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JetBlue will sell you select round-trip tickets for $62 for one day only


JetBlue Airbus A321

JetBlue is having an impressive sale.

On Wednesday, JetBlue announced a special one-day sale with one-way tickets for as low as $31. As a result, in some instances, travelers can buy round-trip tickets for an astonishingly low price of $62.

The tickets, limited to travel between October 27 and November 4, are targeted at Halloween travelers.

The $31 tickets are available for flights on most of JetBlue's major routes, including Atlanta to Boston; Austin, Texas, to Long Beach, California; Boston to New York; Chicago to New York; New York to West Palm Beach, Florida; Tampa, Florida, to Washington, DC; and Denver to New York.

Discounted fares for flights to destinations outside the US are pricier — for example, New York to Havana, Cuba, is $70 one-way, and Orlando, Florida, to Mexico City costs $75 one-way.

The sale ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday or when tickets run out.

The discounted tickets are for travel on JetBlue's lowest fare class, Blue. That means passengers do not get free checked luggage but can bring carry-on bags. The flights include JetBlue's complimentary amenities, including high-speed internet, satellite TV, snacks, sodas, and satellite radio.

On Tuesday, Southwest Airlines announced a major fare sale with prices as low as $100 for round-trip flights. That sale ends on Thursday and includes tickets for domestic travel between October 31 and December 19 of this year, and between January 3 and February 14, 2018.

Southwest is also offering discounted tickets to international destinations — such as Havana; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Cancun, Mexico — but they cost more and are limited to travel during slightly different time frames.

Though Southwest's sale prices are a tad higher, that sale offers more travel options and an extra day to book tickets.

Here are more details about the JetBlue sale »

SEE ALSO: Southwest Airlines will sell you select round-trip tickets for less than $100 for the next 72 hours

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NOW WATCH: 6 airline industry secrets that will help you fly like a pro

Go inside New York City's most expensive rental, which will set you back $500,000 a month


NYC Priciest Rental

The Pierre, a legendary hotel in New York, is home to one of the city's most dubious distinctions.

The entire 39th floor of the 41-story hotel overlooking Central Park is again being offered as a rental for $500,000 a month, making it the city's priciest rental listing once more.

As part of the Pierre Hotel Residences program, interested tenants can sign a lease for as little as 30 days, or for as long as they need. 

Renters have the option to make their monthly payments by credit card if they choose.

The six-bedroom residence was last offered in February 2017, though it's been on and off the market several times. It's now back for the same exact price.

The best part of living in this swanky hotel may be the many luxury services The Pierre offers. Residents are given complete access to the butler service, pet pampering, twice-daily maid service, and the hotel's chauffeur-driven Jaguar.

The listing is being handled by Andres Perea-Garzon of Corcoran.

Asta Thrastardottir contributed reporting to an earlier version of this article.

SEE ALSO: Ivanka Trump's Manhattan apartment just got another major price chop — take a look inside

Welcome to the legendary Pierre Hotel, located on New York's Upper East Side. Former permanent residents of The Pierre include Elizabeth Taylor and Yves Saint-Laurent.

Photos by Donna Dotan Photography

The rental offers all of the services of a luxury five-star hotel, including a 24/7 concierge service.

Photos by Donna Dotan Photography

The property consists of the hotel's two-bedroom Presidential Suite and several other hotel rooms.

Photos by Donna Dotan Photography

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Amazon just introduced a new $250 waterproof Kindle (AMZN)


New Kindle Oasis

Amazon's most expensive Kindle just got a reboot. 

On Wednesday, Amazon introduced a new version of its high-end Kindle Oasis tablet. While the new tablet looks a lot like its predecessor, it has one important new feature: it's waterproof. 

The new Oasis is IPX8 rated, which means you should be able to submerge it in 6.5 feet of water for up to 60 minutes. The device also has a 7-inch display, 8 GB of starting storage, audio book service Audible built in, and up to six weeks of battery life on a single charge. 

Another change to the new version of the Oasis is the exterior. The overall design remains the same — Oasis has a large right-side bezel with dedicated page turn buttons and a thick hand grip on the back — but the device is now made from aluminum rather than plastic. 

The new Oasis starts at $250 for the 8 GB device, or $280 for the 32 GB device. While it's still Amazon's most expensive Kindle, that's a pretty sizeable price cut from the original Oasis, which cost $360.

All New Kindle Oasis Leather Covers

You can also buy several cases to go along with the Oasis in two different materials: Leather and a water-safe fabric. The leather cases come in burgundy, gray, and tan and will cost $60, while the fabric cases cost $45 and come in gray, blue, and white. 

The new Kindle Oasis is available to preorder on Amazon starting today. 

SEE ALSO: Google had to disable a feature on its new $50 smart speaker after the gadget listened in on some users

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We tried Amazon's $50 tablet — here's what it's like

'They’re bad for chefs, they're bad for restaurants' — Anthony Bourdain goes on an epic rant against Yelp


We sat down with Anthony Bourdain of "Parts Unknown" and Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese to discuss Bourdain's new film, "Wasted!" and the ever-changing food landscape. Here, these culinary savants break down the problem with the restaurant-rating app Yelp and explain why Twitter and Instagram work so much better.

We reached out to Yelp for comment. Below is a statement from Darnell Holloway, Yelp's Director of Business Outreach: Millions of people find restaurants on Yelp every day. Over the last 4 years, we've made strides to become not just a tool for restaurants to get exposure, but a tool to help them be more successful businesses ... It's also worth noting that most reviews on Yelp are not negative. Overwhelmingly, most people come to Yelp to share neutral to positive experiences. At the end of the day, Yelp provides a two-way platform for consumers to discover restaurants and share their experiences while chefs/restaurant owners can respond to their customers and use the platform to be more successful.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Anthony Bourdain: There’s really no worse, or lower human being than an elite Yelper. They’re universally loathed by chefs everywhere. They are the very picture of entitled, negative energy. They’re bad for chefs, they’re bad for restaurants. You know, you open a restaurant, you struggle for a year to put together the money, you work your heart out, and then 10 minutes after opening, some miserable b------ is tweeting or Yelping, “Worst. Dinner. Ever.”

It’s like, dude. That ain’t right. Nah, no sympathy there. And I think you’d have a very hard time finding a chef who has anything nice to say about elite Yelpers. It’s a contradiction of terms. It’s like jumbo shrimp. How can you be elite and a Yelper?

I’m perfectly happy with Instagram and Twitter as a fully democratic bathroom wall that anyone can write on. And they do. It’s up to us to translate what we — to winnow out useful information that we might use in a sensible way from this seemingly chaotic yet democratic scrawl put up by many different people with many different points of view. I think increasingly, that’s the way we’re gonna have to get — it’s already the way we get our information, it’s already how we get our news. Why not make decisions about restaurants the same way? I think that’s inevitable. This is the new world we have to live in, all of us.

Danny Bowien: I feel like that people refer to Instagram for food information as much as, if not more than Yelp now because it’s just so accessible. It’s so instant. I remember coming up as a cook, I used to have to go buy a cookbook if I wanted to know what a chef was doing. I couldn't just pull up my phone and see it instantly. And I think that was like a lot of what inspired me to do what I do, to make Chinese food and do Mission, it’s because there was this mystery around it. But no, now it’s all gone — Instagram’s got it.

Bourdain: It’s so powerful and so weird. One of the things I’ve found is that, if I put up an Instagram photo, of just like, just hypothetically, me and the Dalai Lama and Keith Richards in a hot tub, smoking a bong, I’ll get 5,000 likes in an hour. If I put up, and I have done this, I put up just a picture of an In-N-Out burger sitting on a table in isolation in an anonymous room, I’ll get 50,000 passionate likes and comments in like 10 minutes. It’s incredible, because people relate to certain foods and feel strongly about them. And they either want to share them on Instagram, or make other people feel bad about what they’re eating by showing them, “Hey, I’m eating a Katz’s pastrami sandwich, what’re you eating? I hope it's nowhere near as good.”

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San Francisco is overdue for a big earthquake — here are the most vulnerable parts of the city


san francisco

Most of San Francisco rests on trash.

It was added during the latter half of the 19th century, when zealous settlers loaded the bay with landfill as a way to widen the peninsula. When shaken by an earthquake, this terrain essentially turns into liquid — leaving the structures above in peril.

Many of those structures are top-heavy homes and apartments built above cavernous garages that buckle when a tremor strikes. During the 1989 Loma Prieta quake, the bottom floors of hundreds of these apartments collapsed. Many of them are slated to begin retrofits, but hundreds have yet to start construction.

Meanwhile, another big quake is coming. There's a 76% chance that the Bay Area will experience a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in the next three decades.

"It could happen tomorrow or in 30 years," Mary Comerio, an architect who specializes in earthquake engineering research and a professor of disaster recovery and reconstruction at the University of California, Berkeley, told Business Insider.

Here are the neighborhoods most at risk.

Artboard 4

SEE ALSO: An earthquake expert says there’s one neighborhood in San Francisco where she'd never buy a house

DON'T MISS: Mexico is in the worst possible place for earthquakes — here's why it keeps getting hit

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NOW WATCH: I went on Beyoncé's 22-day diet — and I lost 15 pounds

This robot-made pizza in Silicon Valley should terrify Domino's and Pizza Hut


zume pizza robot 0330

Robots could kill off huge swaths of jobs in the future — but at least they come bearing pizza.

Founded in 2015, Zume Pizza uses robotics and artificial intelligence to make pizza more quickly. Machines press mounds of dough, squirt and spread sauce, and lift pizzas in and out of the oven, in a fraction of the time it would take human workers to do the same.

Zume Pizza has raised about $48 million in a new Series B round of funding, which was first reported by CNBC. The company delivers only in Silicon Valley, but the cash infusion should help Zume Pizza reach its goal of serving the entire Bay Area by the end of 2018.

An increasing number of pizza eaters are ditching legacy brands like Domino's and Pizza Hut for newer fast-casual and delivery chains. Business Insider took a tour of Zume's headquarters in Mountain View, California, to see if the pizza is as good as its tech.

SEE ALSO: Inside the $600-a-head Silicon Valley restaurant where Google and Apple executives eat gold-flecked steaks

This is no ordinary pizza. It was made by robots.

The concept of a robot-powered pizza delivery service came from friends and cofounders Julia Collins and Alex Garden, who wanted to make high-quality pizza more affordable.

Collins graduated from Stanford Business School, worked as an analyst under Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer, and helped launch New York City fast-casual chain Mexicue. She knew pumping pies full of chemical adulterants wasn't the answer — tech was.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

HGTV's 'Fixer Upper' makes house flipping seem like a good investment — but there's a catch


Chip and Joanna Gaines fixer upper

If you hadn't heard much of the term "fixer upper" before a few years ago, you can thank Chip and Joanna Gaines for launching it into the mainstream.

Since 2013, the Gaineses have starred in one of HGTV's most-watched home improvement shows, aptly called "Fixer Upper."

The couple announced earlier this week their show will conclude after its fifth season airs this fall, much to the disappointment of the show's obsessive fan base. By the end of their run, Chip and Joanna will have completed nearly 80 on-screen "dream home" renovations in Waco, Texas.

For many featured on the show, working with Chip and Joanna gives them more than their dream home — they also clinch a good investment.

When it's time for the big reveal at the end of each episode, Chip guesstimates the new value of the home, after the purchase price and renovation costs. "You're upside right on this thing almost $30,000," Chip tells a satisfied client who sunk about $272,000 into a property in one episode. "Not only did you pick a beautiful house, but I think you made a great investment."

In a small town like Waco, where the median list price is just under $180,000, that's something to celebrate. But in the off-camera world of real estate, the outlook isn't as bright.

In fact, when the housing market imploded nearly a decade ago, over-zealous real estate investors may have played a big part, according to a new working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). That's in sharp contrast to the typical narrative blaming Americans with bad credit who bought homes they couldn't afford. Through an analysis of anonymous mortgage data, the NBER found that it was actually wealthy and middle-class investors — who bought cheap properties in smaller markets, fixed them up and sold them for a profit until the financial crisis struck — who defaulted on their loans en masse.

Just a few years into the economic recovery, HGTV introduced the Gaineses, who have inspired countless Americans to dive back into real estate and invest in fixer uppers of their own.

Fixer Upper big reveal

Shows like "Fixer Upper" make it look easy. Every episode has the same formula. The Gaineses visit three homes with their clients, who come armed with an "all-in budget" to cover the purchase of the home and the various renovation costs, which Chip estimates seemingly on the spot. Improvements almost always include updating countertops, floors, and cabinets, and expanding rooms.

After they purchase the house, construction gets underway. There may be a hiccup here or there that requires the client to fork over an extra couple thousand dollars, but it never derails the project (as far as the viewer can see).

The client in the episode mentioned above bought his home for $169,000, which left him with a renovation budget of $103,000. Though most of the clients featured on "Fixer Upper" have a renovation budget in the mid-five figures — thanks to remarkably low purchase prices — that's a far cry from reality.

A 2016 analysis from Zillow Digs found the average fixer upper was listed for 8% below market value, saving buyers just $11,000 to complete renovations before they break even.

Still, fixer uppers can be a cheaper way to come into homeownership: Buy a run-down, albeit livable, house on the cheap and slowly but surely make improvements without draining your savings account.

"Fixer uppers can be a great deal, and they allow buyers to incorporate their personal style into a home while renovating, but it's still a good idea to do the math before making the leap," Svenja Gudell, Zillow chief economist, said.

"While an 8% discount or $11,000 in upfront savings on a fixer upper is certainly a good chunk of change, it likely won't be enough to cover a kitchen remodel, let alone structural updates like a new roof or plumbing, which many of these properties may require," Gudell said. When you're left with barely enough cash to cover renovations, the chances of earning a good return on investment are slim to none.

"Do you have the guts to take on a fixer upper?" Joanna asks during each episode's opening credits. Guts are one thing, but finances are another.

Although a few "Fixer Upper" alum have been able to capitalize on the show's popularity — like one couple who listed their home for about 10 times the area's median price per square foot— the average house-flipper doesn't have that luxury.

In the real world, the true cost of a fixer upper may not be worth the potential treasure.

SEE ALSO: Million-dollar ZIP codes are on the rise — and it could spell trouble for America's homeownership rate

DON'T MISS: 20 of the best US housing markets for investing in real estate

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: HGTV’s Chip and Joanna Gaines choose the opposite of trendy when designing a home

Here's how much money you actually take home from a $75,000 salary depending on where you live


$75,000 a year looks very different depending on where you live. Some states like Texas and Washington don't have state income taxes. So on average, you could see a bigger paycheck.

We decided to crunch the numbers. Here's what $75,000 looks like after paying taxes in 11 major US cities:

New York City, NY - $49,896
Washington, DC - $51,696
Los Angeles, CA - $51,960
San Francisco, CA - $51,960
Boson, MA - $52,824
Denver, CO - $53,184
Chicago, IL - $53,592
Seattle, WA - $56,328
Nashville, TN - $56,328
Miami, FL - $56,328
Dallas, TX - $56,328

These numbers don't factor in health insurance and retirement accounts like a 401(K). But judging by the average $75K salary you may be a lot happier in Dallas than in NYC.

Join the conversation about this story »

The newest decluttering craze is 'Swedish death cleaning,' which hinges on the fact that friends and family won't want your junk when you're dead


clean organized home living room

It's hard to tell when Margareta Magnusson is being serious.

Honestly, I'm still not sure if her intention with the forthcoming book "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning" is to poke gentle fun at all the self-help literature out there dedicated to cleaning and organization.

Either way, Magnusson — a Swedish artist "somewhere between 80 and 100 years old" — raises a good point when she suggests that, if you can't motivate yourself to clean for the sake of being clean, just think of how much of a burden you'll place on loved ones when you, um, pass on.

It's something she's personally experienced after the death of her parents, her in-laws, and her husband. And it's something that many millennials and Gen Xers are experiencing today, sometimes paying up to $5,000 for people to haul away their aging parents' furniture and other possessions.

Magnusson shares some solid guiding principles for organizing your home, no matter your age or life circumstance.

For example, if you have embarrassing items in your possession — say, letters from an illicit love affair — consider getting rid of them now. "If you think the secret will cause your loved ones harm or unhappiness," Magnusson writes, "then make sure to destroy them."

Note taken.

And if Aunt Cece gives you a gorgeous (read: hideous) piece of china and you hate it, don't keep it. Don't even put it on display when Cece visits, Magnusson says — that will just motivate her to give you more of the same. (Apparently, in Swedish, the word fulskåp describes "a cupboard full of gifts you can't stand to look at, and which are impossible to regift.")

Magnusson's strategy is pretty different from the last big decluttering fad: "Kondo-ing" your home and office, named after Japanese organization guru Marie Kondo. Kondo encourages people to keep only those items that "spark joy" in their hearts.

But Magnusson also urges readers to approach death cleaning rationally. She recommends not starting with photographs and other emotional items: "You will definitely get stuck down memory lane and may never get around to cleaning anything else." Better to begin with your wardrobe, she says.

As for books, if you can't stomach the thought of donating or selling them to anonymous readers, Magnusson suggests having family and friends browse your collection first and take what they want.

But — and this is important — always keep in mind that what you consider a treasure may be to others a burden. Magnusson writes: "I often ask myself, 'Will anyone I know be happier if I save this?'"

In the book's introduction, Magnusson writes that one of her sons asked her if her book was going to be sad, given that it's largely about death. "No, no, I said. It is not sad at all. Neither the cleaning nor the writing of the book."

SEE ALSO: 6 ways to make your home look better — even when you don't have time to clean

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A Japanese lifestyle guru explains how to organize your home once — and then never again

Teens say they love Amazon more than ever before — but they still don't prefer shopping online



On Wednesday, Amazon announced a new account program targeted to teens.

The program allows teens to create accounts linked to their parents, who can approve purchases and give an allowance from a linked payment method.

That's good news for teens, who already say they love Amazon.

In Piper Jaffray's biannual survey of teen preferences, nearly half (49%) of the respondents, who were aged 13-17, named Amazon as their favorite website to shop from. 

That's up six points from six months ago, when the survey was last released. The second-biggest website to buy from is Nike, which 6% of teens said is their favorite website for shopping. 

Amazon may be the go-to choice for teens according to Piper Jaffray's research, but another recent survey of teens aged 13-17 by PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests that teens aren't shopping online all that often yet. 

In the survey, 81% of respondents said they preferred to shop in stores, while 40% said they will only shop in stores this holiday season. That's different from all other age groups, who told PwC that they preferred to split their shopping evenly between online and in-store. 

With services like Amazon's new accounts for teens, the retailer is likely hoping to make Gen Z's shopping preferences look more like millennials' preferences.

SEE ALSO: Amazon has triggered a $5 billion bidding war — here are the cities that are in competition for its new HQ

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We tried Jollibee — the Filipino fast-food restaurant with thousands of locations around the world

The Las Vegas shooting is just the beginning of a nightmare for the Mandalay Bay hotel


Mandalay Bay las vegas shooting

  • A 21-year-old victim of the Las Vegas shooting has filed a lawsuit against the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where the deadliest shooting in modern US history took place.
  • Legal experts say it's almost certain that other victims of the Las Vegas shooting will attempt to hold the hotel liable in court.
  • Even if the hotel staff couldn't have prevented the shooting, it could be used to argue that hotels need to take stronger measures to prevent mass shootings.

A victim of the Las Vegas shooting has filed a lawsuit against the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

And, she likely won't be the only one. 

On Monday, Paige Gasper filed a lawsuit against the Mandalay Bay and MGM Resorts International, the hotel's parent company. The 21-year-old had been shot in the chest when Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock opened fire on 22,000 people attending a music festival, according to the complaint. 

Paddock stockpiled weapons in his hotel room before firing from the windows of his suite on the 32nd floor into the crowd of people across the street, killing 59 people and wounding nearly 500 others.

Prior to Gasper filing the case, legal experts told Business Insider that victims of the shooting will likely bring lawsuits against MGM Resorts and the Mandalay Bay. Plaintiffs will likely seek damages for things like medical expenses or disabilities resulting from the shooting.

Gasper's case provides a blueprint for other victims' potential arguments against the hotel. 

'Negligent' preventative measures

Paige Gasper

The crux of Gasper's argument is that the company failed to "maintain the Mandalay Bay premises in a reasonably safe condition." 

First, there's an apparent lack of surveillance. The plaintiff claims that the Mandalay Bay failed to properly surveil guests and failed to monitor premises using security cameras. Additionally, it argues the Mandalay Bay "failed to adequately train and supervise employees on the reporting and discovery of suspicious individuals and/or person and/or activity." 

From the moment Paddock arrived at the hotel, employees would have been trained to report any suspicious behavior that they saw from him, said Dick Hudak, a managing partner of Resort Security Consulting. However, they seem to have missed a few potential red flags. 

Las Vegas Mandalay Bay shooting

In the days after Paddock checked into the hotel, he brought at least 10 suitcases filled with firearms into his room. Police officials said Paddock also constructed an elaborate surveillance system in the hotel, placing two cameras in the hallway outside his suite — one on a service cart — as well as a camera in his door's peephole.

The complaint highlights the Mandalay Bay's failure to notice or prevent Paddock's weapon stockpiling and surveillance cameras as two failures for which the hotel should be held legally liable. 

"He gave [them] a clue there that something bad was going to happen," Hudak, a former FBI agent who was previously the director of security at Sheraton, said of the cameras. The Mandalay Bay's employees "didn't pick it up," he added.

Finally, the complaint mentions that, according to law enforcement officers, Mandalay Bay security officer Jesus Campos was shot by Paddock before Paddock began shooting out the window. According to the complaint, the Mandalay Bay failed to "timely respond or otherwise act" in response to Campos' shooting. 

"As evidenced by law enforcement briefings over the past week, many facts are still unverified and continue to change as events are under review," MGM Resorts spokesperson Debra DeShong said in a statement. "We cannot be certain about the most recent timeline that has been communicated publicly, and we believe what is currently being expressed may not be accurate."

MGM Resorts, which operates the Mandalay Bay, declined to comment on legal issues. 

Setting a precedent

mandalay bay windows las vegas shooting

If Gasper and other victims win their cases, it could help set a precedent for what hotels are legally responsible to do to ensure guests' safety. 

As more mass shootings take place in the US, it's increasingly likely attorneys can argue that hotels and other venues should see the potential for such a crime and make systematic changes to prevent it.

"Foreseeability is one of the key components of liability," Hudak said.

Currently, the industry has no national standards for security, and hotels aren't typically held accountable for guests' behavior.

Heidi Li Feldman, a professor at Georgetown Law School, says it's "entirely feasible" that an attorney would make this argument based on the fact that mass shootings have taken place at other entertainment venues.

"If Congress isn't regulating gun ownership, it is going to be private parties ... who end up regulating their own premises," Feldman said.

SEE ALSO: A 21-year-old who was shot in the chest during the Las Vegas shooting is suing the Mandalay Bay hotel

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Now that Apple has unveiled iPhone X, should you dump the stock?

These 5 fast-food chains will dominate the restaurant industry



The restaurant industry is increasingly competitive — and tapping into the next generation is crucial for chains' survival. 

Failing to capture millennials' interest has led to slumping sales and restaurant closures at sit-down chains such as Applebee's.

However, according to Piper Jaffray's biannual survey of teen preferences, some casual-dining chains may be staging a comeback. Despite millennials' adoration of quick-service chains like McDonald's, Starbucks, and Chipotle, some full-service brands are winning over their hearts — and wallets. 

With 22% of upper-income teens' spending dedicated to restaurants, the Gen Z or millennial diner is a valuable customer. 

Here are the top five restaurants among teens, according to Piper Jaffray's survey.

SEE ALSO: The 20 best chain restaurants in America

5. Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings has had a difficult 2017. 

In July, the chain had to swap a popular wings deal with a boneless wings promotion as chicken prices hit historic highs. In June, CEO Sally Smith announced she was leaving the company after an activist investor triumphed in a monthslong battle for the wings chain's board.

More generally, the chain has struggled to grow sales as the casual-dining industry has entered a slump. 

But, teen support for the chain could be crucial to turning things around. Teen customers spent an average of $18.14 at the chain — a higher check than any other brand in teens' top five. 

4. Olive Garden

Olive Garden is bucking the anti-casual-dining trend among millennials. 

The chain has made headlines recently with promotions such as the never-ending pasta pass. In September, Olive Garden sold all 22,000 never-ending pasta passes mere seconds after they went on sale on the chain's website. 

"Millennials still want to come to restaurants," Gene Lee, Darden Restaurants' CEO, said in a call with investors in June. "I know you all don't think millennials go to casual dining restaurants, but 30% of all our guests are millennials."

3. McDonald's

Teens continue to love the fast-food behemoth. 

McDonald's has kept things fresh with updated kids' menus and new menu items like the Buttermilk Crispy Tenders. 

The chain is also exploring delivery, which is available at more than 7,800 restaurants in 47 countries. While the fast-food chain only started offering delivery in the US through an UberEats partnership in January, the service is now available at more than 25% of US locations.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Some of America's top restaurants are being accused of 'conspiracy' in a bizarre lawsuit


danny meyer

Some of the biggest names in fine dining are being sued over their conversion to a no-tipping policy in their restaurants.

The restaurateurs named in the lawsuit — filed by a diner who claims to have been overcharged — include Danny Meyer of the Union Square Hospitality Group (and Shake Shack fame), Tom Colicchio founder of Craft Hospitality, David Chang of Momofuku and others, Law360 first reported.

The suit is seeking class-action status.

The lawsuit argues that Meyer spearheaded a price-fixing "conspiracy" that lead to Bay Area chefs meeting in 2014 and joining his movement to steal tips from their employees and enrich themselves while overcharging diners in the process. 

From the complaint:

...The conspiracy is in its early experimental stage, focused on developing and disseminating best practices for switching to a no-tipping, “hospitality-included” business model. The no-tipping movement is the most significant issue in the industry today. One conspirator predicts that “ten years from now we’re going to look back and go, ‘Oh, God, do you remember when we used to tip?’”

The ongoing conspiracy unlawfully transfers millions of dollars from customers and servers to restaurant owners in violation of federal and state antitrust laws. Participating restaurants and a compliant media have portrayed the no-tipping/higher prices movement as intended to promote social justice and equality, while the real aim and effect is greater profit at the expense of workers and consumers.

This collusion, say the plaintiffs, is a violation of anti-trust laws, the Federal Sherman Act, the California Cartwright Act, and the New York Donnelly Act. They also say that it doesn't matter if the defendants had no idea that they were violating the laws, or what their motives were because there is a “conclusive presumption that [horizontal price fixing] is unreasonable.”

"Persons overcharged as a result of a price-fixing conspiracy are entitled to recover triple their damages plus costs and reasonable attorney’s fees," the lawsuit says. "Injured servers and other customarily-tipped employees may also have a viable claim for treble damages."

Momofuku Milk Bar

We should note that some of the restaurants cited in this lawsuit have gone back to their tipping policy. We should also note that it cites tweets discussing the policy change between defendants Meyer in Colicchio as proof of collusion.

"We undertook the challenging and lonely journey of introducing Hospitality Included to create clear and transparent growth paths for our people while beginning to address the decades-long growth of inequality among restaurant professionals," Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group said in a statement. "We believe hospitality can and should be a viable career with competitive wages, and we are more committed than ever to Hospitality Included getting us there."

Business Insider reached out to Chang and Colicchio's groups for comment and has yet to hear back. 

On the other hand

The no-tipping movement sent shockwaves through NYC's fine dining a few years ago. It coincided with a decision to raise minimum wages to $9 from $8.75. The wage hike was pretty straightforward when it applied to workers who don't earn tips. Their hourly wage merely went up.

But things got more complicated for workers who earn a huge portion of their pay in the form of tips. Some consumer advocacy groups argued that they already made enough money and that giving the minimum wage hike unilaterally throughout the restaurant industry was unfair to untipped workers.  

New York state, however, did not agree. This prompted a lot of soul-searching in the restaurant community, and this inequity is one of the reasons Meyer and others have cited for doing away with tipping altogether. We talked to a bunch of restaurateurs at the time, and they were all pretty mixed on getting rid of tipping. Tipping, they said, was part of the NYC dining ethos.

On the other hand, the inequities it caused within restaurants is and was real.

John Meadow, the CEO and founder of LDV Hospitality, a group that includes steakhouse American Cut and Italian restaurant Scarpetta told Business Insider at the time: "People who work making $7 to $8 an hour without tips, maybe they should get $15 an hour — God bless them," he said. 

"But my server making $90K a year? I'm proud I created a business that made that happen. Treating fast food the same as fine dining? That's totally inappropriate."

SEE ALSO: The kings of New York dining are agonizing over a decision that could change their business forever

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I worked out with Tony Robbins — and it was 10 minutes of pure torture


When Tony Robbins prepares for one of his seminars, physical training is as important to creating an engaging experience as is nailing his material. Seminars like "Unleash the Power Within" consistently run past their scheduled daily endings, and Robbins will be on his feet — running, jumping, and yelling across the stage and audience — for as much as 16 hours in a day. On top of that, the world-famous life coach is on the road for the majority of the year, and he runs 12 companies.

To maintain this schedule into his late 50s, Robbins works every day with his personal trainer Billy Beck III, who's worked with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and professional athletes from the NFL and UFC. Beck designed a daily morning workout for Robbins focused on building a capacity for sustained energy, and it's based on short, intense exercises followed by a hot sauna-to-cold plunge combo. The whole thing lasts about 10 minutes.

During our recent trip to Robbins' Fiji resort Namale, Business Insider reporter Richard Feloni went through the workout. Lots of screaming was involved. Following is a transcript of the video.

Tony Robbins: Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go! Good, good, good! Harder, harder, harder! You should feel like you're about to die, but you're not. Look at this monster! Push! Go, go, go, go, go! Done! That one — not quite as good.

You ready for my morning routine?

Richard Feloni: Yes!

Robbins: My whole focus is —  how do you get the greatest result with the least amount of time or energy? Intensity trumps duration all day long. We’re gonna do the briefest workout that will max you out.

Billy Beck: Alright, Rich. Let’s do it!

Robbins: The next thing I'm going to do is have my trainer here. His name is Billy. We're gonna do this one first. Let’s pop you over here.

[This is the OsteoStrong machine. Robbins is a part-owner of the company.]

Robbins: It’s designed to make every muscle in your body get the maximum demand in the shortest time with the least trauma.

Beck:  We're gonna do, basically, a chest press on here.

Robbins: Your job is — you're gonna push as hard as you can continuously and a timer will go on and you're gonna have to hold and keep pushing as hard as you can until the timer’s done. It goes for five seconds. Go for it. Full tilt. That's it! Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go! Good, good, good! Harder, harder, harder! Come on, baby! Come on! Come on! Come on! Come on! Okay, let go. Good.

Now we're going to leg press. Full tilt. As hard as you can. Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go! Look at this monster! Look at this — go! Way to go! Nice job! You're done. 

Okay, this is gonna be core pull. Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go! That one, not quite as good.

You know, you’ve done what — 15 seconds of exercise so far, total, right?

Feloni: Yeah, I felt like I did like an hour’s workout.

Robbins: If you want, we’ll put you on the little “torture machine.” This is something you only do once or twice a week. You don't do this every day.

[This is the ROM Quick Gym.]

Robbins: It is gonna push you aerobically and anaerobically. There will be a point when it's pure anaerobic and so that's where you're gonna need your will to be able to do it. And so, we’re filming you, so you can’t stop. Okay, pop on here.

[The workout lasts for four minutes.]

Robbins: Push now. As hard as you can. That’s it. Come on, baby! Come on, come on! Push, push, push! 73! Push, push, push,push, push! You got it, you got it, you got it! Don't let it go. Keep going, man. Don't slow down. You've got one minute down. Three minutes to go. You should feel like you're about to die, but you're not. Last minute! Everything you've got for a minute! You can do anything for a minute! Get it back above 60. You can do it!

Beck: You’re a beast!

Robbins: Come on, beast! Everything you've got! This is it! Twelve seconds!

Beck: Lion up! Ten seconds!

Robbins: Nine! Harder! Eight! Seven! Good job! Good effort!

Beck: Finish strong!

Robbins: One! Great job! How's that feel? Give him some water!

Beck: Well done!

Robbins: He’s dying!

Feloni: Oh, my God! My forearms feel like Jello.

Robbins: You're gonna feel it for the next couple of days, brother.

So all we’re gonna do now is cleanse your body a little bit more. Gonna put you in the heat and then put you in the cold, and you’re done.

So what you're gonna do is, you’re gonna pop in here for as long as you can take it. Push yourself to the edge, which, for most people is about four to five minutes. And then, when you’re done, without delay, once you're there, you’re gonna drop right down into the cold plunge here. Alrighty. Come on in. Say goodbye to him one last time. Good knowing ya, Rich! Put some water on there.

Robbins: How you feeling, by the way?

Feloni: It was pretty extreme.

Robbins: Yes, it was. Well, that’s what I do all the time, so you get a better feel.

Feloni: On the four-minute machine, two minutes in, I didn't think I was actually going to be able to do it.

Robbins: Yeah.

Feloni: The voice in my head kept saying “Just give up. It’s fine. Just give up. It’s fine, ” but —

Robbins: Thank God we had a camera and two people screaming at you!

Feloni: Yeah, exactly! I didn't want to be humiliated on camera.

Robbins: Well, I wouldn't have humiliated you, but Billy would have. I promise you that!

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9 places in the US where people are happier, living longer, and least likely to run out of money


old couple beach

Colorado is the best place in America to spend your golden years.

That's according to U.S. News & World Report, whose latest study ranked the top states for folks 65 and older.

In 2016, Americans older than 65 accounted for about 15% of the total US population.

By 2050, that share is expected to grow to 20%, thanks to increased life expectancy and population growth, and states are being forced to adapt programs that cater to the senior population.

To find out which states are prioritizing the needs of residents over 65, U.S. News evaluated a dozen different metrics, including life expectancy, physical and mental health, cost of living, and the cost and quality of medicare and nursing homes.

Below are the top nine US states for aging, according to U.S. News. States are scored relative to each other across 12 factors that average into one overall score. For each state, we've included individual scores for cost of living, life expectancy, positive mental health, and overall quality of health.

All scores are out of 100, with 100 being the highest possible rank.

SEE ALSO: The 10 best places to retire in America

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9. New Hampshire

All scores are out of a possible 100:

Cost of living: 83.84

Life expectancy: 60.53

Quality of health: 97.47

Positive mental health: 87.93

Read more at U.S. News.

8. Vermont

All scores are out of a possible 100:

Cost of living: 65.24

Life expectancy: 50

Quality of health: 80.30

Positive mental health: 86.21

Read more at U.S. News.

7. Minnesota

All scores are out of a possible 100:

Cost of living: 85.69

Life expectancy: 68.42

Quality of health: 87.88

Positive mental health: 94.83

Read more at U.S. News.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

10 innovative US colleges that are finding a way to do everything better



Tempe, Arizona is home to the most innovative college in America, according to a ranking by U.S. News & World Report.

Arizona State University ranked first for the third year in a row, as judged by college presidents, provosts, and admissions deans at peer institutions.

Survey respondents were asked to nominate up to 10 colleges or universities that are making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology, or facilities.

Read on below to see the 10 colleges who are making cutting-edge changes to their campuses.

SEE ALSO: America's top college towns

10. Portland State University

The public research university in Portland, Oregon has a business accelerator that's home to over 30 startup companies in technology, bioscience, and cleantech. The companies have raised more raised more venture capital than any other location in Oregon in the past three years, according to its website.

10. Duke University

Located in what's known as the "research triangle" due to its close proximity to UNC and NC State, Duke recently completed a fundraising campaign raising $3.85 billion that will be used to "advance ideas and solve complex global challenges."

9. Harvard University

The Ivy League school boasts more Nobel laureates than any other university.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

I went to a no-tipping restaurant and loved it — but a lawsuit alleges there's something insidious going on behind closed doors


Maialino Dining Room Guests

My first experience at a no-tipping restaurant came as a surprise.

When the check arrived after a friend and I finished drinks and appetizers at Maialino, an Italian restaurant located in the Gramercy Park Hotel, there was only room for a signature. No line for tipping.

In our surprise at the bill, we asked our server a question he's probably answered many times before: How does the no-tipping policy work out for you? He flashed a smile and told us he is very well compensated.

So, he was happy. And we were happy.

But a new lawsuit begs to differ, as Business Insider's Linette Lopez reported.

The complaint, filed by a diner who believes he was overcharged at a no-tipping restaurant, alleges (among other things) that no-tipping restaurants are a conspiracy designed to shortchange diners and restaurant staff alike.

Danny Meyer, founder and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group which owns many high-end restaurants, including Maialino, is the alleged ringleader of the so-called conspiracy. Meyer eliminated tipping from his restaurants in 2015.

The complaint also accuses Meyer of orchestrating a meeting with Bay Area chefs in 2014, convincing them to join "his movement to steal tips from their employees and enrich themselves while overcharging diners in the process," Lopez reported.

The lawsuit, which is seeking class-action status, paints a very different picture from the experience my friend and I had. We ended the night feeling as though we had saved 20%, since we expected to leave a tip for the servers. The menu prices didn't strike us as higher than normal. In fact, we arrived during happy hour, so the $9 glass of prosecco I ordered was actually less than I would typically pay, even at a less-fancy restaurant or bar.

Very few restaurants have adopted a no-tipping policy, but the issue has been debated among NYC restaurateurs. Meyer is a vocal opponent of tipping, calling tipping a massive hoax that was born out of slavery as a way to avoid paying workers. In no-tipping restaurants, employees receive higher wages, and menu prices tick up slightly to cover the added payroll expense.

For many Americans, tipping is standard and familiar when dining out, and doing away with it isn't easy. After initiating a no-tipping policy, some restaurants have since reinstated the practice to keep diners happy, adjusting menu prices back down as well.

Although I'm a financial planner now, I worked as a hostess one summer during high school. The paychecks were measly, but the overall pay — which included envelopes full of cash — wasn't bad.

At the end of every shift, those of us who weren't servers were expected to write our names and the hours we worked on a sheet of paper taped to the door of the manager's office. The list was used to calculate our share of the "tip out" — a percentage of the tips earned by the servers that night. If you forgot to write your name on the list, you were out of luck. The couple of dollars per hour of base pay was all you would earn for that shift.

I'm not sure how it works at every restaurant, but after that experience, the concept of tipping at restaurants has never seemed to me like the best — or most fair — way to pay people.

It looks like the concept — and those on both sides of the debate — may get their day in court to decide once and for all who is right.

SEE ALSO: Some of America's top restaurateurs are being accused of conspiracy in a bizarre lawsuit

DON'T MISS: Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer calls tipping a massive hoax that was born out of slavery

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A popular Napa winery was reduced to rubble by the fires ravaging California wine country — here are the photos


stag leap before and after 2x1

At the Signorello Estate winery in Napa, California, a sign said "open" on Tuesday. But behind the gate, the 40-year-old, family-run winery had been reduced to rubble and ash.

Massive wildfires scorched Northern California wine country early this week, destroying more than 2,000 homes, buildings, and other structures. Hot, dry winds spread the flames across fields and freeways in the counties of Napa, Sonoma, and six others. At least 17 people are dead in one of the worst firestorms in state history.

Signorello Estate was among the wineries burned in the blaze. These photos of the fire-ravaged winery give us a glimpse of the devastation in wine country.

SEE ALSO: Before-and-after photos show how California's wineries have been devastated by fires

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Established in 1977, Signorello Estate winery sits high in the hills off the Silverado Trail.

One of the few family owned wineries in Napa, Signorello is known for its wine and food pairings and gorgeous hillside views.

Early Monday, the Atlas Peak fire climbed the ivy-covered walls of the winery, sparking the surrounding landscape before finally swallowing the main building.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

10 affordable getaways to celebrate New Year's 2018


new year's eve party confetti celebration

It's common for New York City to come to mind when you think of New Year's Eve celebrations.

It's the most popular city for travelers to ring in the New Year, according to travel price comparison site Expedia, and the longtime host of one of the biggest New Year countdown parties in America, right in Times Square.

But as an already expensive destination, airfare and accommodations in New York City are even pricier during the holidays.

Luckily, a fun New Year's Eve getaway doesn't have to cost you a fortune.

In fact, you can travel to cities like Los Angeles and Seattle — and even tropical destinations like the Bahamas — for under $400 round trip.

If you book between November 26 and December 5, you can save an average of $600 on airfare and hotels, according to data from Expedia. If your travel plans are flexible— as in you don't have to be back in the office on January 2 — you may be able to save even more.

Since there's still time to choose a destination, check out Expedia's list of the 10 best places to visit for New Year's Eve where round-trip airfare is less than $400.

All flight prices are based on average airfare with a departure date of either December 30 or 31. Expedia also provided the average cost of a hotel on New Year's Eve for each location based on New Year's 2017.

SEE ALSO: Here's exactly when to book your flights for Thanksgiving and Christmas

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10. Los Angeles

Average round trip-ticket: $377

Average daily hotel rate: $219

9. Mexico City

Average round-trip ticket: $372

Average daily hotel rate: $96

8. Nassau

Average round-trip ticket: $369

Average daily hotel rate: $329

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here's how the devastating wildfires will affect Northern California's wine industry


Signorello Estate winery napa sonoma fire wildfire 2017

Northern California wine country has been devastated as a series of dangerous fires continues to threaten the areas around Napa and Sonoma. 

The region is an economic powerhouse for the state, and many notable wineries, hotels, and restaurants have suffered damage. Among the wineries that have been reduced to rubble and ash are Signorello Estate in Napa and Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa.

Other wineries won't know the full extent of damage until after the evacuation order has lifted, but initial confirmed photos show a great deal of destruction. Multiple fires are ravaging more than 50,000 acres of land in multiple wine-producing counties.

Depending on the path that the fires take, the smoke could have some adverse effects on this year's wine harvest. 

According to ETS Laboratories, which conducts scientific research for wineries and the accompanying industry, wildfire smoke can cause something called "smoke taint" — off-seeming flavors that are sometimes described as "smoky," "bacon," "campfire," and "ashtray."

The flavor is "usually long lasting and linger on the palate even after the wine is swallowed or spit out," reads a page on ETS Laboratories' website. Smoke taint occurs when vines and berries absorb chemical compounds, called volatile phenols, from wildfire smoke. 

Luckily, an estimated 90% of grapes had been picked from vines before the fires started on Sunday night, leaving them less vulnerable to smoke taint, according to the nonprofit trade association Napa Valley Vintners. Even Signorello Estate, whose winery burned down, does not expect to lose next year's vintage wines, a spokesperson told Business Insider.

santa rosa napa sonoma fire northern california wildfire 2017

Napa Valley Vintners said in a press release: "It is too soon to tell how the fires and related challenges will impact this year's vintage overall. What we do know is that of the grapes remaining on the vine, it is almost all Cabernet Sauvignon. Our winemakers report that this thick-skinned variety, fully developed and ready to be picked for the 2017 harvest, is not expected to be impacted by the smoke from the fires."

Smoke taint can be removed through a process of reverse osmosis, though wine industry professionals say it's unlikely for that to be necessary at this stage in the harvest. 

Kelly Carter, a spokesperson for Alpha Omega Winery in St. Helena, told Business Insider: "Due to the maturity stage of the fruit, smoke is not expected to permeate the skin. Should smoke somehow permeate the skin, technology can remove the smoke."

Carter continued: "No matter the circumstances, Napa Valley winemakers remain committed to upholding Napa Valley's reputation for making some of the world's finest wines and they will do everything possible to ensure the highest quality winemaking for the rest of the 2017 vintage."

Smoke taint has caused problems for winemakers in the past. In 2008, fires that took place earlier in the growing season left Mendocino County vintners deciding whether to sell their wine at all

Experts say that consumers should not expect wine prices to rise in the wake of the fires, though it's far too early to fully assess the damage at this point. 

"If it's a large winery, if they are financially stable and can handle (the effects of the fire) long-term, they may say, 'We've got other assets, we've got vineyards in Chile,' and hold their prices. There's a lot of economics involved," Kevin Riley, a wine executive with beverage distributor Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits, told USA Today

Locals are optimistic for the time being. 

"We are anticipating a successful vintage and that wine values will stay strong," Maria Castellucci, proprietor of Castellucci Napa Valley, told Business Insider. 

SEE ALSO: Before-and-after photos show how California's wineries have been devastated by fires

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