Applebee’s: Obey the Law, Offer Workers Insurance

Target: Applebee’s CEO Zane Tankel

Goal: Stop denying health insurance to Applebee’s employees

Applebee’s is a massive and easily recognizable corporation with locations strewn across the United States and myriad employees. Like every other business that employs more than 50 people, Applebee’s is bound by law to provide workers with a health insurance option. However, Zane Tankel, CEO of Apple-Metro, Applebee’s New York franchise, has taken exceptional umbrage with this. Hundreds of people are employed by Applebee’s New York locations; Tankel has taken this as a cue to stop hiring new employees and threatening current workers with termination.

Tankel has claimed that providing workers with health insurance would cost the company millions and would be prohibitive to Applebee’s ongoing financial success. Tankel has cited The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as it is more commonly known, with being detrimental to further business expansion, and that it could force Applebee’s, and presumably other businesses, to cut workers hours and move to a part-time work force. He has made it absolutely clear that he will not be hiring any more people in the meantime.

Since the passage of Obamacare some large businesses have raged against the fact that they must provide their employees the option of health insurance; however, they must all eventually give in. It is unlikely that it would cost a company as large and profitable as Applebee’s a prohibitive amount of money. Furthermore, healthcare will lead to healthier, happier workforce that will have more incentive to work.

Whether or not Zane Tankel wants to provide his workers with healthcare is beside the point though; the fact is simple—it is the law. If Tankel and Applebee’s continue to neglect this they will be forced to suffer whatever penalties may come. It is time for Applebee’s, and other corporations across the nation, to keep their employees’ best interests in mind. If they will not do that, than it is time for them to at least keep the law in mind and offer workers insurance.


Dear Mr. Tankel,

As the CEO of Apple-Metro you are responsible for managing multiple restaurants, hundreds of employees, and millions of dollars. You have a lot to deal with each and every day, constantly juggling tasks, and working to keep Applebee’s operating smoothly. However, you recently made some comments regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, that have drawn a bit of worry in that regard.

You have claimed that the requirement for you to provide your workers with an option for health insurance would all but bankrupt your company, that it would cost millions of dollars and force you to slash employee’s hours, stop expansion, cease hiring, and maybe even be the cause of layoffs. This is unacceptable; Applebee’s makes tens of millions of dollars every year. You will be able to afford the cost of healthcare, especially considering that not all of your workers will take the offer.

Additionally, studies have shown that an insured worker is a happy worker. Better, more qualified employees will be looking for jobs, they will stay in your employee for longer, work harder, and most importantly, work more—they will have fewer sick days, and be healthy enough to work long hours consistently.

Finally, it is the law. You do not have a choice in this matter; you must provide your workers with a health insurance option. For you to not do so would be legally punishable and morally reprehensible at this point. You can afford this, and more importantly you must do this. Please bear this in mind while you make your decisions regarding this issue.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: In Paris Texas via flickr

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