Denny's Franchisee To Hit Customers With 5% Obamacare Surcharge

Owen Poindexter
John Metz, who collectively oversees about 90 restaurants, half of them Denny's franchises, will introduce a 5% Obamacare surcharge on every sale starting in 2014.

One Denny’s Franchisee is inflicting his anger over Obamacare onto the paycheck. John Metz, the franchisor of Hurricane Grill & Wings which has 48 locations, and CEO of RREMC Restaurants which owns about 40 Denny’s and a few Dairy Queens, is planning on adding a 5% “Obamacare surcharge” to every paycheck, starting in 2014 when the law is implemented. Metz suggested that customers could pay the surcharge and a standard 15-20% tip, or they could reduce their tip, because “the server is the primary beneficiary of Obamacare.”

The Obamacare surcharge will present a number of interesting questions: will customers, as Metz suggests, take the Obamacare surcharge out of the tip? Or will they instead direct their anger at Metz, who, as a successful CEO, does not have to rely on tips? Will other Denny’s franchises follow his lead, or will Denny’s itself ask Metz to not institute the Obamacare surcharge, because it would make their agreeable, friendly diners into politicized organizations? Will Metz inspire other businesses to tack on an Obamacare surcharge? And finally, does the cost of Obamacare for a Denny’s franchise really add up to 5% of revenue.

We shall see, but either way, this won’t be the last you hear of the Denny’s Obamacare surcharge.