Diners at eight Gator’s Dockside casual eateries are finding a 1% Affordable Care Act surcharge on their tabs, which comes to 15 cents on a typical $15 lunch tab. Signs on the door and at tables alert diners to the fee, which is also listed separately on the bill.
The Gator Group’s full-time hourly employees won’t actually receive health insurance until December. But the company said it implemented the surcharge now because of the compliance costs it’s facing ahead of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate kicking in in 2015.
“The costs associated with ACA compliance could ultimately close our doors,” the sign reads. “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.”
Obviously, the owner of this restaurant is a complete dick, not to mention that the federal minimum wage for waiters hasn’t changed in decades and remains stagnant at $2.13, and in Florida it is $4.91.
But here is what really bothers me- the fact that instead of just being grateful that he can now have healthier employees for a 1% price increase, and doing what a sane person would do, which is be elated you are going to have healthier and more committed employees less likely to leave for a job that does offer benefits, and quietly passing the cost on to the consumers. When I ran a clothing store for a few years, the biggest kick in the dick was having to replace employees, because it always seemed like you got one trained to where you worked like a team, and they would quit.
Instead, he decides to be a sociopath, alert all his customers, consequently shaming his employees (they are the ones who get to explain that they are being charged more to the teahadist customers), and then provide other sociopaths with no sense of perspective to shout at said waiters for being moochers. After drinking. Nothing could go wrong in that situation. In Florida.
And what is so maddening about all of this to me is that WE ALL FUCKING BENEFIT WHEN THESE PEOPLE HAVE INSURANCE. I’m not Richard Mayhew, but the more people in the pool, the more risk is spread about, and having waiters and waitresses who are normally the invincibles prone to not having insurance because they are young and in shitty paying jobs helps all of us. Now they are insured when they need medical treatment, instead of just hospitals eating the costs and passing it on to the rest of us.
And, your FELLOW FUCKING CITIZENS WILL BE HEALTHIER.
And the logic behind it all is so depressing. The owner is actually counting on the dysfunctional nature of our nation to make his political statement- he wants people to be pissed off they are paying an extra 15 cents. It’s the only reason to spend the time and money and energy to recode your POS system to include the charge.
There are just too many assholes in this world.
*** Update ***
I should add that this kind of thing really fucking strikes a nerve, because I spent a lot of years working in the service industry as a dishwasher, then a busboy, then a bar-back, and then a waiter. I had a good owner who was fair and decent and good to us, but we still made shit and were always at the mercy of the customer, who may have had a shitty day and then takes it out on us by running us around for hours on a 200 dollar check and then tipping five bucks even though the service was impeccable. And it happens a lot more than you think, and I suppose fittingly, I got screwed more at the “better” restaurants with wealthier clients than I did elsewhere. So when I read shit like this, about an owner making his employees lives worse for no reason, it just fucking infuriates me. This Mr. Pink dickhead shouldn’t be allowed to have employees.
And this is why I always, always, over-tip. Always. I rarely eat out, but when I do, I make sure I can take care of the people serving me. And you know what? When you tip well and are not a dick and come back a lot of times, you would be shocked how already good service can become better. There are a lot of cool waiters and servers out there, in all ranges of life, and you can meet some really cool people in different stages of their trip, and you can actually have a great meal and some good conversation and a lot of smiles just by not being a total dickhead.
There have been a lot of times when I traveled alone to conferences when I would meet super cool people working in a bar or restaurant, and you talk to them, they will tell you where to go to find good live music and IPA, where the best burrito place is late night, and several times I’ve waited until his/her shift are done and gone out on the town with someone who knew the area.
I guess I just do not understand why so many people do not realize that being a total dick is more effort and less rewarding and just bad for you mentally and physically.