Papa John's CEO John Schnatter has sparked new threats of a boycott after threatening to reduce his employees' working hours in response to Obama's reelection. He also threatened to hike the cost of his pizzas just three months prior for the same politically motivated reason.
Schnatter, whose company was first founded in 1984 and employees nearly 17,000 workers, insists that he is neither for nor against the Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as Obamacare). However, he openly admitted that his employees would "pay for" newly reecleted President Obama's proposed health care plan, according to reports.
"I got in a bunch of trouble for this. That's what you do, is you pass on costs. Unfortunately, I don't think people know what they're going to pay for this," Schnatter previously told students at Edison State College's Collier County campus, according to NaplesNews.com.
The 50-year-old father of three made headlines in August after telling his shareholders that Obamacare would result in a 10-to-14-cent price increase on pizzas, igniting fury particularly among Democrats. Under the Affordable Care Act, full-time employees working 30 hours or more per week would have to be provided with insurance at companies which employ more than 50 workers.
"The good news is 100 percent of the population is going to have health insurance [but] we're all going to pay for it," Schnatter said. He estimates that Obamacare will cost his company alone between $5 million and $8 million in revenue each year.
Schnatter predicts that more franchise owners will likely reduce working hours in a bid to avoid having to cover them.
"That's probably what's going to happen," he said. "It's common sense. That's what I call lose-lose."
Applebee's franchise owner Zane Tankel, who is also CEO of Apple-Metro which owns 40 New York Area Applebee's restaurants, agreed with Schnatter's statements about Obamacare during an appearance on Fox News.
"We've calculated it will [cost] some millions of dollars across our system ... in a best-case scenario, we only shrink the labor force minimally. Best case," Tankel told Fox.
Schnatter's and Tankel's candid statements have sparked outrage, with a number of critics flocking to social networking sites to vent their fury. Many have since called on members of the public to boycott both businesses via Facebook boycott pages and Twitter.
"Making a boycott list of companies who said they'd fire people if Obama won. Papa John's, I'm looking at you. #papajohns #bully #election," Mike Seeley tweeted.
"Call me crazy, but I want the people who prepare and handle my food to have access to healthcare. #Boycott @PapaJohns & @Applebees. #TFY," allanbrauer tweeted.
"Multi-millionaire owners of Papa-Johns and Applebee's crying about providing Healthcare to their employee's. Time to boycott these idiots," Alden Schofield tweeted.
On Friday, one anonymous Las Vegas business owner confirmed that he had immediately fired 22 of his 114 employees over President Obama's reelection Tuesday. He told radio host Kevin Hall that Obama's victory would prompt nationwide job cuts.
"The Dow alone lost 314 points today. There's a tsunami coming and if you didn't think this election had consequences, just wait," the employer said.