Amazon Go expands its reach to New York City

“Amazon Go is headed to New York City, the company confirmed last week, though it did not provide a timeline for opening or specify where in the city the store would be located.”

“Amazon Go requires customers to scan a QR code before they enter the store, then utilizes finely calibrated cameras and shelf weights to track what they’ve grabbed off the shelf before they leave. The company has opened three Go stores in Seattle, including one that opened just last week, and plans to open locations in Chicago and San Francisco.”

“Competitors are also hot on Amazon’s heels, with Microsoft and numerous startups racing to implement cashier-less technology. Some companies, including AiFi, have said they’re able to cover large stores as well as small ones, thus opening up availability to supermarkets as well as c-stores.”

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Pita bread is simple to make and worth the wait.

Homemade pita bread is so much better — and easier — than you might think

” (…) Given the current renaissance of Middle Eastern cuisine, it seems a good time to master the bread that is the traditional accompaniment to so much of that food. Because if you’re going to make or source all the excellent stuff that you put inside a pita, it seems a bit mournful to use the store-bought bread — often stale and tasteless as cardboard — when it’s so easy to make it yourself.”

“And watching the pitas rise in the oven, a few minutes worth of culinary magic, is a trick that never gets old.”

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New Bars and Restaurants Opening in NYC this Fall

“The summer is coming to a close, but a new slew of bars and restaurants are just starting to open. As the temperature starts to cool down, make your way to one of these new spots for great food, drinks, and atmosphere. Whether it is an expansion of an old favorite or a brand new take on the New York restaurant scene, here are 18 bars and restaurants to keep your eye on when they open their doors this fall.”

“Recreation is a new bar from nightlife hitmaker Jon Neidich, whose Happiest Hour and Tijuana Picnic are popular party spots in the city. It’s set to open in the upcoming Moxy NYC Downtown hotel, located at 26 Ann Street, in September.

As with Neidich’s Slowly Shirley, a 1940s-themed basement bar, Recreation has a very deliberate throwback concept. The 5,000-square-foot space is meant to look and feel like a 1980s house party, equipped with skee-ball and an arcade machine with classics like Ms. Pacman, Centipede, and Donkey Kong. There’s also Twister, with a twist: Instead of a mat, the colored dots for this truly nonsensical but enduring game are painted on the floor.”

View more openings here.

How to Create Facebook In-Stream Video Ads

“Because Facebook in-stream video ads interrupt what people are viewing, your video needs to capture your audience’s attention quickly.

One way to do this is to tell a story and make the narrative something that your audience will respond to. If the first 5 seconds of the story grabs their interest, they’ll likely want to know what happens at the end. To go one step further, include a call to action so people can visit your website to find out what happened next.

Another tactic is to show something that’s a shock/surprise in the first 5 seconds. Teach your audience something, make them laugh, or say something controversial and explain it (if it’s appropriate for your brand). At the beginning of the video, explain the problem and promise a solution.

Consider using text overlay for viewers who are watching your video with the sound muted. This may also be a good solution if you don’t have the resources for an expensive media production. You can create a video slideshow instead.”

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NYC’s Newest Viral Food Is the $75 Smoked Watermelon ‘Ham’

The latest viral food to hit NYC has a lot in common with ones of the past: The smoked watermelon “ham” at Duck’s Eatery is one thing (a fruit), but when it’s sliced, dramatically looks like another (meat). Chef and co-owner Will Horowitz says that after videos from several food sites collectively racked up nearly 100 million views, the $75 product is sold out until November. “We’re getting a request every minute or two,” Horowitz says. “I had to set up an auto-reply on our email.”

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Williamsburg’s Butler Bake Shop has launched a second location in DUMBO

Butler Bake Shop DUMBO - interior and view

“Just like in Williamsburg, Butler Bake Shop features an aesthetically pleasing design with brass tabletops, sleek steel elements and bistro-style chairs (it’s ok, you can pretend your in Paris for a while). But with its prime location on the corner of Dock St, dare we say it’s more beautiful than the original – I mean, just look at the Brooklyn Bridge showing off in the distance.”

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Dunkin’ Donuts Invests $100 Million in Brand Refresh

A Dunkin' Donuts store in New York.

“The coffee and doughnut chain plans to unveil 50 U.S. test stores this year that aim to make it easier for customers to grab coffee on the run with dedicated pickup areas, digital kiosks and expanded drive-through windows that prioritize orders via mobile app.
Dunkin’ is launching the redesigned store concept to keep pace in the hot competition over coffee. McDonald’s Corp. and Starbucks Corp. also have attempted to cater to on-the-go customers ordering through mobile apps. More than half of Dunkin’s $100 million investment will go toward store equipment to aid the on-the-go beverage strategy. The rest will go toward technology infrastructure and training.”

See more here.