Some restaurants surcharge for health coverage preview - WFLA News Channel 8

Lakeland restaurant adds surcharge to pay employee health care

Posted: Updated:
Some central Florida Gator's Dockside restaurants are now charging customers a 1 percent surcharge on their meals. Some central Florida Gator's Dockside restaurants are now charging customers a 1 percent surcharge on their meals.
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) - When the owner of Gator's Dockside in Tampa heard that others in the restaurant chain were imposing a surcharge on customers to pay for health insurance for their restaurant's employees, he couldn't believe it.

"I'm disappointed that they are charging that. It puts everyone at Gator's Dockside in a negative light to an extent and we wish they were not charging this. It is shame that they have chosen to do that," said Jerry Roberts, who owns four Gator's Docksides in Tampa, Ocala, Gainesville and Lake City.

The group that owns nine Gator's Dockside restaurants in the Orlando area is also not adding the surcharge, according to Joe Foranoce, Jr., Director of Operations.

A 1 percent surcharge is being added to checks at Gator's Dockside restaurants in Jacksonville, Clermont, Eustis, The Villages and Lakeland, to offset the cost of Obamacare for their employees. 

"We are defiantly doing it to stay afloat, it is not political in anyway, the president may have brought this agenda to the forefront, but it is what's law now and what's made it law makes it real for us," said Sandra Clark with the Gator's Dockside Group.

The owners of the Gator's Dockside in Lakeland say that passing on the costs of health insurance to customers is simply the cost of doing business.  The owner of Tampa's franchise disagrees.

"There is really no reason for us to be charging that and the public at large is not in support of it. So, it is not something we would even consider charging," said Roberts.

The Lakeland location has a sign posted on the door telling people about the surcharge. Customers say they'll think twice about patronizing the business in the future.

"I am hungry and I want some good chicken wings, so I will pay the 1 percent. But, it will be interesting to see how over time that plays out, and ultimately it will be based on customers needs in terms of whether they are willing to pay it," said customer John Sloane.

Other customers say they understand the need for the surcharge.

"A business just needs to operate, earn a profit, maintain it's associates and employees, unfortunately the consumer is going to be paying for it," said Kirk Wolfinbarger.

There are nine Gator's Dockside locations in the Orlando area.  Those locations are not adding the surcharge to their bills.


Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:10 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:10:55 GMT
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
  • Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:45:52 GMT
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
  • 8 on your side helps stranded Riverview driver get a new car

    8 on your side helps stranded Riverview driver get a new car

    Thursday, July 31 2014 4:10 PM EDT2014-07-31 20:10:54 GMT
    Last week, 8 on your side told you about the plight of Christopher Soto and his recalled car.Last fall, Soto purchased a 2004 Chevy Malibu from DriveTime, a used car dealership in Brandon.
    Last week, 8 on your side told you about the plight of Christopher Soto and his recalled car.Last fall, Soto purchased a 2004 Chevy Malibu from DriveTime, a used car dealership in Brandon.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Haines City police officer resigns after Facebook posts

    Haines City police officer resigns after Facebook posts

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:43 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:43:17 GMT
    A Haines City police officer under an internal investigation has resigned. Amelia Inoa, an officer with Haines City since 2012, submitted her resignation Wednesday night. The resignation came a few hours after News Channel 8 aired a story exposing some of Inoa's posts on her personal Facebook page. The posts ranged from jokes about calls on which she was dispatched to racial jabs.On Thursday, police Captain Brian McNu...
    A Haines City police officer under an internal investigation has resigned. Amelia Inoa, an officer with Haines City since 2012, submitted her resignation Wednesday night. The resignation came a few hours after News Channel 8 aired a story exposing some of Inoa's posts on her personal Facebook page. The posts ranged from jokes about calls on which she was dispatched to racial jabs.On Thursday, police Captain Brian McNu...
  • Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:45:52 GMT
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
  • Jury finds McTear guilty of 1st-degree murder in baby's death

    Jury finds McTear guilty of 1st-degree murder in baby's death

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:40 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:40:19 GMT
    The jury has reached a verdict for Richard McTear in the death of his ex-girlfriend’s baby.
    The jury has reached a verdict for Richard McTear in the death of his ex-girlfriend’s baby.
  • Web Poll

  • Is it appropriate for restaurants to add a surcharge to meals to pay for employees' health care?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Yes
    15%
    41 votes
    No
    85%
    227 votes
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.