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Old Dec 6, 2012, 11:55 AM   #1
likemyorbs
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Olive Garden backs out on promise to cut down full-time staff because of Obamacare

They will all back out eventually. Treat your employees well, and your customers will be happy in return. It's amazing how many companies still don't understand this. If you piss off your employees, your customers will feel that. This is especially true in the food industry, I don't want to go to a restaurant with pissed off servers and cooks for multiple reasons!

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NEW YORK (AP) -- The owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster says it won't bump any full-time workers down to part-time status, after its tests aimed at limiting health care costs resulted in a publicity backlash that took a bite out of sales.
At the same time, Darden Restaurants Inc. isn't ruling out relying more heavily on part-timers over the long haul.
The company, based in Orlando, Fla., is set to announce Thursday that none of its current full-time employees will have their status changed as a result of the new regulations. The move will come just two days after the company lowered its profit outlook for the year, citing failed promotions and negative publicity from its tests that used more part-time employees. The tests were aimed at keeping down costs tied to new health care regulations, which will require large companies to provide insurance to full-time workers starting in 2014.
After Darden's tests were reported in October, the company received a flood of feedback from customers through its website, on Facebook and in restaurants, said Bob McAdam, who heads government affairs and community relations for Darden. Additionally, he said that internal surveys showed both employee and customer satisfaction declined at restaurants where the tests were in place.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 11:59 AM   #2
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Glad to see it worked. I hope people who stopped going make sure to visit both places now to show their support of the owners changing their plans.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 12:00 PM   #3
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Glad to see it worked. I hope people who stopped going make sure to visit both places now to show their support of the owners changing their plans.
I know i will. I love those cheddar bay biscuits at red lobster
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 12:07 PM   #4
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All of these companies are making it so easy for me to decide where to eat.

Never going to Papa John's, Denny's, Applebee's, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, or any other of these places again. Not that it's a big loss anyways, because the products they all put on the table are garbage anyways.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 12:09 PM   #5
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I know i will. I love those cheddar bay biscuits at red lobster
I know right? They are great. Funny how every now and then I have to go to Red lobster. I just have to!!! My wife finds it sickening and she likes seafood. Much rather pay a little more for a better place, even a better chain like Legal Seafood. So I sneak out with the kids everynow and then and she doesn't mind missing it a bit.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 12:14 PM   #6
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I know right? They are great. Funny how every now and then I have to go to Red lobster. I just have to!!! My wife finds it sickening and she likes seafood. Much rather pay a little more for a better place, even a better chain like Legal Seafood. So I sneak out with the kids everynow and then and she doesn't mind missing it a bit.
Yeah, chain restaurants are everyone's guilty pleasure. I know olive garden is a pathetic excuse for italian food, but it's still so yummy!
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 12:28 PM   #7
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Yeah, chain restaurants are everyone's guilty pleasure. I know olive garden is a pathetic excuse for italian food, but it's still so yummy!
Unlimited salad, soup and bread sticks. Why, you can't afford NOT to eat there!!!
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 02:18 PM   #8
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All of these companies are making it so easy for me to decide where to eat.

Never going to Papa John's, Denny's, Applebee's, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, or any other of these places again. Not that it's a big loss anyways, because the products they all put on the table are garbage anyways.
Papa Johns actually changed their tune a while ago as well:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-h...b_2166209.html

Quote:
The Real Scoop on Papa John's and Obamacare

John Schnatter
Posted: 11/20/2012 12:49 pm

Reading what has been written about statements I made on the effect of the Affordable Care Act on our franchisees reminds me of a quote from Lewis H. Lapham, former editor of Harper's magazine: "People may expect too much of journalism. Not only do they expect it to be entertaining, they expect it to be true."

Many in the media reported that I said Papa John's is going to close stores and cut jobs because of Obamacare. I never said that. The fact is we are going to open over hundreds of stores this year and next and increase employment by over 5,000 jobs worldwide. And, we have no plans to cut team hours as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

Clearly there was some misunderstanding somewhere. The remarks that generated the headlines were made during an entrepreneur class I was asked to speak to at a Florida college. I was asked to share my experience as an entrepreneur and to provide the students with real-life small business situations. Unbeknownst to me, until she identified herself, a reporter was there.

Here is the part of the interchange that was the genesis of the news:

Reporter: "Do you think your -- you know -- franchise owners... are going to cut people hours back to make them part time instead of full time?"

Me: "Well, in Hawaii there is a form of the same kind of health insurance and that's what you do, you find loopholes to get around it. That's what they're going to do."

Reporter: "My understanding is that if you're a full time employee, which is 35 hours or over, you'd be covered. Or if you're part time then you wouldn't be. So wouldn't some business owners just cut people down like 34 hours a week so they wouldn't have to pay for health insurance?"

Me: "It's common sense. It's what I call lose-lose."

The reporter asked what I believed Papa John's franchisees would do in response to Obamacare, not what Papa John's would do. In fact, her question was "wouldn't some business owners just cut people down like 34 hours a week so they wouldn't have to pay for health insurance?"

My answer: "It's common sense."

Companies like Papa John's are largely a collection of small independent businesses. The average Papa John's franchisee owns three to four stores. Since our franchisees own the restaurants they operate, who they hire, how many hours they give each employee and what they pay each employee is up to them, not me or Papa John's. Like any small business in these economic times, our franchisees are under a tremendous amount of pressure on costs.

During that same interview, talking about Obamacare I said, though it wasn't widely reported:
  • "The good news is 100% of the population (full-time workers) is going to get health insurance. I'm cool with that."
  • "We're all going to pay for it. There's nothing for free."
  • "And this way I get to provide health insurance and I'm not at a competitive disadvantage ... our competitors are going to have to do the same thing."

Papa John's, like most businesses, is still researching what the Affordable Care Act means to our operations. Regardless of the conclusion of our analysis, we will honor this law, as we do all laws, and continue to offer 100% of Papa John's corporate employees and workers in company-owned stores health insurance as we have since the company was founded in 1984.

John Schnatter is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Papa John's, which operates and franchises more than 4,000 delivery and carryout pizza restaurants worldwide.
Personally, I'm still going to get my pizza from a local shop, or do take-home from Papa Murphy's, but at least we know how much of what was said was not true.

I'm waiting for those who supported Schnatter's original claim to scream 'evil librool media bias', when it was among conservative ranks that this story got blown out of proportion.

BL.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 02:44 PM   #9
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Personally, I'm still going to get my pizza from a local shop, or do take-home from Papa Murphy's, but at least we know how much of what was said was not true.
Right? Why is it all this attitude is coming from the most ***** mcfood places in the country? Race to the bottom, no thank you.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 02:50 PM   #10
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Papa Johns actually changed their tune a while ago as well:
Because they were foolish tantrums from butt-hurt Republicans, based far more on hurt feelings than any actual business concern.

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Old Dec 6, 2012, 03:10 PM   #11
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Because they were foolish tantrums from butt-hurt Republicans, based far more on hurt feelings than any actual business concern.

Oh, I agree, they were pissy about it, and their backpeddling doesn't change the fact of how oversensationalized this became.

But I also note that most of that over-sensationalization and condoning it (read: egging it on), came from right-wing media outlets, not anything centrist, left, or nonpartisan at all.

Yes, complaints were seen about it on both sides, but no real credible outlet egged this thing on, and it was primarily those on the right that were up in arms over it.

BL.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 03:16 PM   #12
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At the same time, Darden Restaurants Inc. isn't ruling out relying more heavily on part-timers over the long haul.
Nothing has really changed in their long term outlook. As full time employes get laid off or leave through attrition they will be replaced with part-timers. Saying that they won't move full-timers to part-timers was just for publicity.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 04:13 PM   #13
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Nothing has really changed in their long term outlook. As full time employes get laid off or leave through attrition they will be replaced with part-timers. Saying that they won't move full-timers to part-timers was just for publicity.
And you don't think blaming potential layoffs on Obamacare was for publicity? For all we know the potential layoffs or new part-time hires will be the result of poor business decisions - but why not blame it on Obamacare because apparently (based on how the GOP took these stories and ran with them) it's what some people want to hear.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 04:14 PM   #14
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Papa Johns actually changed their tune a while ago as well:
Too late. They shouldn't have tried to make a political statement to begin with. They're a pizza joint, not a super-pac, and the election just passed and the people have spoken. Deal with it.

Besides, their pizza is absolute garbage anyways.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 05:35 PM   #15
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And you don't think blaming potential layoffs on Obamacare was for publicity? For all we know the potential layoffs or new part-time hires will be the result of poor business decisions - but why not blame it on Obamacare because apparently (based on how the GOP took these stories and ran with them) it's what some people want to hear.
When the Government burdens businesses with increased expenses as a business you need to make adjustments. It is called "Math". What does the GOP have to do with this?
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 05:41 PM   #16
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When the Government burdens businesses with increased expenses as a business you need to make adjustments. It is called "Math". What does the GOP have to do with this?
When I say GOP, I mean those who voted against Obama as well as the conservative news media who took these stories and used them as an example why Obamacare is awful and going to ruin the country. It was a portion of the media pandering to those who were upset the election was lost and were looking for any ammunition.

Of course, it was all mostly blown out of proportion.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 05:42 PM   #17
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When the Government burdens businesses with increased expenses as a business you need to make adjustments. It is called "Math". What does the GOP have to do with this?
The GOP has to do with this because these Republican business owners felt the need to make a political statement through their business. I don't care if you like Obamacare or not, the people spoke on November 6th. The majority of the people want to keep Obamacare, so these Republican business owners need to deal that instead of making crybaby political statements that they are going to have to add "Obamacare taxes" on to the bills in their establishment.

Are they going to itemize every single other operating cost on the check now too? So I can go in to a restaurant and my check looks like this?

2 Sam Adams 10.00
2 Burgers 20.00
Sub total 30.00
Electricity fee 0.50
Heat fee 0.50
Water fee 0.50
Staff wages 2.00
Obamacare fee 0.50

Total ???

Are they making bills like that now? If not, it's just some bitter crybaby republicans who can't get over the fact that they lost and feel the need to make some bull **** political statement through their business. If you want to get in to politics, open a super-pac, not a pizza joint.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 06:58 PM   #18
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Olive Garden will not have to reduce any full time staff to part time, they have a year to reduce their workforce, and they will simply do so through attrition, hiring part time employees to replace full time employees who left.

Walmart will be doing the same thing.

When its cheaper to pay the federal healthcare penalty (really just a tax) than it is to pay the private insurance premiums for your employees, the government has already made the business decision for millions of businesses.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 07:10 PM   #19
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Olive Garden will not have to reduce any full time staff to part time, they have a year to reduce their workforce, and they will simply do so through attrition, hiring part time employees to replace full time employees who left.

Walmart will be doing the same thing.

When its cheaper to pay the federal healthcare penalty (really just a tax) than it is to pay the private insurance premiums for your employees, the government has already made the business decision for millions of businesses.
Yep.. replace loyal workers with part time staff, so they wouldn't have to pay for their benefits, all to keep their bottom line and profits up so they can take home a big fat check and their benefits for their families, while their employees get the shaft.

Putting money and profits above people.. Real nice leadership qualities there..

Reminds me of why I don't shop at Walmart.

BTW.. thank you for reminding us of how leadership fails.

BL.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 07:24 PM   #20
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Olive Garden will not have to reduce any full time staff to part time, they have a year to reduce their workforce, and they will simply do so through attrition, hiring part time employees to replace full time employees who left.

Walmart will be doing the same thing.

When its cheaper to pay the federal healthcare penalty (really just a tax) than it is to pay the private insurance premiums for your employees, the government has already made the business decision for millions of businesses.

These companies have been doing that for years. Obamacare is simply a convenient scapegoat.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 08:50 PM   #21
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These companies have been doing that for years. Obamacare is simply a convenient scapegoat.
Exactly....

And we have the usual suspects falling for the party line hook, line, and sinker.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 10:10 PM   #22
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Olive Garden will not have to reduce any full time staff to part time, they have a year to reduce their workforce, and they will simply do so through attrition, hiring part time employees to replace full time employees who left.

Walmart will be doing the same thing.

When its cheaper to pay the federal healthcare penalty (really just a tax) than it is to pay the private insurance premiums for your employees, the government has already made the business decision for millions of businesses.
This isn't anything new. Many companies already avoid full time classification. Smaller ones often employ methods that aren't always legal. The term permalance comes to mind. For that situation the IRS actually had a preliminary checklist to determine if someone might be an employee even if they're classified as an independent contractor.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 12:42 AM   #23
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Yep.. replace loyal workers with part time staff, so they wouldn't have to pay for their benefits, all to keep their bottom line and profits up so they can take home a big fat check and their benefits for their families, while their employees get the shaft.

Putting money and profits above people.. Real nice leadership qualities there..

Reminds me of why I don't shop at Walmart.

BTW.. thank you for reminding us of how leadership fails.

BL.
It's just another unintended consequence of the government attempting to drive behavior with the tax code.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 12:45 AM   #24
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It's just another unintended consequence of the government attempting to drive behavior with the tax code.
Before you know it, we're going to be exactly like those lazy bastards in Europe.

You know, more likely to start our own businesses, generally more self reliant, and considerably more healthy.

edit: holy crap. It's like they're more American than we are. :O

Last edited by Renzatic; Dec 7, 2012 at 12:51 AM.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 02:01 AM   #25
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It's just another unintended consequence of the government attempting to drive behavior with the tax code.
Government has nothing to do with the leadership qualities these business owners claim to have but are not holding themselves to.

Like I said, they are more concerned with the bottom lines of their business, and more importantly, the profits coming from the products they sell. What they fail to realize is that products don't move the people in and out of their stores more, it is that people move the products. And if those companies don't invest in the people that get them their products, their precious bottom lines and profits will wither away due to their own bouts of corporate narcissism. Yet they continue to devalue the people that mean more to them than the products they sell.

On top of that, they provide no examples on how things should run; no personal examples. And leadership without examples to follow = management, and piss-poor management at that.

Hell, even those companies whose CEOs dropped their salaries to $1 for an entire year in the early 2000s provided a bigger example than the CEOs now. Yet they would rather replace people with part-timers and devalue their roles than take one for the company themselves.

Piss. Poor. Leadership.

BL.

P.S. Full disclosure: I own and run a leadership development business.
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