January 25, 2013

Bob Bestler | Politics plus dining out adds up to indigestion

It's getting downright difficult being a lefty, politically speaking, because I'm beginning to run out of fast-food places.

It's getting downright difficult being a lefty, politically speaking, because I'm beginning to run out of fast-food places.

It started the day I heard the CEO of Chick-Fil-A tell of his strong opposition to gay marriage, then learned that a bunch of Chick-Fil-A money goes to anti-gay causes.

While millions showed their support by racing to their neighborhood Chick-Fil-A, I swung the other way. I decided I would no longer make the restaurant a regular stop on my fast-food journeys.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I've been back twice since. I gave in after learning my sweet wife had given in first. Yeah, I follow her everywhere.

Then Papa John's CEO hit the airwaves, complaining that because of Obamacare he'd have to charge an extra 10 cents for every pizza so his employees can get health insurance.

I've never had a Papa John's pizza, so this one was easy. But it seemed a silly argument. Ten cents more for most pizzas is still a deal.

(Note to Papa John's CEO: You should celebrate the fact that every employee is getting health insurance and it's only costing 10 cents a pizza. I might have become a regular customer.)

After the Supreme Court upheld key provisions of Obamacare, we heard from people at Applebee's and Denny's. Franchisees at both corporations were threatening various forms of protest, including a hiring freeze.

John Metz, who owns 40 Denny's franchises, said he would add a 5 percent surcharge on every bill. Customers, he said, can just ``reduce the amount of tip to the server, who is the primary beneficiary of Obamacare.'' Goodbye, Denny's.

Domino's Pizza, which is owned by a good Roman Catholic guy, has gone to court to get around providing contraceptive insurance mandated by Obamacare. He'd prefer, I guess, for female employees to get pregnant.

The other day I got another jolt when the CEO of Whole Foods called Obamacare a “Fascist program.''

His comment was especially surprising since Whole Food has a large liberal customer base that generally supports the Affordable Care Act. Guess I've made my final visit to Whole Foods in Mt. Pleasant.

The latest came when we learned that Subway _--which actually has a franchise in McClellanville, our one connection to fast-food America -- has been selling 11-inch subs that it calls foot-long subs.

So far, I've not given up on Subway. The downsizing may have been a little sneaky, but it didn't involve politics.

I just hope we don't find out that Subway sliced off that missing inch to pay for Obamacare.

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