Approaching a Quarter Century, Intelligentsia Unveils New Bag Designs

Intelligentsia Coffee

“Fast approaching quadranscentennial age, Chicago-based Intelligentsia Coffee has just unveiled new packaging, representing the roasting and retail company’s first across-the-board package refresh in years.

With design firm Pearlfisher NYC, Intelligentsia attempted through the redesign to reinforce several philosophical and practical pillars that have helped sustain and build the business since 1995 — including the concepts of direct trade relationships with farmers and producers, seasonality, and exceptional coffee quality.

The company’s signature red provides the base for single-origin coffee packaging, with the name and logo replaced by only a reinforced, larger wings-and-star logo. The black-bordered pinkish overlay sticker showing the coffee’s origin has been replaced by a blood red sticker with white and pink copy. On the sticker, Intelligentsia is highlighting the number of years the company has had a partnership with that particular producer, while also including a brief coffee description, flavor notes, and any special release notes.”

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Yelp Will Now Tell You If a Business Is ‘Women-Owned’

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“The restaurants and shopping reviews app and website is adding a feature that will tell customers whether a business is women-owned. Businesses owned by women can mark themselves as women-owned via their Yelp accounts, and the distinction will appear in the “more business info” section of a Yelp page alongside features like “accepts credit cards” and “gender-neutral restrooms.”

“We’re excited to help raise the profile of millions of women-owned businesses who drive the local economies of our cities and towns,” says Miriam Warren, Yelp’s vice president of engagement, diversity, and belonging. “We’re hopeful that this new attribute not only makes it easier to identify and connect with great women-owned businesses on Yelp, but that it also drives more dollars directly to the bottom line for these female-owned businesses.”

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DoorDash Closes $400 Million Funding Round

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“In the last month, a pair of food delivery startups were battling complaints about their tipping policies. Customers and workers chastised the companies for unfairly using tips to subsidize worker pay. As the furor grew, one of the companies, Instacart Inc., changed its compensation policies to match some of workers’ demands.

Meanwhile, the other company, DoorDash Inc., stood firm. It still uses tips from customers to offset some of the minimum payment that a worker gets for each delivery job, in which “Dashers” travel to restaurants or stores and bring food to customers. That decision apparently hasn’t harmed DoorDash’s reputation in the eyes of investors. The company said on Thursday that it received a new round of funding that values it at $7.1 billion.

In an interview Thursday to promote the investment, DoorDash Chief Executive Officer Tony Xu defended the tipping practice, which has been in use since 2017. Xu said internal data show that under the current pay model, Dashers stay on the platform longer, are more satisfied with their jobs and make deliveries in a more timely manner. He blamed recent backlash on Instacart’s implementation of its own policy.”

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Minimum Wage Hikes in New York City Cause Restaurants to Eliminate Jobs, Cut Hours, Raise Prices

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“New York is known for its incredible food scene, but legislators in the Big Apple may have bitten off more than they can chew with the newest minimum wage hike.

The city’s mandated increase, which took effect on December 31, requires businesses that employ 11 or more people to boost wages from $13 to $15 per hour. But most restaurants operate with the tipped wage, offering servers and bartenders a lower hourly base pay and the opportunity to rake in the rest in tips, which often yields better pay overall. If workers don’t earn enough this way, employers are required to make up the difference.

That tipped minimum just rose from $8.65 to $10 an hour. A 16 percent jump is fairly punishing, considering the industry operates on razor-thin profit margins.

A new study conducted by the New York City Hospitality Alliance lends credence to the idea that substantial increases made to the tipped wage are far costlier than they are beneficial. After surveying 574 restaurants, they found that 2019 looks bleak: 75 percent of full-service establishments plan to cut employee hours, and 47 percent will eliminate jobs entirely in response to the forced minimum wage hikes. That follows closely on the heels of a dreary 2018, when 77 percent of full-service restaurants reduced employee hours and 36 percent cut jobs, both of which were also in response to the mandated wage increases.”

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WeWork Ventures into Coffee Retail with Bluestone Lane Partnership

WeWork coffee bar

“The popular co-working and office space provider WeWork today unveiled Made by We, a public retail concept that includes a full cafe from New York-based and self-described “Australian-inspired” coffee chain Bluestone Lane.

Located at 902 Broadway in the heart of Manhattan’s Flatiron district, the Bluestone Lane bar stands at the center of the new concept from WeWork umbrella company The We Company, which signaled an intention to open more retail locations in the future.

While the Made by We location includes 100 bookable individual workspaces and meeting spaces for groups, it varies from other WeWork locations in that a subscription or booking is not required to enter.

In addition to Bluestone Lane, there are other vendors within the retail space offering items like snacks, apparel and digital accessories. Bluestone Lane said it is including its full extensive coffee and espresso drinks menu, along with its freshly prepared toasts, and grab-and-go items including gluten-free pastries from Husk Bakeshop.”

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Impact of Min Wage Increase / NYCHA Survey & Results

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See here NYCHA Survey and Results on Minimum Wage Increase

Key marketing trends on Instagram

The Top 2018 Instagram Trends for Small Business

2018 Instagram Trends

If your business has an Instagram presence or if you’re thinking about starting one this year, here are some of the top statistics, updates and trends from 2018.

  • Instagram had about 800 million worldwide users earlier this year. That number has since grown to over 1 billion.
  • In fact, the app has more than 1 billion downloads on Google Play alone.
  • 95 million photos and videos are uploaded to the platform daily.
  • 53 percent of those who use social media have an account on Instagram.
  • And 61 percent of Instagram users said they used Instagram more often this year than they did during the previous year.
  • It’s also especially popular with young people. 50 percent of Gen Z social media users are on Instagram.
  • And it’s popular with consumers who are willing and able to spend; 31 percent of adults on Instagram earn at least $75,000 annually.”

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