These businesses are not alone in looking at ways to maintain their profitability. McDonald’s told investors last summer they also were looking at their number of full time employees.
What’s the cause of this sudden change? Beginning next year and by 2014 the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will require businesses to provide health coverage to all employees working over 30 hours per week. Restaurants in particular have a very narrow profit line and could see a significant impact in their labor costs. As seen in the video, the vague wording of the Affordable Care Act means no one yet knows the full cost to the businesses. The president and his administration are slow to share this information, possibly hoping to lessen its effect on the upcoming election. But in their real world life, business owners are already preparing budgets for 2013 trying to juggle the many unknowns of Obamacare with employee numbers and maintaining enough on the balance sheets to remain open.