They’re not the first restaurant chain to complain publicly about the new rules imposed on them by the Affordable Care Act. Pizza chain Papa Johns calculated that the new law would raise their prices 11 to 14 cents per pizza — a cost they vowed to pass on to consumers.
The AP Reports:
The owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants is putting more workers on part-time status in a test aimed at limiting costs from President Barack Obama’s health care law.
Darden Restaurants Inc. declined to give details but said the test is only in four markets across the country.
The move entails boosting the number of workers on part-time status, meaning they work less than 30 hours a week.
Under the new health care law, companies with 50 or more workers could be hit with fines if they do not provide basic coverage for full-time workers and their dependents.
But it’s notable because Darden Restaurants has, in the past, cooperated with first lady Michelle Obama on her push to reduce calories in menu items and offer healthy alternatives.
The first lady spoke with Darden chief executive officer Clarence Otis last fall at an Olive Garden in Maryland. She also dined at an Olive Garden in Fort Worth, Texas on a Let’s Move tour.