Add Applebee's and Jimmy John's to the growing list of small companies and franchisers warning that Obamacare will kill profits and force local stores to raise prices or slash employees and their hours.
"Somebody has to pay," said Apple-Metro Chairman Zane Tankel on Fox Business Network. The Applebee's chief added that it is unclear what Obamacare taxes, costs and fines will total, but said his restaurants will do whatever is necessary to stay in business.
The budget for employees and health care in the firm's 2013 budget is being kept open until after the election when he expects the administration to reveal more details on how Obamacare will be fully implemented in 2014. Obama, said Tankel, "is waiting until after the election, then he'll drop this on us."
Ditto for Jimmy John Liautaud, founder of Jimmy John's sub shacks, who also appeared on FBN.
Like a lot of small businesses, he said that the firm is considering cutting hours of workers to 28 to get under the Obamacare cap that requires companies to either fully fund health care or pay a $2,000 fine.
"We have to do that. There's no other way we can survive it, because we think it will cost us 50 cents a sandwich. That's just the actual cost," he told Fox. "If you have 40 or 50 employees at a restaurant, and the penalty is $2,000, and you're going to pay $80,000 or $100,000 penalty, there goes the profit in your restaurant," he added.