacare enrollment is doing better — numbers came in at 3.3 million two weeks ago.