Thursday, March 14, 2013
Owner of Raleigh-Durham Five Guys Burger & Fries attacks Obama's health care law
Okay burger lovers. It’s time to prepare for an old fashioned boycott. Pull out the signs and put the debit card under lock and key.
Mike Ruffer, the owner of eight Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurants in Raleigh-Durham, was quoted in the Washington Examiner about his thoughts regarding President Obama’s new health care law. He says the law will force him to put plans for new stores on hold and may result in higher prices for burgers.
Ruffer was speaking to attendees of a seminar on the new health care law that was hosted by the Heritage Foundation. He says profits from one of his eight outlets would have to be dedicated to health care and that “any added costs are going to have to be passed on.”
The corporate office of Five Guys Burger and Fries quickly distanced itself from Ruffer. The chain owes President Obama for exposing the nation to the chain after he visited the Washington, DC restaurant in 2009. The chain rode the wagon to expand from coast-to-coast. Five Guys has grown to over 900 restaurants across the country.
"Mike Ruffer is a franchisee of Five Guys and independent business owner," Molly Catalano, director of communications, wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. "He does not represent Five Guys on this or any other subject matter."
Sales for Five Guys were just under $1 billion in 2011. They added 182 locations and made the top 25 list in QSR Magazine. The chains sales increased 32.8% from 2010, while its $1.156 million in sales per restaurant was just below Burger King’s $1.245, and was more than Pizza Hut, KFC, Sonic and Starbucks.
Ruffer should be careful about crying the blues in a community overly sensitive about getting jerked by corporate big shots. His burger joints are in my back yard, and folks down here read newspapers and keep track of the U.S. Stock Exchange. It’s hard, no it’s down right mind boggling, that people like Ruffer have the guts to talk about raising prices in a time of profit. Those not paying attention would think he’s facing bankruptcy. Please read between the BS.
On Wednesday, U.S. stocks rose for the ninth straight session to another record. Ruffer, and his sidekick Papa John, want us to believe the nation is collapsing like the Roman Empire due to Obama care. As Americans continue to struggle with finding ways to pay their bills, feed their families while keeping faith in the American dream, Ruffer and Papa want us to believe they are struggling too much to take some of that profit and pass it on to their employees.
I’m not buying it. Neither should you.
The facts speak louder than Ruffer’s BS. The Dow Jones industrial average’s nine-day winning streak is the longest run since November 1996. The S&P 500 is within striking distance of its all-time closing high of 1,565.15 and about 1 percent away from all-time intraday high of 1,576.09 set in 2007.
"I think we will soon see the S&P at all-time high levels. I don't think the market has topped yet, and there is still strength to move the market higher," says Ari Wald of C&Co/PrinceRidge in New York.
Translation, businesses are making money. The problem is with how profits are being spent, or, more to the point, with how profits are not being spent. Companies like Papa John Pizza, Five Guys Burger and Fries and Whole Foods complain about the liberal policies of the Obama administration. They continue to tell us to wait for things to trickle down. Americans keep waiting for the trickle but the only thing up is corporate profit, and the only thing down is the people in need of health care, more income and the possibility of better days.
So, Ruffer and the other greedy son of a guns need to be careful with their rhetoric. They can throw their spreadsheets in the faces of those who buy burgers and fries, but folks in Durham, NC aren’t willing to listen to your complaint about barely making it when those flipping the burgers and washing the dishes can’t afford to take their children to the doctor.
Take your greed somewhere else. The numbers tell the truth. You have no reason to complain.
Those who need help do.