Just a day after Franny's in Prospect Heights started levying a three percent surcharge on its menu to offset the costs of implementing the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), the restaurant announces in a letter to guests that it is retracting that fee and reconfiguring its pricing. Francine Stephens, a co-owner at the restaurant, tells Eater the charge has already been removed and that an updated menu would be posted today.
The Affordable Care Act requires businesses with 50 or more full-time staffers to provide reasonably priced health insurance by 2016 or face yearly penalties of at least $2,000 per worker.
Here's the full text of the letter Franny's sent to guests:
It is appearing that many of our guests are viewing the proposed ACA surcharge as anti-Obamacare, which is so unfortunate, because it is in fact, quite the opposite! Through this surcharge, franny's is embracing Obamacare. Clearly our intent was misunderstood and our guests have made it clear that they would prefer to see higher prices as opposed to a surcharge. We've always worked in the service of our staff and guests and will amend our prices accordingly while removing the surcharge entirely.
Initially, we thought, before we start putting $22 pizza on the menu, let's be transparent about what that money is actually going towards. However, it seems given the stated preference of our guests as well as the potential for misinterpretations into the future, we will retract the surcharge and reconfigure our menu pricing instead.
We hold it essential to who we are as a company to take care of our staff—and our guests. We are listening to you all.