Healthcare Changes: A Checklist for Restaurant Operators

The Affordable Care Act can have immediate and long-term effects on your restaurant. It’s important to keep up with the requirements, changes and deadlines of the legislation in order to prepare for what comes, ensure compliance and avoid fines.  The best offense is a good defense, so take steps to prepare for the changes now and avoid surprises when the act is fully rolled out.

ACA Facts for Restaurant Owners

  • The ACA requires at least 95% of full-time employees and their dependents be offered healthcare coverage.
  • Restaurants with 50 full-time (FT) or full-time equivalent (FTE) employees will be required to offer health care insurance.
  • You can determine the number of FTE employees you have by dividing the total hours worked by all part-time employees in one month by 120.
  • 60% of restaurant employees are already part time.
  • Seasonal employees are excluded from ACA requirements.
  • Employees of restaurants with fewer than 50 employees, may be able to  get insurance through exchanges if they qualify based on income.
  • Businesses employing 50 or more full-time workers (or FTE) employees may be fined at  $2,000 per employee or more for not providing adequate health care coverage.

Minimizing the Impact of the ACA

While there is no way to avoid the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, there are steps restaurant owners can take to minimize its impact on your bottom line.

  • Keep  any  positions  possible to part-time hours to reduce the number of healthcare eligible employees.
  • Look to restaurant industry organizations or local small business networks for group plans that you may be eligible to participate in.
  • Add seasonal or temporary employees to your workforce. Neither are your responsibility under the ACA.

Keep up with the latest developments in the ACA or other federal regulations that effect your restaurant or hospitality business by visiting the Horizon Hospitality blog regularly. If you are looking for restaurant recruiting firms, contact our team today.


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