A Florida restaurant chain is out to make your bill political. Eight restaurants that are part of the Gator's Dockside chain are adding a one percent surcharge to customer's bills and clearly marking it as an "ACA surcharge" on customers' receipts. Signs, doors and tables at the restaurants also trumpet the fee.
Of course, the chain won't extend health coverage to all of its full-time employees until December, but they're still charging the fee now anyway.
"The costs associated with ACA compliance could ultimately close our doors," a 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 percent surcharge on all food and beverage purchases only."
A receipt of a bill from the restaurant featuring an extra 20 cents tacked on to a $21.15 bill has made the rounds on the Internet.
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The fee is only being charged at eight of the chain's restaurant which are owned by a separate group than the other restaurants.
According to CNN Money, currently only management at the restaurants get health insurance. In December they'll have to extend that benefit to all of its full time employees. Sandra Clark, the group's director of operations, estimates it will cost $500,000 annually to extend health insurance to all of its workers and claims that the surcharge will bring in about $160,000 of that.
Some supporters of the Affordable Care Act have pointed out on social media that they'd be more than happy to pay two extra dimes on a bill for dinner for two if it meant more people got health insurance. Indeed, Clark says most customers have paid the charge without questioning it.