Restaurant Bills Charging Health Care Fees
GAINESVILLE - Obamacare can even show up on your restaurant bill now. At least one restaurant chain is beginning to charge customers a little extra to help pay the bill for the affordable health care act. Some customers aren't too happy with that.
The restaurant chain is Gators Dockside-- Eight of their locations are implementing this surcharge. However, the Gators Docksides in Gainesville-- Lake City, and Ocala are not among them.
Eight Gators Dockside restaurants across the state are introducing a small fee on their customers' bills. All to help cover the costs involved with the Affordable Care Act. However the reason behind it is one some people don't agree with and others seem to be okay with it.
Tesi Jester a frequent customer of Gators Dockside said, "I think it's a good way to help people out with it... Because healthcare is very expensive, for the people that cannot afford it, it's definitely a good way for them to get that care that they need, to make it more affordable."
A receipt from the Gators Dockside here in Gainesville shows there are no extra charges, however this copy from one of the locations in the Villages shows a one percent charge.
Shelby Jester, Tesi’s daughter said, “I think it's an awesome idea... One percent is really not that much to consider. It's going for a great cause. Anybody could use the help. I think a lot of other companies should do it too. It just helps everyone."
Chris Ciarletto is a supervisor for Gators Dockside. He looks over the establishments here in Gainesville, Ocala Lake City and Tampa. They are four of the 13 locations against this idea. "Four of which are our units are not participating in it, nor will they ever participate in it. And we are trying to clear the air and let people know that we are not doing it and not participating in it," Ciarletto said.
Ciarletto says the Gator Docksides that have implemented this surcharge are owned by a different operator than the one in North Central Florida.
Many residents I spoke with outside of Gators Dockside didn't agree with the charge. While none of them went on camera, people on social media have expressed negative reactions towards the new fee. However others believe the charge is too small to make a difference. Daniel Carroll a Gators Dockside patron said, "So 1% on food that we're eating, if that's going to make or break you then there are other life decisions you need to be making."
The owner of the gators docksides in North Central Florida tells me charging customers an extra 1 percent won't really help cover the costs for the affordable care act and therefore he finds no point in implementing it.
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