Based on what I have read in an article in today's UT (Restaurants Feel Squeeze on Insurance), James Brennan, owner of Searsucker et al, is clearly a swine. Somehow Phil's BBQ manages to provide health insurance to their full time workers (32+ hours/wk), and thrives. But for the Brennan/Malarkey team, it means a change in business plans.
“The restaurant industry is really affected by this,” said owner James Brennan.
Since 2009, Brennan and partner Brian Malarkey have created 600 jobs among their five trendy restaurants, a nightclub and catering company in San Diego.
Beyond raising prices to pay for employee health benefits, Brennan said, all of his new restaurants may be smaller, with fewer than 50 employees.
Each of his restaurants now is about 8,000 square feet, which requires about 75 employees. That was the original plan when he began scouting for a location to open a restaurant in Los Angeles. But after the Supreme Court ruling last Thursday, Brennan said he called up his leasing agent to say he wanted to look at smaller properties over the weekend.
“Instead of looking for that 70- to 75-employee size, I’m looking for square footage for 49 employees,” he said. “This is not the way I should be forced into thinking.”
Brennan said that if he had limited his staffing starting in 2009, he’d be employing 400 people today instead of 600.
“Some of these people who are applauding (the employer insurance mandate) need to be asked, do they want to be guaranteed insurance or do they want a job? Because that’s the choice,” he said. “This is real.”