Among the commandments of life under the Obama administration: thou shalt not speak ill of Obamacare. Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter was hammered with Twitter abuse after informing shareholders and franchisees in August that implementing Obamacare would necessarily increase costs of running the business. Applebee’s is under the gun today after Zane Tankel, a franchisee whose company runs 40 New York-area restaurants, told Fox Business Network that a hiring freeze might be in the works.
Note that in his TV appearance Tankel did not say he was laying off any employees; rather, he speculated that “if it’s possible to do without cutting people back, I am delighted to do it, but that also rolls back expansion, it rolls back hiring more people, and in a best-case scenario, we only shrink the labor force minimally. Best case.” What a monster, huh?
Um, no. Again, Tankel said only that, faced with paying annual Obamacare penalties of $80,000 to $100,000 per restaurant, he was evaluating his options and would most likely halt expansion. It seems reading comprehension is tough, so we wonder how these people accusing Applebee’s of firing employees made it through all 2,700 pages of the Obamacare bill (like Nancy Pelosi did) to find out what was in it and how much it would cost other people’s businesses.
For its part, the Applebee’s corporate office was anxious to distance itself from the Obamacare controversy and point out that franchisees speak for themselves.