Papa John's, Applebee's, and Denny's have all taken a serious public-relations hit after CEOs launched high-profile campaigns to pass on Obamacare's costs to their employees or customers.
The restaurants' reputation with "casual diners" was polled by YouGov BrandIndex, who asked diners, "if you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?"
Papa John's peaked in the public's opinion on Nov 6th, and dropped sharply after November 10th, when CEO John Schnatter announced that he planned cut workers' hours to pay for Obamacare. Applebee's reputation similarly tanked after Zane Tankel, the CEO of Applebee's franchisee Apple-Metro, talked about cutting back on workers to cover Obamacare. Denny's didn't fare quite so badly, perhaps because CEO John Miller apologized a few days after franchisee John Metz announced his Obamacare-related attrition plans.
Of course, what we have here is just a correlation. We don't know that the restaurants are seeing this decline in because of the public anti-Obamacare statements made by their CEOs. But the timing is suggestive.
Via Matthew Yglesias at Slate and BrandIndex.com.