Restaurateur Tilman Fertitta: ‘We Can’t Afford’ To Cover SF Workers’ Healthcare

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Jason Chulack Reporting Intern
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Billionaire restaurateur Tilman Fertitta says the city of San Francisco shouldn’t force its restaurants to pay for its employees’ healthcare, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.

Fertitta is the president and CEO of Landry’s Inc., a dining corporation that owns several well-known food chains, including Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co., Claim Jumper and Rainforest Cafe. He is also the star of the CNBC show “Billion Dollar Buyer.”

Fertitta says he has to charge more for menu items in San Francisco because the “Healthy SF Program” mandates that certain businesses pay for their employee’s healthcare. He ultimately blames regulation for the increased prices at his restaurants and believes President Trump can make it easier for businesses to operate by rolling back regulations.

“Why should the city of San Francisco be able to do absolutely whatever they want to do?” Fertitta said.

“We have a 3 percent or 4 percent or 5 percent add-on to the menu because they make us give all our employees full healthcare. We can’t afford to do it,” he said.

Fertitta started out peeling shrimp in his father’s restaurant and is worth nearly $3 billion and employs 60,000 workers according to CNBC.