A pizzeria in Brooklyn has ditched its employee health insurance surcharge after customers viewed the fee as anti-Obamacare, according to reports.
Earlier this week, Franny's in Park Slope added an annotation to its menu explaining that a three percent rise in the price of menu items was to help pay for employee health insurance now mandated by the federal government.
The annotation read: "Three percent surcharge will be added to all checks to cover the Affordable Care Act for all Franny's employees."
But owner Francine Stephens now says that customers saw the surcharge as anti-Obamacare and said they'd prefer a rise in prices over an annotated fee, according to Eater NY.
"It is appearing that many of our guests are viewing the proposed ACA surcharge as anti-Obamacare, which is unfortunate, because it is in fact, quite the opposite!" reads a letter sent to Franny's guests.
"Through this surcharge, Franny's is embracing Obamacare. Clearly our intent was misunderstood and our guests have made it clear that they would prefer to see higher prices as opposed to a surcharge."
Stephens had also added the surcharge to her other establishments, Rose's Bar and Grill and BKLYN Larder.
Before the surcharge was scrapped, Stephens told the Daily News that she wanted to be transparent about the new charge and that it was necessary to offset the $200,000 she must pay to provide health insurance for the more than 50 workers she employs at the three establishments.
"This is a cost that we cannot absorb without going out of business," Stephens told the Daily News.
Stephens said that a recent push for higher wages at the state level has also led to higher prices at her restaurants.
Under the price increases, a previously $18 pasta dish went up to $19 and a once $18 pizza pie rose to $20, according to the Daily News.
Under the Affordable Care Act, businesses with more than 50 full-time employees are required to provide their workers with reasonably priced health insurance by next year or face annual fines of at least $2,000 per employee.