Darden Restaurants, which owns Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and more, is the latest in its industry to look for a way to avoid ObamaCare. Darden owns and operates more than 2,000 restaurants, and employs 180,000 people. So the restaurant group is conducting a “test” at a select number of its restaurants in four markets.
Darden spokesman Rich Jeffers says the idea is figuring out what the costs are of the new health care law and how best to deal with them. Jeffers says with growing health care costs Darden is looking at the impact on their businesses of a larger part-time workforce versus full-time employment.
White Castle, McDonald’s and Denny’s are other affordable brands in the industry that have said they were looking for a way to avoid the new employer mandate due to take effect in 2014.