The War On Coffee
Epicurean coffeehouses in the United States numbered in the hundreds in 1989, and in the tens of thousands by 2013. A lot of that is Starbucks, but not all. Roasters in Italy went from exporting twelve million kilograms of espresso in 1988 to more than a hundred and seventy million in 2015.
McMillions: How A McDonald’s Employee Helped Take Down a $24 Million Crime Ring
For years, the beloved McDonald’s Monopoly game was rigged by a motley crew of mobsters, ex-cops, and one Mormon church leader. The Rhode Island “McSting” was the catapult for a much larger undertaking to bust the restaurant industry’s most notorious criminal ring.
Can Mission-Driven Food Companies Scale Up Without Selling Out?
When just 10 companies—including Nestlé, Unilever, and General Mills—control the vast majority of food brands, it raises serious questions about the ability of mission-driven companies to hold on to their original intentions.
Why Do People Go To Restaurants? It’s Not About The Food
In the space of a few months the covid-19 pandemic has brought the hospitality industry to the brink of ruin. It has also prompted us to ponder what we’ve been missing. Why do restaurants matter? Why, after all, do we choose to spend large sums of money to dine among strangers?
The Great Whiskey Heist
A police investigation rippled throughout greater Frankfort, Kentucky, revealing a web of theft that ensnared husbands and wives, fathers and sons, CrossFit instructors and jealous ex-girlfriends — and lots of locals with stolen whiskey on their shelves.
Life Under The Algorithm
Increase your output, get paid more. Wages go up with productivity. Until, it turns out, they don’t anymore. The unwinding of this agreement in recent decades, such that workers must continue to produce more without expecting it to show up in their pay stubs, has now been the subject of a good deal of discussion and debate.
IKEA Let Customers Pay With Their Time Instead Of Currency
For the opening of the Swedish retailer’s new outpost in Jebel Ali, a large commercial port located on the harbor of Dubai, the brand wanted to encourage shoppers to journey to the new store by allowing them to use the time it took for them to get there as currency.
Elon Musk, His Rocket, And The Grand Scheme That Tore Apart Boca Chica
SpaceX is dismantling a remote beach community at the southernmost end of Texas, one house at a time. Some residents took its money. Others refuse to leave. Still others are sticking around to see what happens.
How Volkswagen Plans To Outsell Tesla
Although Tesla reigns as king of the EV market thanks to its Model 3, Volkswagen has a plan in place to outsell them in the next few years. The automaker has set its sights on becoming a major name in the EV game, investing $37 billion in its electric car program.
How Shenzhen Is Fueling Ethiopia’s Burgeoning Startup Scene
As Shenzhen companies look to Africa for new consumer markets, African entrepreneurs are turning to Shenzhen for manufacturing partners to turn their ideas into reality. How the movers and shakers in Ethiopia’s burgeoning tech startup scene are tapping into the open source manufacturing ecosystem of China’s most entrepreneurial city.
The Highly Unusual Company Behind Sriracha, The World’s Coolest Hot Sauce
David Tran, CEO of Huy Fong Foods, shuns publicity, professes not to care about profits, hardly knows where his sauces are sold, and probably leaves millions of dollars on the table every year.
The Everything Town In The Middle Of Nowhere
On any given day, thousands of packages from Walmarts, Targets, and stores around the country travel north along a two-lane road out of Billings, Montana — past the Tumbleweed Saloon, past cows grazing on empty rangeland, past the Busy Bee Cafe and stands of short pines — to the town of Roundup, where they will be unboxed, re-boxed, and sent off to Amazon.
The Forgotten History Of How Automakers Invented The Crime Of “Jaywalking”
If there’s traffic in the area and you want to follow the law, you need to find a crosswalk. And if there’s a traffic light, you need to wait for it to change to green. Fail to do so, and you’re committing a crime: jaywalking. It’s the result of an aggressive, forgotten 1920s campaign led by auto groups and manufacturers.
The Failure Of The Forever 21 Empire
If Forever 21 survives, it will be with fewer stores, fewer employees, and more manageable ambitions. But that more modest future likely depends on the Changs giving up control. If they don’t, Forever 21 may not have much of a future at all.
The Man Who Drove McDonald’s Out Of Iceland
Tómas Tómasson’s all-American burger joint is so legendary in Iceland, it ousted McDonald’s from the country. It all began back in 1981 when the good folk of Reykjavík, Iceland still thought fish and chips was exotic foreign food. Along came Tommi and taught them to worship a new kind of sustenance: the mighty burger.
Why The Coming Foreclosure Crisis Will Look Nothing Like The Last One
A prominent housing analyst expects hundreds of thousands of defaults next year as mortgage forbearance periods end. At first glance, those projections look bad. On closer inspection, however, this round of foreclosures should be mild in comparison to the financial carnage of 2008 to 2010.
The Boss Who Put Everyone On 70k
In 2015, the boss of a card payments company in Seattle introduced a $70,000 minimum salary for all of his 120 staff – and personally took a pay cut of $1m. Five years later he’s still on the minimum salary, and says the gamble has paid off.
Google Search Results Have More Human Help Than You Think, Report Finds
Google’s increasingly hands-on approach to search results, which has taken a sharp upturn since 2016, marks a shift from its founding philosophy of ‘organizing the world’s information’ to one that is far more active in deciding how that information should appear.
The Spectacular Rise And Fall Of WeWork
In less than one year, WeWork went from having a $47 billion valuation and being the darling of the venture capital world to needing an $8 billion infusion to avoid running out of money. This is the story of Adam Neumann, Softbank’s risky investment, a failed IPO and how we got here.
Goldman Sachs, Patagonia, And The Mysteries Of “Business Casual”
The importance of the Patagonia vest is that it is both an evolution of the business-casual costume and a reversion to the waistcoat of the ancient three-piece suit. “Business casual” is less a style of dress than an enigmatic language of power.
The Wealth Detective Who Finds The Hidden Money Of The Super Rich
Thirty-two-year-old French economist Gabriel Zucman scours spreadsheets to find secret offshore accounts. The minimum amount Zucman calculated the wealthy stash in offshore accounts: $7.6 trillion.