The Ticket

Papa John’s finally gets some love for its stance against Obamacare

The Ticket
John Schnatter, red shirt, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Papa John's International, Inc., cuts the ribbon for the opening of his 4000th restaurant on Friday Sept. 14, 2012, in New Hyde Park, N.Y. l-r: Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano (red tie), Executive Vice President of Papa John's Anthony Thompson, New Hyde Park franchise owner Peter Mehta, John Schnatter, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaimen, NY Assemblyman Ed Ra, Town of North Hempstead Town Clerk Leslie Gross, President of the New Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce Mark Laytin, Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello, Secretary of the New Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce Jerry Badassaro and First Vice President of the New Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce Jeannette Frisina. (Photo by Kathy Kmonicek/Invision for Papa John's/AP Images)
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John Schnatter, red shirt, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Papa John's International, Inc., cuts the ribbon for the opening of his 4000th restaurant on Friday Sept. 14, 2012, in New Hyde Park, N.Y. l-r: Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano (red tie), Executive Vice President of Papa John's Anthony Thompson, New Hyde Park franchise owner Peter Mehta, John Schnatter, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaimen, NY Assemblyman Ed Ra, Town of North Hempstead Town Clerk Leslie Gross, President of the New Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce Mark Laytin, Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello, Secretary of the New Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce Jerry Badassaro and First Vice President of the New Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce Jeannette Frisina. (Photo by Kathy Kmonicek/Invision for Papa John's/AP Images)

On Friday, another shot was fired by conservative supporters of fast-food companies claiming to chafe under the requirements of Obamacare.

Rebooting America, a small but vocal group formed after the Nov. 6 election, has designated Friday as National Papa John's Appreciation Day. The announcement was made in support of Papa John's CEO John Schnatter's recent statement that the Affordable Care Act may prompt the pizza chain to raise prices and cut employees' hours in order to keep them from qualifying for health care.

Through the Twitter hashtag #IStandWithPapaJohns, the group is urging people to rush out and buy Papa John's pizza to show support, and to oppose the onslaught of social media attacks and informal boycotts of the chain as a result of its position.

As of Friday afternoon, the organizers claim to have connected with some 20,000 participants nationwide, with comments flooding the Facebook page of the "buycott" and the Papa John's page itself.

The pizza outlet is only one of several fast-food chains balking at the health care law.

Darden Concepts, owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster, has been attempting to offset the costs of insuring employees by relying more on part-time workers since February, according to MSNBC.

And while hardly a corporate policy, one Denny's and Dairy Queen franchise owner, John Metz, who controls some 40 stores, has made news with his announcement that he favors cuts in employees' hours.

Denny's corporate office, however, responded to Metz by issuing its own statement: "Comments from an owner of multiple franchises including Denny's regarding his plans to offset the expected costs associated with the Affordable Care Act were recently brought to our attention. While we respect the decision of an independent business owner to speak out on this topic, these statements do not capture the respect by Denny's, the Denny's Franchisee Association or our franchise community at large for our hardworking employees or for our valued customers.

"We will continue to monitor the developments of the Affordable Care Act and any other legislation that may impact our team members, franchisees, employees and guests," it continued, "and will do the right thing as individuals, as a company and as a brand."

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