More restaurants that suck.

We just keep adding more.  This is the fourth post of this type (you can read the first, second, and third).

Today’s sadness: I now have to avoid two of my favorite fast food places.

Roughly 100 Wendy’s employees in the Omaha, Nebraska area will have their weekly schedules reduced to 28 hours a week so that they will no longer qualify for the health care benefits that “Obamacare” mandates for full-time employees. A Taco Bell in Guthrie, Oklahoma enacted a similar policy.

Ah well, more salads and yogurt.  w00t!

Oh, but I won’t be getting them from the palace of the hippy queen, Whole Foods.

When Inskeep asks him if he still thinks the health law is a form of socialism, as he’s said before, Mackey responds:

“Technically speaking, it’s more like fascism. Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn’t own the means of production, but they do control it — and that’s what’s happening with our health care programs and these reforms.

I just see Mr. Mackey screaming in the style of Alex Jones “Hitler ensured a decent wage and healthcare for his citizens!  And if you expect business owners to take decent care of the employees who enable them to live in the modern equivalent of a castle, then 1776 will rise again!”

So, the naughty list so far is:

  1. Denny’s
  2. Papa John’s
  3. Olive Garden
  4. Red Lobster
  5. Hostess
  6. Hobby Lobby
  7. Domino’s
  8. Taco Bell
  9. Wendy’s
  10. Whole Foods

Do you know of any good restaurants that deserve some extra business?  Leave ‘em in the comments.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • smrnda

    The thing is that these new laws don’t cost so much as to really put a dent in the profitability of these restaurant chains. They could afford to pay and just accept a tiny little decrease in profit, but no, workers’ health is just not a priority.

    What I don’t get are people who believe their employers. I run into people who both work and who also perhaps watch Fox news who say “well, my boss down at the Chickin’ Shack says thanks to Obama, he can’t afford to stay in business unless we drop to 20 hours with no benefits! Gee thanks Obama” Why believe a person who has every incentive to lie to you, unless it’s the rhetoric of the always honest and infallible ‘job creators’ going around.

    I’m writing to as many of these places as I can, in as rude a fashion as possible. You should also add Jimmy Johns, as their Minneapolis franchise engaged in union-busting tactics.

    • Amyc

      Yes. A manager at work who is otherwise smart and sweet is actually believing the lie she was told by the corporate higher-ups that if they don’t cut hours then the company will go under (this is a fortune 500 company that is behind 5 or 6 very prosperous restaurants). The truth is, the company has always tried to find ways to cut back employee benefits, they’re just using the health care act as an excuse.

    • Stogoe

      Or they could not accept a decrease in profits and instead increase their prices per food item by 5 cents each and cover all their employees’ health care, and benefit from healthier workers to boot.

  • sqlrob

    A comment in the article indicates Regal Cinemas is doing the same. Hope you have a different movie theater around.

    • sqlrob

      Err, the Wendy’s / Taco Bell article.

  • Jaketoadie

    Now is the Wendy’s and Taco Bell things corporate decisions, or just the decision of a couple of jack ass franchise owners?

    • Brad

      Sounds like for those two at least, it’s the franchise owners. Maybe urban spoon needs a category for douchey behavior on the part of management.

      • sqlrob

        But unless corporate disavows things like this, it’s effectively endorsed.

        • Dustin Williams

          If corporate is even aware.

          • Rob

            After hitting the media and getting requests from reporters, I’m sure they are

    • Andrew T.

      AFAIK Wendy’s, Denny’s, and Taco Bell were implicated by franchise-level decisions affecting only a few locations, and the corporate-level names shouldn’t really be on the list. Neither should Domino’s…that news was precipitated by Tom Monoghan’s constant craziness afflicting his preferred Roman Catholic endeavors du jour, and he hasn’t been employed by the company in years.

      OTOH, Whole Foods has had a corporate-level stench since the CEO wrote his first WSJ editorial (opining on why healthcare access was a privilege that only the rich, like he, deserved) three years ago; if not even earlier than that.

      • smrnda

        Yeah, because if the CEO drops dead, who is going to gut benefits for workers? But if the worker drops dead, there’s always another person who can get sucked in to do actual work for less than a living wage.

      • Dustin Williams

        Agreed. The actions of one asshole franchise owner should not be taken as the actions of the whole brand.

  • David Johnson

    In N Out Burger is always good – assuming your on the West Coast. Always has paid decent wages *and* benefits to its employees. Doesn’t hurt that it has the best drive-through burgers on the planet, either (I suggest ordering one “animal style”).

    • Reginald Selkirk

      In-n-Out is a Christian owned business. Look for the Bible verses on the bottom of your drink cup.

      • Randomfactor

        Which affects me not at all. I may be the only carnivore who doesn’t care for their food, though.

        • Bill Krueger

          Not in the least, I for another agree. The disgusting combination of cheese like goo, tasteless bread like bun and some sort of ground beef from unhappy cows should not be called a hamburger.

      • Azkyroth

        More to the point, it’s a douchily proselytizing business.

      • RuQu

        Eaten there plenty of times, never had them push their faith on me.

        I certainly don’t care if a company is Christian if it causes them to HELP their employees instead of HARM them.

        I’d rather frequent a company that is good for bad reasons than a company that abuses its employees for any reason.

  • darren

    I think we’re all burying the lead. That one of JT’s places is Taco Bell. uggh!

    I grew up in CA and live in TX now (where they now have In and Out). They do start their employees out at $10/hour, I have no idea what they do with hours. Although, I don’t eat burgers anymore, they are tasty and their customer service is always excellent. BTW… we have Costco and Sam’s Club out here, and I chose a membership to Costco, even though it’s farther away because of the way they treat their employees.

    • Randomfactor

      Hey, TB’s cheaper than food…

  • b00ger

    This is just a symptom of the overall problem. Anyone who works over 32-34 per week is supposed to be considered full-time and as such should be entitled to benefits including health insurance. What was happening previously is that many companies were working their “part-time” workers close to (if not exceeding) 40 hours. Now they will be penalized for doing this, they are cutting those”part-timers” back to what really are part-time hours.

    The Obamacare mandate of forcing individuals to pay private companies is somewhat fascist. It is using the state’s control to enrich the 1%. Insurance companies have a huge hard-on for how much money this is going to give them to gamble with on Wall-Street. A sane, truly progressive approach would be for the government to set up a single-payer system, thus divorcing health insurance from employers all together. It would also allow them to negotiate down actual medical costs. Then, they should set up a jobs program so that all those part-time and unemployed people can work full-time if they want to at a decent wage.

    Obama and Dem’s have done a great job of passing this far-right wing program off as Progressive, but it is anything but.

    • Amyc

      The problem is they had to pass this off as progressive so the lefties (myself included) would be able to support it because the far-right was not willing to support any change (at least not any change proposed by Obama). I wish we could get a single payer system and divorce health care from job benefits.

  • ButchKitties

    Boogie Burger for Indy residents. The burgers aren’t mind-blowing, but they’re solid and they offer more than than just the usual toppings. The garlic fries are insaaaaanely good. The garlic isn’t some piddly garlic salt, we’re talking lots of minced raw garlic and parsley. I’m making the Homer Simpson drooly noise just thinking about them.

  • Amyc

    I would advise all the employees to ride the clock as much as possible, and if they force people to go and you get busy, just make more mistakes. Then the company can learn that when the employees aren’t happy, the customers aren’t happy.

    • John Horstman

      Ooh, and get some books on passive labor force resistance tactics from the library. Small-scale theft, ‘accidental’ property damage, “time theft”, foot-dragging, waste, absenteeism, and presenteeism are time-honored methods of resistance to capital control by the working class, from systems of chattel slavery to serfdom to colonial enterprises to neoliberal labor markets.

      • Nyssa

        Unfortunately, all of those tactics will get a person fired because of the “at-will” employment laws. There really is very little recourse when hours and benefits are cut. And where I work (a large national corporation) even just mentioning the word “union” will result in a written warning and possible termination.

        • smrnda

          The same was true back when these tactics originated, except back then they sometimes hired the Pinkertons to shoot at strikers. True, the odds are against you, but not so bad as in the past.

  • Keljopy

    A McDonald’s in my area in Michigan is doing the same as the Taco Bell and the Wendy’s and cutting back employees hours to 29.

  • John Eberhard

    Please add homophobic chick-fil-a.

  • ewok_wrangler

    On KQED (San Francisco NPR) this morning (link to page with summary and audio) host Michael Krasney played the “health care is fascist” clip for John Mackey and asked if he had any second thoughts about it. Mackey laughed and said “fascist” is a word he will probably never use again, “even in Scrabble”, because it has so much “baggage.” But he didn’t back away from the point that government control of health care is somehow evil. But then — weirdly — he said he favors a fully open market for health care but with government subsidies for the poor so they can buy health insurance. So here is this doctrinaire libertarian advocating for what is nothing but income redistribution. Weird.

    • smrnda

      Like most libertarians, Mackey knows his talk of “Fascism” reeks of hyperbole to anyone who can distinguish between a government telling a business “You must provide health care to workers” and “you must build tanks so we can invade Poland” and that his ‘libertarian fantasy land’ would never work, so his only way to survive is by occasionally contradicting himself so he can seem a bit connected to reality.

  • ShaeRavencroft

    Mr Mackey says:
    “Healthcare is bad. Mmkay.”

  • Loqi

    I’m finding it pretty easy to not patronize the restaurants that suck, since you haven’t listed a single one I didn’t dislike beforehand anyway.
    (Now I’m expecting the next list to include like 5 of my favorites…)

  • Heather

    Taco Bell is pretty much the only fast food place out here (other than Subway) that offers decent vegetarian-friendly food…This is creating a dilemma for me…

  • RuQu

    Red Lobster and Olive Garden are owned by Darden. The other restaurants they own are:

    Seasons 52
    Red Lobster
    Olive Garden
    Bahama Breeze
    The Old Grist Mill Tavern
    LongHorn Steakhouse
    The Capital Grille
    Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
    Yard House

  • Deanna Joy Lyons

    Dicks burgers here in WA State gives their employees benefits and money for college, too. A great local chain.