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I used to frequent Jimmy John's but will be moving on after hearing that the founder Jimmy John Liautaud is a teabagger that doesn't mind ruining his company.

The following interview from Fox Business took place on October 15th. I consider myself an almost manic follower of the news. I don't know how I could have missed this but it definitely didn't get the coverage it deserved.

IAUTAUD: Well, a lot of our -- 80 percent of our expansions come from current franchisees. So they have been in the system for a long time.

And with a system that is as healthy and viable as ours, that is what happens over time. It's exponential growth. But what's happening right now with the future, I have -- a lot of these franchisees, they're holding back because they're not sure what is really going to happen with ObamaCare, if in fact...

CAVUTO: You have a lot of hourly workers, right?

LIAUTAUD: About 60,000.

CAVUTO: So, like Darden, you heard what they're doing. They're going to cut down on those hours, workers, so they're not hooked into that overtime dilemma or the health care automatic provide...

LIAUTAUD: Exactly.

CAVUTO: Are you going to do the same thing?

LIAUTAUD: We have to do the same thing.

CAVUTO: Really?

LIAUTAUD: Yes. We're not doing it now, but we have to bring them down to 28 hours. Yes, 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.

CAVUTO: Really?

LIAUTAUD: Yes, we do.

CAVUTO: What about just paying the penalty?

A lot of your competitors say, you know, down the road, Neil, we could see paying the penalty and sucking it up.

LIAUTAUD: Well, 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.

So it's very expensive to just pay the penalty as well. And I think we have to manage around it.

So add Jimmy John's to the list of right-wing establishments you should think twice about before going to.

Contact Info:
Jimmy John's Corporate Headquarters
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone 217-356-9900
Fax 217-359-2956


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Comment Preferences

  •  Every time we hear about this (13+ / 0-)

    it reinforces the idea that a public option or single payer is what will eventually replace the for profit health insurance industry.  If large employers are cutting back on hours just because they don't want to provide health insurance, it will destroy the viability of group plans for insurance companies because they will not have large enough groups to enroll and spread the risk.  Rates from the insurance companies will just go up and up and up because they will not have enough people to pay premiums and still be able to pay claims and  make a profit.

    For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to everyone that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. --John Maynard Keynes

    by Kurt from CMH on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:42:05 PM PST

    •  The present system is in place to provide the (15+ / 0-)

      private insurance market the incentive to provide universal health care insurance.  

      The mandate provides a massive incentive for the private insurance companies to attain economies of scale, to reduce hospital's cost for indigent care, and in fact, the ObamaCares program is giving the private insurance system 30,000,000 new paying customers.  I don't know about you, but if someone dumped 30,000,000 new customers in my lap, I would find a way to make a profitable business of it.

      Now, if the private insurance business proves itself incapable of operating profitably with almost one-sixth of the entire economy funneling itself through its coffers, and still cannot make a profitable business of it, then the private insurers are in fact DEMANDING that we move to a system of single payer, public option.  They are being given a total of 6 years to adapt their business model to make that happen.  If the private employers, like the restaurant operators recently publicized, are unwilling to do their duty to their employees and stakeholders, and continue to make a profitable business of it, then the marketplace can provide their punishment.

      I haven't seen any of these radical right restaurant owners, not even once, mention that they also get some tax subsidy to provide this insurance.  I have seen no evidence that they have even analyzed the consequences.  Their intransigence and public pig-headedness makes many of their customers, like myself and many others who read Kos and other progressive voices, very reluctant to make these companies places where we want to spend our hard earned money.  And, yes, most of us work, pay taxes, and give, not take from the economy.  And no, we don't resent those who need some help from time to time.

      Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

      by Ohiodem1 on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:57:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But what Jimmy John's and Papa John's etc are doin (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Molly Weasley, coquiero, james321

        is basically making minimum wage workers, and sub-minimum wage workers, responsible to provide the profit of those private insurance corporations.  Which was the obvious endgame  of the whole Heritage Foundation/Romneycare/Obamacare structure in the first place.  And it criminalizes an entire generation of the working poor.  The burden doesn't fall on the health insurance corporations.  Nor do the private employers have any "duty" to the employees under the ACA.  It's not a corporate mandate, it's an individual mandate. It falls on cooks, waitstaff and pot-wallopers.  And when they try to get their "subsidies", you really think they won't be repeatedly demeaned at every stage of the process, challenged as moochers engaging in "fraud and abuse" by the gatekeepers to those subsidies?  If you think that, you've never been low down on the totem pole.

        Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

        by ActivistGuy on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 01:36:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Employers with less than 50 employees get (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          a 35% tax credit on the cost of health care for employees.  This tax credit will go up to 50% in 2014.

          Larger businesses (greater than 50 employees) also get differing tax treatment, based on a wide variety of complex options.

          It ain't simple, but there is some carrot for the employer.  This will create opportunities for tax accountants and tax lawyers.  The employers crying poor mouth may be BSing.

          Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

          by Ohiodem1 on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:08:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I just wrote an email to Papa's (7+ / 0-)

    Now I have to write one to Jimmy. I've actually never eaten at Jimmy Johns. And will continue not to. Yesterday, I ate at Port O Subs for the first time.

  •  This is another place (14+ / 0-)

    we have been boycotting for a while, since JJ threatened to move his corporate HQ out of Illinois when the tax rate was raised.  Just another rich whiner who would rather screw his employees than spend a cent to keep them healthy.

    Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by papahaha on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:49:30 PM PST

  •  What was JJ doing before ACA? (15+ / 0-)

    All those workers weren't provided health care? And now that he has to provide them healthcare, he is going to let them go? In other words, he was passing the costs onto the public (emergency room visits), essentially socializing his costs, and now that he can no longer socialize his costs, he wants to cut back workers' hours rather than pay his fair share as an employer? Will he next insist that his employees get a fifty percent cut in wages also, or he will fire them? What a putz!

    It's always darkest before it gets less dark.

    by Karma Electra on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:54:31 PM PST

  •  Wrote them to tell them they lost a customer. (5+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the heads up!

  •  A quick run of numbers (8+ / 0-)

    shows how FOS he is.

    A franchise makes about $1.3 million...a sandwich maybe runs 8 bucks, so they are selling maybe 100,000 sandwiches give or take each franchise. Probably a low estimate

    His 50 cents a sandwich cost is pure BS. Dime a sandwich or less would cover it...but no cost for lying, apparently.

    •  If I went to a restaurant and saw a sign explainin (8+ / 0-)

      that the cost of the sandwich went up 10 cents or even 50 cents to provide health care for employees I would be thrilled to pay it and continue to eat there.

      If I already expect to spend $8 for a sandwich then spending $8.50 isn't going to be a huge shock.

      Since when is the party that embraces all the top tenets of Satan allowed to call the God shots?--wyvern

      by voracious on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 01:17:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your numbers are wrong (by a lot) (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hey338Too, shanesnana, Poika, coquiero

      I don't particularly want to defend this asshole, but your argument is just wrong.

      Typical Jimmy John's does about $735,000 per year in sales.  Average check is probably $10.  So they serve about 75,000 customers per year.

      Typical $735K restaurant will have about 15 employees, many part time.  If they have full time employees it is more like 9 (360 hours per week).  Now a single unit operator will be well under the 50 employees so no issue there.  But a franchisee with more than 3 restaurants will get hit with about 15x$2,000/employee in each restaurant.  This is $30,000.  Spread over 75,000 customers that is 40 cents per customer.

      I'm not sure how the subsidies to employers work so perhaps this is offset by something.  But mainly I just wanted to point out that the numbers you presented above are incorrect.

      I own two restaurants of similar size so I think I can speak reasonably authoritatively about these numbers.  I love Obama care.  My employees will finally have healthcare.  Less stress for them, fewer sick days, etc.  no more competing ineffectively  with the big boys (who offer healthcare to managers) to hire managers.  But most of all it is just the right thing for our country and our society.  I am fortunate - I have a lot - no reason I can't pay  higher taxes to give healthcare to people who don't have it.  

      •  So are your numbers (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If the exemplar has three restaurants, with 15 employees each, his penalty is a total of $2000*15, since he has to pay it only for the number of employees beyond 30.

        " can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

        by Catte Nappe on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 03:14:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am unaware of this 30 employee exemption. (0+ / 0-)

          I thought that if you cross the 50 threshold you pay for all your employees.   You are probably right.  As I said, I am unaware of all of the ins and outs of Obamacare - I have less than 50 employees so I figure I am unaffected.

          I probably should have used an example of more than 3 stores.  See my example below using Jimmy Johns' actual total of 19 reported corporate stores.  At that many stores the exemption that you cite becomes insignificant and the 40 cents per ticket still holds.

          •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            james321, noble experiment
            Larger employers that do not provide coverage will be assessed a penalty beginning in 2014 if any one of their workers receives a tax credit when buying insurance on their own in a health insurance Exchange. Workers with income up to 400% of the poverty level are eligible for tax credits. The employer penalty is equal to $2,000 multiplied by the number of workers in the business in excess of 30 workers (with the penalty amount increasing over time).

            " can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

            by Catte Nappe on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:44:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I got the $1.3 million per restaurant (0+ / 0-)

        from their own website. If that number, about twice what you say, is incorrect, they oughta stop using it.

        So somewhere between my lowball of a dime, and you're high estimate based on a gross way lower than they say the franchises take in,  is probably it. Call it a quarter. And one Id never spend a corner store fried shrimp poboy extra mayo and pickles and hot sauce kind of guy.

        •  the $735 number (0+ / 0-)

          came from a restaurant trade group reporting.  I checked the JJ website and indeed he claims that corporate owned stores average $1.3MM in annual sales.  I would certainly agree that since it "Jimmy" himself that is bitching, the $1.3M number is better to use in this case.

          So, lets rework the math.  At $1.3M in sales he probably has about 26 employees per store (about 16 Full time equivalents).  26x19stores=494 employees.   So he will pay $1,000,000 in penalties or about $50K per store. He will be have about 130,000 customers.  The typical customer will pay about 38 cents more per purchase.

          In short, since labor tends to increase as sales do (need more people to prep food and make sandwiches, ring customers, clean larger stores, etc.), the number per sandwich will stay pretty constant for him.

          But again, it's a side discussion.  He ought to be embracing this, and if he can't embrace it, he ought to be clamoring for single payer so it isn't even an expense for him.  I completely cannot understand why employers don't want to turn healthcare over to the government.  It is an expensive and time consuming mess for them to administer it themselves.

  •  I'm not sure these guys understand the ACA (6+ / 0-)

    From what several people have told me, cutting hours won't help that much... because there's a formula to calculate "full time equivalent" workers and they'll still have to pay the fine based on that

    •  Ok I was right (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hey338Too, chipoliwog, chicagoblueohio, FG

      Signed into law in 2010 and recently upheld by the Supreme Court, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or ACA, requires that employers with 50 or more full-time or "full-time equivalent" employees provide health insurance to full-time employees by 2014 or pay a penalty. For each block of 30 weekly hours of part-time work by one or more employees, a business is deemed to have one full-time-equivalent employee.

  •  I've never even heard of his restaurant (4+ / 0-)

    "It strikes me as gruesome and comical that in our culture we have an expectation that a man can always solve his problems" - Kurt Vonnegut

    by jazzence on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 01:07:48 PM PST

  •  No big loss, either (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, itsjim, SteelerGrrl, NegSpin

    I find JJ's sandwiches to be... really bland.  And if you check out their menus, they even say it's not really gourmet ingredients, they just said that to make it sound better.

    In a universe with Panera and indie sandwich shops (hee hee, I live in Ann Arbor, we've got Zingerman's and Amer's Delis), Jimmy John's is superfluous.

    Tom Smith Online
    I want a leader who shoots for the moon. The last time we had one, we got to the moon.

    by filkertom on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 01:08:54 PM PST

  •  never liked them ... never going back ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, eXtina, SteelerGrrl

    as a veggie, i have only 1 option ... never liked them. went there a few times because my family wanted to go. But i will not give either JJ or PJs one more cent of revenue ...

  •  I am astounded that they are so willing to (5+ / 0-)

    admit this out loud.  Who can sympathize other than other CEO's, most assuredly not their customer base.

    Who wants to eat food prepared by sick people? Think about it.

    I'd like to compile a list of restaurant chains that provide health insurance but it's very hard to figure out their benefit plans from their websites. They're very cagey, even Papa John's says they offer health 'options'.

    Anyone have any better ideas?

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 01:22:30 PM PST

  •  I used to go to JJ (5+ / 0-)

    because like InfiniteThoughts, I'm a veggie and there aren't too many "fast" options out there. But I stopped several years ago when the owner posted pictures of himself and his buddies in Africa over the corpses of dead elephants they had shot. I decided then my money didn't need to go to people who went and shot endangered species.

    "No one has the right to spend their life without being offended." Philip Pullman

    by zaynabou on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 01:26:57 PM PST

  •  FWIW, the one time I went to Jimmy John's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coquiero, SteelerGrrl

    The subs were just, for lack of a more descriptive term, meh.

    We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

    by Samer on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 01:27:47 PM PST

  •  I ate there once about 7 years ago, but then (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, SteelerGrrl

    Found out that he's a hard core Republican and wreaks terror on wildlife.  Never again.

     Jimmy Johns and Romney

    Jimmy John, Elephant Slayer

    Frankly, the wanton destruction of animals for fun was far more outrageous than his simply being a Republican. Did he carve up elephant steaks for dinner like most hunters do when they hunt deer, elk or moose to feed their families? I'm sure that needless destruction was simply just for fun. Repulsive.

    This health insurance thing is just another reason to despise him.

    His shop was very near my house. I drove past it almost daily. Never went in again. Easiest decision I ever made.

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 01:31:46 PM PST

  •  Jimmy John Liautaud hunts endangered species (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, coquiero, SteelerGrrl

    ... and other animals in canned hunts.

    I'm not talking venison here.

    “After all the hunts I’ve been on, I really am not a hunter, I am a shooter,” Liautaud wrote in the article “My Year of Hunting in 2009” for Hunting Illustrated. The highlight of his year was negotiating to kill an old buck that had been hand raised in a canned hunting facility in Nevada. “I smoked him at 10 yards,” Liautaud boasted.
    You can Google "Jimmy John" and "hunting" to see pictures of him hoisting a dead African leopard if you like (won't link it here). Leopards are frequently used in canned hunts.

    I wouldn't eat a Jimmy John's sandwich if he insured every one of his workers personally.

  •  Hmm, a 50% off coupon pops up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, SteelerGrrl

    for a sandwich at Jimmy Johns' at the bottom of this diary.

    I don't have a good sense of how much their sandwiches cost, but i'm betting that's more than 50 cents.

    So my question is "how the fuck can they afford that?"  In any event hopefully no one uses the coupon and plunges their employees into mass layoffs.

  •  I would tell these sorts of businessmen (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, shanesnana, coquiero, SteelerGrrl

    to not get too cocky...

    "Money" isn't the only kind of wealth out there. They didn't learn their lesson that just because they buy airtime and try all sorts of tricks to get the votes they wanted.

    You can't buy sincerity once you disregard your employees like that for your own selfish gain.

    Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

    by Future Gazer on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 01:37:40 PM PST

  •  In New Orleans... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, coquiero, SteelerGrrl, james321

    ... Drew Brees is opening a JJ franchise.  It will be interesting to see how he deals with this issue.  Brees is a multi-millionaire and is the beneficiary and representative of the NFL Players Union.  

    It's hard to believe that he would treat his employees the way the company owner is suggesting, but we will learn more about the strength of Mr. Brees' convictions as he enters the "business world".

    I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

    by Hey338Too on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 01:39:13 PM PST

  •  Never been there... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coquiero, SteelerGrrl

    ...and never will be now.

    Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power -- Benito Mussolini

    by drcraigphd on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 02:14:19 PM PST

  •  Is there no crappy national restaurant chain... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coquiero, SteelerGrrl

    that isn't run by a bunch of wingers?  When will Hooters chime in?  Arby's?  Flingers?  Tchotchkies?

    And how do these organizations stay in business anyway if their margins are so razor thin?  Are they saying, essentially, that if they had to pay their employees ever-so-slightly more than d*ck they wouldn't be able to foist their meh food on all of us?

    •  Its not like they actually provide benefits to the (0+ / 0-)

      front line employees.  Most of them are franchises owned and operated by franchise operators and not by the big name on the sign.  For example, all those McD stores are owned by mom and pop operations.  Same for Arby's.

    •  I always wonder (0+ / 0-)

      who eats at crappy chain restaurants in the first place, especially the sit-down kind like Applebee's.  It's just so unadventurous.  If I could afford to eat out, the last thing I'd want is something that tastes exactly the same whether I'm in Allentown, Pueblo, or Charlotte.

      As a vegetarian, it was easier and cheaper to just learn to cook.   Crappy chain restaurants are not kind to us.

       I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.     -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by SteelerGrrl on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 03:09:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The guy is a total ass. In Champaign, IL he is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SteelerGrrl, KateinIL

    constantly playing the card that he's going to take his HQ and move it somewhere else in a fit of rage over something the local gov is doing.  He can't do a hell of a lot because the vulture capitalists control is company.

  •  Ignoramus (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SteelerGrrl, eggowar

    IF you have 40 or 50 employees at your restaurant will make a big difference. AND it's not $2000 per employee.

    However, it does impose penalties in some cases on larger employers (those with 50 or more workers) that do not provide insurance to their workers or that provide coverage that is unaffordable.

    Larger employers that do not provide coverage will be assessed a penalty beginning in 2014 if any one of their workers receives a tax credit when buying insurance on their own in a health insurance Exchange. Workers with income up to 400% of the poverty level are eligible for tax credits. The employer penalty is equal to $2,000 multiplied by the number of workers in the business in excess of 30 workers (with the penalty amount increasing over time).

    So, if you have 40 employees you are off scott free. If you have 50 employees your penalty is $40K.

    " can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

    by Catte Nappe on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 03:10:04 PM PST

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