ST LOUIS (LALATE) – A Papa John’s price increase is being blamed on Obamacare. CEO John Schnatter tells news in a conference call this week that he will have to use a price increase through his national chain to offset the purported costs needed to implement the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). At issue is Papa John’s Pizza reported need to provide its 165,000 employees health care benefits; in the alterative, the company may pay the government a penalty.
“I have two options, I can stop offering coverage and pay the $2,000 fine, or I could keep my number of staff under 50 so the mandate doesn’t apply. Obamacare is making me think about cutting jobs instead,” he told news.
He says the price increase could be as much as 20 cents per pizza sold. “Let’s say fuel goes up– which it does from time to time– and we have to raise delivery charges … We don’t like raising delivery charges, but the price of fuel is out of our control as is Obamacare.” He also added “So if Obamacare is in fact not repealed, we will find tactics to shallow out any Obamacare costs. And of course strategies to pass that cost onto consumers in order to protect our shareholder’s best interest”.
He says that the consumer will have to pay for the implementation of requirements. “We’re not supportive of Obamacare like most businesses in our industry,” Schnatter said. “But our business model and unit economics are about as ideal as you can get for a food company to absorb Obamacare.”