Over the weekend and on Monday, Applebee's employees and customers expressed their anger over comments made on the Fox Business Network last week by Apple-Metro CEO Zane Tankel, who owns 40 Applebee's franchises in the New York metropolitan area. Tankel said he would not hire any more workers and was considering cutting the hours of current employees because of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.This follows Papa John's CEO vowing to cut worker hours to dodge health insurance requirements, but in this Applebee's case, it's just the New York franchise owner vowing it. The larger company seems rather alarmed that Mr. Tankel could not keep his pompous conservative pie-hole shut about the whole thing.
Already Applebee's parent company, DineEquity, is distancing itself from Tankel's remarks. "It's certainly our hope that our guests recognize and realize that Mr. Tankel's views are not representative of the broader Applebee's brand," said Dan Smith, a spokesman for DineEquity.
There is no word yet on what this will mean for area pundits wanting to use Applebee's as their go-to example of Americana. I will, however, mutter once again that if only we stopped the asinine premise that each American citizen's access to decent health care should be determined almost entirely by the person that employs them, perhaps instead implementing some sort of "single payer" plan in which all citizens were granted—no, you know what? That's just crazy talk.