Channel: Business Insider
Viewing all 58544 articles
Browse latest View live

An iconic Wall Street power spot is about to shut down, and the 1% are just starting to freak out


four seasons restaurant nyc

Talk to restaurateur Julian Niccolini, and the way he tells it, it's almost as if it's the right time for him to take a break from the world of fine dining.

"People don't have as much fun anymore," he told me as we sat in a quiet corner at a table in his landmark restaurant, The Four Seasons Restaurant on99 E. 52nd St. in Manhattan.

Well, what is "fun?"

For the Wall Streeters and CEOs, the fashion executives, publishers and political power players who've been dining at The Four Seasons since 1959, fun — if you're looking at the serene, cathedralesque dining room at lunch — seems like it could be a quiet, measured conversation about fiscal responsibility.

Maybe a very civilized discussion on fiduciary duty.

But that's not really what Niccolini means. An example; Once upon a time, in the 1980s, an unnamed Wall Street banker called the restaurant and said that while, sadly, he wouldn't be able to come for dinner, he would be sending some of his close lady friends.

"They ended up naked swimming in the pool," said Niccolini. "That was fun."

Fun, apparently, was also private performances from, say, Aretha Franklin and Elton John. It was various birthdays and corporate gatherings and engagement parties of the 0.01%. It was hosting presidents and celebrities and dignitaries. It was lunches with Charlie Rose and Zac Posen and Barry Diller (at his center table).

"It's a canteen for a lot of this town's power elite," Jason DeSena Trennert, CEO of Strategas Research Partners, told Business Insider. "The food was great, but the company was better. Aesthetically, it's one of the most interesting restaurants in the city, and it's evocative of a time when businesspeople weren't seen as bad guys."

But the fun is over, at least for a while. The exact date when Niccolini and his decadeslong business partner, Alex von Bidder, will open another iteration of their restaurant down the street is as of yet unknown. What we do know is what will happen to the space they once occupied.

It's getting a full dining in New York City in the year 2016 treatment.

Off the wall

The Four Seasons Restaurant was made a landmark in 1989 by the City of New York for its glorious interior space. That, however, did not make it untouchable. The restaurant is located in the Seagram Building, which is owned by real-estate tycoon Aby Rosen.

And something like two years ago, he started showing signs that he was not happy with his arrangement with von Bidder and Niccolini. The first sign was that he took down "Le Tricorne," a Picasso wall hanging that had been in The Four Seasons for 55 years. Art experts told Rosen, a contemporary collector, that if it were taken down it might break.

picasso le tricorne four seasons

But it's gone now. Rosen had it taken down, and the New York Landmarks Conservancy, its owner, gave it to the New-York Historical Society so it could hang next to John Audubon watercolors of geese, or maybe some dioramas.

After that, Rosen raised Niccolini and von Bitter's rent from $20 per square foot to $105 per square foot.

There's reason to believe it just wasn't about the money, too. About a year later, he gave The New Yorker the impression that he wanted the clientele in the restaurant's two massive dining rooms to change. I say impression, but perhaps that's too gentle.

"You want to have the guy coming to The Four Seasons who has the ripped jeans and a T-shirt equally as much as you want the guy with the Tom Ford suit," Rosen said. "Because the guy with the jeans, I promise you, has a lot more money."

This was after he referred to himself in the third person during the interview.

The new kids

In keeping with his contemporary sensibilities, Rosen has hired Major Food Group, the hottest restaurant group in New York City, to take over his 587-seat dining experience. (The deal includes a separate restaurant — The Brasserie, the Wall Street power-breakfast spot — downstairs.)

Major Food Group is run by four New York City natives whose sensibilities have generated massive hits like Carbone and Dirty French, to name just two. Their restaurants are loud. You cannot get a reservation. And the staff does not know you — not if you're in the industry, not if you're a downtown kid, not if you're a Wall Streeter willing to drop tens of thousands of dollars on a private party. Maybe if you're Woody Allen.

Otherwise, no.

According to a prospectus that has been making its way around the New York City fine-dining community, Rosen plans to raise $30 million to revamp The Four Seasons and The Brasserie. Half of that will be used for construction. The restaurants are projected to generate over $52 million in revenue the first year.

Kanye West, Aby RoseThis, if you read the charts correctly, is contingent upon packing the place and on every diner walking away spending $150 to $180 on dinner in one of The Four Seasons' dining rooms. (The Brasserie is less ambitious.)

“The biggest challenge I see [is] in late-night dining. It’s a lot of seats to fill for two full turns," said Rocky Cirino, managing director at Altamarea Group, the company that owns Marea and other favorites of the Four Seasons crowd. "Additionally, the possibility that all staff would be at union wages (I believe it’s a union house) would make labor costs daunting, to say the least.”

That said, if you decide to contribute to this crusade you become a "member," which is a status we're certain many in New York City would like to take up. It's all defined in the prospectus:

  • The members (investors) would receive 100% of the distributable cash until they receive an amount equal to 120% of their initial equity.
  • Once all members have received 120% of their initial equity, distributions will be made as follows: 40% to members, 60% to Ginger Ale LLC.
  • Members will have a 40% interest in 375 Park Food LLC.
  • This project will be managed by Major Management TCZ LLC. There will be a 5% management fee.
  • "We estimate total first year revenues, under a relatively conservative case scenario, to be over $50M and to generate an operating profit of $8M. In this scenario, investors will receive approximately 120% return on their original investment within 4 years, and an IRR of 19%."


Cirino is a gentleman; he doesn't talk much, and especially not about other people. What's more, two of his company's restaurants — Marea and The Four Seasons' neighbor, Vaucluse — will likely see their customers more often once The Four Seasons is closed for business for a while.

But others in his community are whispering that Major Food Group has taken on more than it can chew. It ostensibly plans to turn the two dining rooms in The Four Seasons, the Pool Room and the Grill Room, into two separate restaurants.

More form the prospectus:

1. "The Grill Room will be classic. It will pay homage to the historic food of The Four Seasons and of America through the years. Every element of the experience will be upgraded and improved, but the soul will be something familiar. There will be duck and there will be Dover sole, but there will also be a newly restored outlook on what this upscale restaurant can truly be."

2. "The Pool Room will be a fantastical adventure in fish and seafood. It will be innovative. It will be extravagant. It will aim to create the greatest dining experience in the world that is full of fun and that exhibits unparalleled levels of quality. From the beginning to end, this restaurant will be like no other."

According to Major Food Group's discussion of this in The New York Times, there will be a tasting menu, specially designed trolleys for food display, and tons of other budget-busting extras.

And so the industry is talking. Part of this is naturally upstart envy. But another part is the reality of the two different worlds colliding with this project. It's an uptown vs. downtown thing. Uptown, clients want the quiet — they want to be remembered, they want to be served. Downtown, they think, is noise. And so many of them have rallied around the ringmasters of their hushed circus.

"People went to The Four Seasons because they felt there was an unquestionable dedication to the clientele," said Alexandra V. Preate, CEO of CapitalHQ, a communications firm that straddles the intersection of Wall Street and conservative politics. "The staff could sense needs before they happen, and 'no' was not even a part of their vocabulary."

Time was

Four SeasonsThere was a time when restaurants were extravagant affairs — when Wall Street was wilder with its wads of cash. Back then, at least I'm told, the parties were crazier, and no expense was spared on any lunch or dinner. Eating was an event.

"That's over," Niccolini told me.

Now, he says a lot of restaurants are doing too much of the same. And it's a staid same — a lukewarm version of the fund that was.

People always say that, but, of course, they're usually not talking about anything special. They're talking about a place that can be replaced. They're talking about an atmosphere that can be replicated in some other location, given the right people and the right time. Usually, though, they're not talking about the end of a place that's been around for 57 years.

Every now and then, you get an outlier.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Don't walk into an interview at Goldman Sachs without doing this first

McDonald's M&M McFlurry might soon go extinct — here's why


m&m mcflurry

Show some restraint, America.

That's the message the Mars candy company — of all groups — may soon spread.

NBC News reports that the company is planning — or at least "weighing" — a change to how its candies show up in fast-food desserts.

Right now you can walk into a McDonald's and buy a McFlurry milkshake with M&Ms swirled in. Or a Burger King and buy a Snickers-branded pie. Or a Dairy Queen and ask for an M&M Blizzard.

All of those brands are made by Mars. But Mars is considering pulling these small pieces of sugary candies out of those larger piles of sugary food, as writer Rheanna O'Neil Bellomo laments in Seventeen.

In an email to Tech Insider, a Mars rep tells us that whatever decision the company does make, it will be part of the company's goal to bring its consumers' sugar intake to less than 10% of total daily calories — in line with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, among other groups. McDonald's did not immediately respond to our questions about the potential product changes.

Here's the logic behind a candy company claiming that it can help cut sugar intake.

A McFlurry contains plenty of sugar on its own. Stir in a serving of M&Ms, with their 7.5 teaspoons of sugar, and the total sugar in that one treat exceeds the maximum 12.5 teaspoons of sugar that the WHO recommended for your whole day.

And as we've reported before on Tech Insider, too much sugar can have devastating effects on your body, including but not limited to:

  • cavities, as any dentist will tell you
  • weight gain and obesity
  • diabetes
  • liver failure
  • kidney failure
  • increased risk of multiple types of cancer

All of this makes it hard to know how to think about this possible Mars move. Whether or not the company decides to lessen the intestinal sucker punch of fast-food ice cream, it's probably a good idea to cut back on sugary junk food on your own.

SEE ALSO: The best fast food in America

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This one ingredient is making a lot of Americans fat

I cut my commute from an hour to 25 minutes on this new e-bike designed by car gurus — and I got to work sweat-free


Elby e bike review white background

Bike commuting is usually the best way to get around big cities, and where I live, in New York, it's often the fastest. I used to regularly ride the subway to work, and that took an hour, and by car it was about the same, given all the traffic. But when I started biking, my commute took just 40 minutes. Recently I got to ride a new bike, an electric one, and it cut my commute even further, to a mere 25 minutes.

It is the Elby e-bike, which officially rolls out this July. Elby was founded by Frank Stronach and Fred Gingl, whose backgrounds are in automotive design and manufacturing. Stronach founded Magna International, a leading auto-parts manufacturer that, according to Elby, is the only company of its kind to build complete cars for brands like Aston Martin, Porsche, BMW, and Mini.

A lot of their know-how comes through when you hop on the Elby and start moving. It's well designed, good-looking, and really fun to ride. Everything about the bike feels very high quality. Having ridden it for a week, I found the Elby to be among the nicer e-bikes in what is now a booming market, particularly in Europe. I've ridden the high-performance $7,000 Stromer ST2 and sub-$1,000 models at trade shows like Eurobike, and at $4,000, the Elby, though not inexpensive, slots nicely into the middle of this range.

The Elby got me to work fast and sweat-free. It's one of the best e-bikes on the market. Here's what it was like to ride for 100 miles:

SEE ALSO: The Raleigh Roker Comp is the funnest bike we've ever ridden

DON'T MISS: Millionaire entrepreneur explains why cycling — and not golf — is the new sport of choice for young professionals

The company touts the Elby as "the world's first one-size-fits-most pedal-assist hybrid bicycle." The frame and fork are made of aluminum alloy, and the bike weighs in at just under 50 pounds (claimed). It comes in a variety of colors and sells for $4,000. The Elby will be available through independent bicycle retailers and elbybike.com.

I commuted on the Elby daily for a week and got to ride it around on the weekend, logging about 100 motor-assisted miles.

What impressed me on the very first ride was how smoothly the Elby accelerated and how predictably it handled, thanks largely to its low center of gravity and wide, high-quality tires. I really got a sense for its handling when I descended the Manhattan Bridge at over 20 mph. There's a sweeping turn on the Brooklyn side, and I felt more comfortable taking this section at speed than on the half-dozen other bikes I've crossed this bridge on. The Elby felt like it was on rails.

Another thing I noticed was how high I sat on the bike, in an almost straight-up position, which felt very comfortable. After all, when you're commuting it's good to sit up high, to see and be seen. And with no top tube, the step-through frame lets you hop on and off the bike easily.

This bike attracted a lot of attention, too. People stopped to check it out when I was waiting at lights, and more than a few passersby stared at it when I was riding down the street.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The tongue-in-cheek way the women of Google are responding to a shareholder's sexist comment (GOOG, GOOGL)


Ruth Porat

The women of Google have come up with a clever, tongue-in-cheek way to raise awareness about gender equality after an investor made a sexist remark at the company's annual shareholders meeting last week.

When one investor wanted to ask chief financial officer Ruth Porat a question, he addressed it to "the lady CFO." He then directed his second question for Alphabet SVP of corporate development, David Drummond, to "Mr. Drummond."

Although Porat answered his question without acknowledging his casual sexism, frustration exploded both online and in the room, with another shareholder, Sonen Capital's Danielle Ginach, calling him out a few questions later:

"I am sorry to put another shareholder on the spot," she said. "But Ms. Porat is the CFO, not the lady CFO."

Now, other Googlers are standing up in solidarity by designating this Thursday and Friday as "Lady Day."

The idea sprouted in an email group for alums of a Google leadership development program for women. One employee suggested that they should all change their titles to "Lady ___" in acknowledgment and light-hearted protest of the incident. As in, "Lady Systems Engineer," or "Lady People Analytics Manager."

As of now, more than 800 Googlers — women and men — have changed their job titles in the company-wide directory or in their email signatures.


Lady CFO

Meg Mason, a "Lady Partner Operations Manager" for Shopping, tells Business Insider that she sees Lady Day as a fun and "Googley" way to allow employees to "stand together and to show that someone's gender is entirely irrelevant to how they do their job."

To help spread the idea, participants created a special logo and internal landing page:

lady day animation

The lack of diversity in the tech industry — across both gender and ethnicity — is a very real issue. At Google, 70% of employees are men and 60% are white, and many other major tech companies have similar stats or worse. Gender equality in the workplace is a country-wide problem too — in 2015, women made 79-cents for every dollar earned by men.

Googlers participating in Lady Day want it to be an opportunity to encourage critical thinking about equality in the workplace.

"It's really inspiring to have women leaders like Ruth to look up to," Anya Estrov, another Googler who changed her title, says. "I hope that by seeing this, women will continue to push themselves."

Besides Porat, Google has a handful of other women in its top executive positions — including seven of the 20 people in Google's inner leadership circle. 

Meet the other "Ladies" leading the company alongside Porat: 

SEE ALSO: Google made a subtle change to its most important business

Susan Wojcicki is CEO of YouTube.

Diane Greene is an Alphabet board member and leading Google's fast-growing cloud business.

Jen Fitzpatrick, VP of Geo, makes sure you always know where you're going through Google's Maps and Local products.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Millennials care about these 6 things when they go on vacation



Millennials do almost everything differently from their parents' generation, and traveling is no exception.

Drs. Kurt Stahura and William Frye of Niagara University's College of Hospitality and Tourism Management have identified the top millennial travel trends for the summer of 2016.

Here's what they found.

They want technology — like free wifi

free wifiMillennials look to stay in locations with free Wi-Fi, fast Internet connections,  and multiple outlets for charging all their various devices, the study found. They also like places that will let them use their computers in locations outside of their rooms.

They care about the environment 

Timberland owned by Plum Creek Timber Co, the largest private U.S. landowner, is seen near Jackman, Maine, May 25, 2012. Timber harvesters like Plum Creek are expected to be helped by a recovery in U.S. housing demand during the next two years. Picture taken May 25, 2012.  REUTERS/Ernest Scheyder (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENVIRONMENT BUSINESS CONSTRUCTION) - RTR33ARMMillennial travelers look for eco-friendly places to stay, and are concerned about leaving their "carbon footprint," as the study wrote.

They're more adventurous than their parents are

mountain climberMillennials love experiences— especially when they travel.  They look for places to stay that offer various activities from skiing to mountain biking.

They want to meet new people

millennials CoachellaMillennials love meeting new people, so they'll stay at places like hostels where they can meet lots of people their age from all walks off life. They'll participate in various community activities when they're traveling, too.

They're not looking for a five star restaurant

indian-food.JPGMillennials crave authenticity, so they're more likely to eat at a local, authentic eatery than at a fancy five star restaurant. They aren't going to throw down lots of money for a long, fancy meal — they'd rather go someplace that's less fancy, but maybe more trendy or health-conscious.

They're budget-conscious 

money Millennials operate on a principle of value: they try to spend as little as possible, so that they can do a lot and experience more; they want to get the most bang for their buck. Further, they try to keep cost down for where they stay, which translates into them staying at places like Airbnbs — and they'll even share rooms, too.

SEE ALSO: Millennials are abandoning restaurants for an unexpected place

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 10 fashion mistakes men make over and over at the office

10 things all coffee lovers should have in their kitchens



Caffeine addicts shouldn't hesitate to start their own coffee-brewing operations at home — there's a glut of equipment out there to help you store, grind, roast, and brew the perfect cup of joe. While it's great that new, high-tech coffee gear is easier to access, some of the best solutions are actually pretty old and low tech.

If you're used to keeping your grounds in tin cans, brewing out of a Mr. Coffee maker, or just want to up your coffee game, here are a few suggestions.

SEE ALSO: Snapchat is launching a new online magazine called 'Real Life'

To make a good pour-over: A Chemex glass coffee maker

There's no other pour-over method that makes you feel like a scientist the way the Chemex does. A set of filters will run you $10 to $15, depending on what shape you want, and the cleanup is simple: Just toss the paper filter with the grounds.

To make espresso: A moka pot

If you're a fan of espresso but want something more portable and affordable than a full machine, grab a moka pot. The pot is heat resistant enough to put over a gas stove, and it's a timeless design — Italians have been using it since the 1930s.

The pot makes a good, dense cup of espresso without expensive machinery. For instructions about how to use it, I recommend consulting the experts at Blue Bottle.

To brew a cup: A French press

French presses brew a deep cup of coffee with a bit of sediment at the bottom of every mug. They're traditionally made of glass, but this SterlingPro press is double-walled and made of stainless steel, so it'll keep liquids insulated for longer.

It can also double as a loose-leaf tea brewer or even an iced-coffee maker if you need one in a pinch.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Baby fat may be causing a huge health problem later in life


eating-hot-dogA group of scientists from the University of Gothenburgin Sweden recently found that adolescent fat may lead to heart failure in middle age.

The study was published just this morning in the European Heart Journal. It shows the relationship between the body mass index (BMI) in young men and their likelihood of being hospitalized with heart failure in the future. BMI is a height to weight ratio used to measure obesity.

Annika Rosengren, professor of medicine and co-author of the study, describes heart failure as a chronic condition where the pump function of the heart is compromised, due to any number of conditions.

“Teenage boys who are overweight or obese are at increased risk. Even within the normal range, there is risk,” she told Business Insider. 

Participants were men from the Swedish Military Service Register and their average age was just under 18 years old at the beginning of the study. They were then followed for an average of 23 years.

The research team found that men with a BMI of 20 to 22.5 kg/m2 had a hazard ratio higher than men with a BMI of 18.5 to 20 kg/m2. This risk shot up with an increasing BMI. Those in the range of 30 to 35 kg/m2 and above had a significant rise in hazard ratio.

The risk of heart failure is seen at normal body weights, and those in the highest weight categories have a 10 times even greater risk. This spells trouble for young people in the current obesity epidemic.

Rosengren sees a lot of work to be done in the future.

“Increasing rates of obesity are a societal problem, because we have an ‘obesogenic’ environment in many parts of the world," she said, pointing to motorized transport and access to cheap food as parts of the problem. "Having access to food and absence of heavy labor are inherently good things," she went on. "However, we need to devise strategies not to accumulate excess body fat.”

Heart FailureRosengren and her team calculated incidence rates strictly of heart failure, but they also included patients who suffered from congenital heart disease, coronary heart disease, and hypertension among other conditions. Fitness, strength, and IQ were taken into consideration when calculating risks.

Of the 1,610,437 men in the study, 79.6% were of normal weight (BMI 18.5 to 20 kg/m2), 10% were overweight (BMI 25 to 30 kg/m2), and 2.3% were obese (BMI over 35 kg/m2).

During follow-ups, 5,492 cases of heart failure were identified, with the average man being 46.6 years old at the time of failure. The researchers saw the lowest risk at 20 kg/m2, with a steep increase with increasing body weight. Of all the cases, 22.9% had no previous heart problems, like diabetes or hypertension.

Estimates of obesity in Europe are 4% in people less than 20 years old. However, the prevalence of moderate obesity (BMI 30 to 34.9 kg/m2) quadrupled from the early 1970s. The number of people considered obese has increased 10-fold, as well.

This study is important because it shows that heart failure risk started to increase at body weights that are, as the study says, “normal and considered desirable.” They found that the risk of heart failure increased 16% per one unit increase in BMI.

Rosengren notes that she is not a specialist in children’s health, but still sees room for improvement in adolescent weight management.

“There are many reasons for children to avoid becoming overweight or obese - prevention is better than cure," she said. "Once established, obesity is difficult to reverse. Many parents are already well aware of the problem.”

Baby fat, or excess weight at a young age, has long been brushed off as a part of growing up. But it looks it can actually cause major problems later in life. 

MORE: Jay Flatley created a market for DNA sequencing from scratch — and the result is the largest genetics company you've never heard of

UP NEXT: I tasted the future of food, and it tastes an awful lot like soy milk

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Archaeologists made a groundbreaking discovery that unveils the mysterious origins of real-life hobbits

12 hard truths I've learned about adulthood after half a decade in the working world


4x3 12 hard truths I've learned about adulthood after half a decade in the working world

It's June, which is making me nostalgic. Graduation month!

In the six years since college graduation, I've learned a few things — not including how to roast vegetables, or that New York City post offices are to be avoided at all costs.

Consider them more ... hard truths about life.

I'm not for a moment saying I know close to everything, or even most things. In fact, I probably don't even know what I don't know. (Wait for my follow-up post a decade from now: "Everything I thought I'd learned by age 28 was completely wrong.")

But along the way, a few things have become clear to me.

SEE ALSO: 14 ways I trick myself into going to the gym

There's no such thing as 'shy'

Growing up, I wouldn't ever raise my hand in class because everyone would look at me. I was that kid who covered her ears when people sang "happy birthday." I blushed at the drop of the hat (I still do) and I never accepted anything adults offered me because I was desperate not to inconvenience them.

I was shy.

But one day — I can't put my finger on when — I realized that "shy" is not an excuse that carries into adulthood. Think back to the last time you saw an acquaintance who didn't say hi, or you hung out with someone who didn't say more than two sentences in a group. Remember the person who wouldn't meet your eyes, or mumbled, or gave you one of those awful limp-wrist handshakes.

Did you think "oh, that poor person, he/she must be shy!" No, you didn't. You thought something along the lines of: "What a jerk."

Eventually, no matter how hard it is, you have to consider how your shyness makes the people around you feel and how it makes them view you. It isn't good. At some point, you just have to get over it.

(I understand it's a different issue for people with severe and diagnosed social anxiety, and I can't begin to imagine how that feels. This insight is for those with garden-variety anxiety — of the ducking-down-grocery-store-aisles-to-not-say-hi type.)

Nothing will change if you don't change anything

I tell myself this whenever an opportunity is on the horizon: a new project, a new job, a new date, a new apartment.

If you want something different, it's up to you to go out and seek it. You can wait for a change to fall into your lap, but you're probably going to be waiting a long time — and frankly, the type of changes that fall into your lap are rarely good.

Everything is temporary

On a similar note, everything is temporary. You will only be this age, living here, with this job, with this team, in this state of health, in this state of mental health, for so long. 

You could choose to see this as a bad thing (Happiness is fleeting! Things will never be this good again!), but I consider it reassuring in two ways. Firstly, knowing that your life won't always be this good forever inspires gratitude for the things that are going well right now. Secondly, if things aren't good, you can take comfort in knowing that things won't always be so bad.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

3 things you should know when booking flights to a foreign country


Here are some important tips you should know when it comes to making sure you don't get stuck paying a higher price than you have to on airfare.

There are also some important safety issues you should know if you're thinking about flying internationally, especially in a world where terrorist attacks have become more and more frequent.

Daniel Durazo, who is the Director of Communications for Allianz Global Assistance, explains three important things to keep in mind when booking a flight to a foreign country. 

Produced by Eames Yates

Follow BI Video: On Twitter


Join the conversation about this story »

Obama's poster child for the American manufacturing revival is in hot water with the FTC



President Obama frequently brags about Detroit-based Shinola, claiming its watches, bicycles, and other goods assembled in the US are a symbol of a revival in American manufacturing.

Unfortunately, the Federal Trade Commission seems to disagree with that characterization, and the company is now implementing a remedial action plan on recommendation from the FTC to avoid enforcement action.

The letter the commission sent to Shinola's parent company, Bedrock Manufacturing, on June 16 detailed a prior FTC review of Shinola that "raised concerns that certain marketing materials overstated the extent to which certain Shinola ... products ... are 'made' or 'built' in the United States."

The company is being forced to clarify its "Built in Detroit" slogan on all of its products and advertising copy, as the FTC says it could mislead customers to instead think they are purchasing a product made in the US.

In order for a product to be claimed to be "made in the US," it must be assembled in the US from "all or virtually all" American parts. Shinola's slogan attempted to avoid this FTC requirement, and the company is not secretive about using foreign parts for the products assembled in the Motor City while listing all part sources on its website.

Shinola obama

The company has been criticized for touting American manufacturing while using mainly foreign parts to assemble. Notably, the company uses a Swiss- or Thai-manufactured movement for most of its watches, and in some cases, the parts used to assemble the watches were 100% from foreign sources.

The FTC saw a potentially misleading difference between a "made in the US" claim, which the FTC polices, and Shinola's "Built in Detroit."

The letter details the actions Shinola must implement and has implemented to remedy the situation, including: clarifying "Built in Detroit" in its website and all marketing and advertising materials; adding tags and materials detailing the sources of the parts used in products; redesigning watch-case backs to add "from Swiss and imported parts"; updating employee training manuals; and developing "enhanced policies and procedures, including additional legal review, to avoid future deception or mislabeling."

The company must also stop using its "Where American is Made" slogan to describe itself, the FTC says.


It's notable that the "made in the US" requirement is stricter than manufacturing claims in other countries. Switzerland, which is still arguably the watchmaking capital of the world, requires only that a watch's movement be Swiss-made and the watch cased and inspected in Switzerland to be called "Swiss made." For a movement to be Swiss, it needs to be made with 60% of its component's value from Switzerland.

In a statement, Shinola's founder, Tom Kartsotis, said:

We have always believed that “Built in Detroit” most accurately describes the watches (and jobs) that are being created in Detroit and will continue to mark our watches as "Built in Detroit." While the FTC did show us some flaws in our communication, we believe that we have genuinely tried to be completely transparent as to the origin (and mission) of our products from the outset. We are thankful to the FTC for helping us identify some areas of improvement within some of our communication, which we began adopting over the last year.

Kartsotis criticized the inflexibility of the "made in the US" designation, saying that "the truth is that Shinola is and has been a leader in bringing as much of the manufacturing process back to the US as it can possibly achieve."

Shinola"Many of the components and raw materials are simply not available in the US," Kartsotis said in the statement, implying that American supply chains are just not up to the standard to create a "made in the US" watch to the FTC's requirement.

"We found it confusing that a car, for example, isn’t held to the same standard as a watch," Kartsotis said. "Until a change in policy clarifies for the consumer what it truly means to be Made in the USA, Shinola will always strive to do as much as it can in America with the benefit of an American workforce."

Shinola has carved a niche among consumers who are looking for a nice watch but aren't willing or able to shell out the coin required for a high-end Swiss brand like Rolex. Shinola CMO Bridget Russo told NewCo that the company generated $100 million in revenue in 2015, up from $20 million in 2013 and $60 million in 2014.

Hodinkee first noted that "Built in Detroit" is already completely gone from Shinola's website, replaced with a much tamer "The first watches assembled at scale in the United States in decades."

Read the full FTC letter here.

Note: An earlier version of this article claimed Shinola was forced to drop it's "Built in Detroit" slogan completely, but the company will continue to use it while clarifying parts used in its products.

SEE ALSO: 15 essential terms every budding watch collector should know

DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Movie theater soda is a rip-off — but it's not the highest marked up item out there

Nurses share a side to their profession that most people don't see



Photographer Carolyn Jones has a new respect for nurses after conducting more than 100 interviews with the medical professionals.

"They see us holistically and with an intimacy that few other people ever will," she told Business Insider. 

Jones first began to understand the nurses role in healthcare after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005.  "I always thought that nurses just take our temperature and blood pressure, or hold our hand and comfort us while we're waiting for the doctor to show up. But I was so wrong," she said.

So when given the opportunity by the health care company Fresenius Kabi to create a project that would celebrate nurses, Jones signed up. Her photographs and on-camera interviews have been collected in "The American Nurse." These images show a new side of the profession.

Tonia Faust, Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola, Louisiana

"Louisiana State Penitentiary is the only maximum security prison that we have in Louisiana. We have the death row that's here, and we have about 5,200 offenders here. In June 2011 they appointed me the as the hospice program coordinator. It's an exceptional program, we are the only accredited Louisiana DOC facility hospice program, and what makes our program so unique is our [inmate] hospice volunteers. [They] go through a 40-hour educational process, body mechanics, assisted daily living activities, and show them through the grief and dying process."

"[Studies] show that our anxiety medications and pain management medications were a lot lower here at the Louisiana State Penitentiary — and we feel that it's because through Warden Cain allowing this [hospice] program, that our patients' anxiety levels are much less because they have someone at their bedside. They're pain management is top priority, to make sure that when they do pass, it's as pain free as possible."


Goldie Baker Huguenel, Interim LSU Public Hospital, New Orleans, Louisiana

"I was born in New Orleans and have always lived here. I am probably the oldest nurse around here."

"[When] Hurricane Katrina hit, [she was] mean. Dealing with Katrina was like dealing with the death of a city. Some things die and never come back. What I remember most about being in the hospital during Katrina was that not one nurse would leave until each and every patient had been evacuated. The patients in the ICU on the twelth floor were carried down on spine boards in the hot, dark, slippery stairwells, and everyone did a hero's job of it. There was no panic, no one screaming to get out or anything like that. It was amazing."

Venus Anderson, Nebraska Medical Center / LifeNet, Omaha, Nebraska

"Four years ago, my father was in a motorcycle accident. He was injured badly...and another flight team [of nurses] went out to get him. He did not survive, he died at the trauma center. And that shook my whole foundation because my father was the most amazing man. When he died, it changed everything. That was the first time, when I came back to work, and everything was personal."

"I use to, when we would go somewhere, I would not want to know a name and make it personal. But after dad died, I made a point to talk to the families before I took their loved ones. I took those two minutes to go out and say 'My name is Venus, I'm going to be flying your husband, brother, mother, wife, to Omaha. This is what I'm going to do, this is how you're going to know we made it ok — I'll call you and let you know how it went.'"

"That's something I never did before. When I would get to the trauma center, I would call the family every time — because the one thing that killed me, when that whole process [with my dad] was going on, was not knowing what was going on with your loved one. It's a piece in transport nursing that gets missed a little bit, because we are so about moving fast — and it's important to move fast, but, before where I may have thought that was a little bit of a waste of time, after that point, it wasn't a waste of time anymore — it was important."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This guy earned $25,000 worth of airline miles by buying pudding cups

After sleeping in a converted NYC taxi, I have a new respect for the young professionals living in vans to save money



Housing can be a major money suck. Take San Francisco, where the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is about $3,500 a month. Prices in my home base, New York City, are just as egregious: $3,300 for a one-bed.

A handful of professionals seem to have figured out a creative solution to this real-estate conundrum: Rather than settling into overpriced apartments, they're moving into trucks, sailboats, and tiny homes. They seem to be onto something brilliant — besides saving up to 90% of their income, living tiny means a less cluttered (and more minimalist) lifestyle, an alluring prospect in today's fast-paced world.

It looks brilliant on paper — from a safe distance — but I wanted to know what it's really like to make a lifestyle change of this magnitude. So I moved into a van. Specifically, a taxicab converted into a "rolling room," which I found on Airbnb for $50 a night ($39 plus the cleaning and service fees).

I only spent two nights "living tiny" before I happily moved back into my overpriced Manhattan apartment — but two nights was more than enough time to answer all of my questions.

Here's how it went and what I learned:

SEE ALSO: From living in a van to commuting 700 miles: 12 people who go to extreme measures to save money on housing

I knew that my level of preparation could make or break the experience, so I packed diligently — yet lightly. I made sure that each item I brought would serve a specific purpose. Among the things that made the cut were: work clothes, a few toiletries, two washcloths, an extra blanket, portable speakers, a laptop, a book, and melatonin to help me sleep.

Two last-minute additions — toilet paper and hand sanitizer — were game-changers. We (I brought my roommate along) also bought two bottles of water on the way, which we figured we would use to brush our teeth and wash our faces.

We made the easy commute from Manhattan to Long Island City, Queens, where we found our home for the next two nights parked on this dead-end street.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

I hiked one of the most beautiful trails in Italy — here's what I wish I had known going in


Cinque Terre

There's no debating it. The Cinque Terre in Italy is breathtaking.

What you won't see when you're looking at the picturesque photos on social media is the out-of-breath photographer behind the lens.

Trust me, there's no way after hours of hiking that anyone would look anywhere near as glamorous as the views ahead.

The experience, however, was absolutely worth the hike. In total, I hiked almost 4.5 miles of uphill terrain and my phone tracked 119 flights climbed. Needless to say, I got my steps in for the day.

This was a few weeks ago. It was my first time exploring the cliff towns along Italy's west coast. After learning the proper pronunciation (think cheenkwah-terrah) and discovering it's English translation ("cinque"-five, "terre"-lands), I was ready to take to the trail.

I'll admit — my previous hiking experience was limited. And while I can't compare hiking the Cinque Terre with hiking Everest, I did learn a few tips that should benefit visitors of all experience levels.

SEE ALSO: 25 of the most confusing food terms, defined

DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's Lifestyle page on Facebook!

1. Make sure the trails are open

When I was there, two of the five legs were closed for preservation efforts. The 14th-century fishing towns are being overrun with tourists, as it's becoming a popular cruise destination. Check in with the websiteto see which trails will be open for your trip

2. Purchase a hiking pass

Whether you take the red or blue trail, you'll need a pass to hike from town to town. For 16 euros, you can pick up an all-day hiking pass at any of the town visitor centers. People are stationed throughout the trails to check the pass, so be sure to keep it with you. Don't forget to validate it at one of the nearby machines.

3. Know where you are going

With two of the trail legs closed, I was determined to see the three open towns. The question was— what order should I see them? I figured it was best to consult an expert, so I turned toRick Steves to see where I should begin.

He recommends starting at the southern-most town and working your way north. I worked my way up the coast, starting at Corniglia, then to Vernazza, and, finally, to Monterosso. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

7 ways to look like a millionaire, even if you're not


Regardless of how much you make, it's easy to project an air of power and confidence commonly associated with the wealthy — as long as you focus on the right things. Sylvie di Giusto worked in human resources for more than 20 years before becoming an image consultant in 2009.

Her company, Executive Image Consulting, has worked with executives looking to improve how they present themselves and professionals looking to rise in the corporate hierarchy. She also gives dress-code consulting to corporations, which have included McKinsey, BMW, and Thomas Cook, according to her website.

With inspiration from Vicky Oliver's book, "The Millionaire's Handbook: How to Look and Act Like a Millionaire, Even If You're Not," we asked Di Giusto how anyone could look like a millionaire, regardless of their net worth.

Here's what she said, with some of Oliver's advice:

BI_Graphics_How to look like a millionaire, even if you're not_2016

SEE ALSO: A woman who studied nearly 200 self-made millionaires found 6 positive attitudes they have toward work and life

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Jennifer Lawrence has one thing in common with the self-made millionaire she plays in her new movie

The insanely popular ‘sushi burrito’ is delicious — but it has one downside

A psychologist reveals why you shouldn't buy your dad a Father's Day gift


Father's Day is this Sunday and many people will be scrambling over the next 48 hours to get something for their dad. Performance psychologist Dr. Jonathan Fader thinks those people are going about it all wrong. 

Fader, author of the new book "Life as Sport: What Top Athletes Can Teach You About How to Win in Life," talked to Business Insider about why buying a conventional Father's Day gift may not be the most genuine gesture you can make to honor your dad.

Produced by Graham Flanagan

Join the conversation about this story »

Why employee-owned New Belgium Brewing gives workers bikes, travel vouchers, and paid sabbaticals on their work anniversaries


New Belgium Brewing Company employees 2013

Fort Collins, Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing Co. is one of the largest craft breweries in the country. Last year, it produced 914,063 barrels and brought in $225 million in annual revenue.

If you ask Kim Jordan, the company's cofounder, former CEO, and current executive chair of the board, a key component to New Belgium's success has been the talented employees it's been able to attract and retain — which is part of the reason why workers now own the entire company and workplace anniversaries are celebrated lavishly.

Jordan — No. 13 on the BI 100: The Creators — began formally awarding stock to employees in 1995 after reading "The Great Game of Business," a book by management expert Jack Stack. She was inspired by Stack's urge to apply open-book management, the practice of full financial and business transparency within the company.

"The inclination to have as flat a hierarchy as we could manage and a really trusting, transparent, engaged group of coworkers was really important to me," Jordan told Business Insider in a recent interview.

By 2000, New Belgium officially transitioned to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), a type of retirement plan that awards employees stock in the company to be distributed upon their exit. In January 2013, Jordan announced to more than 450 thrilled employees at the company's biannual retreat that she sold her remaining 59% stake to the ESOP. New employees are now awarded stock upon their one-year anniversary at New Belgium.

Kim Jordan New Belgium Brewing Company

The sale codified Jordan's commitment to the well-being of her employees. Unlike other iconic craft breweries like Dogfish Head and Lagunitas, which have sold stakes to outside investors, Jordan's sale to the ESOP represents a conscious effort to fight the wealth gap, avoid cuts and layoffsa buyer might have demanded, and keep her employees involved in the future of the company.

Jordan called the practice of broadly shared equity "a form of honoring human capital and its contribution to a vibrant business milieu."

Another way New Belgium honors human capital is through generous benefits. The company has a 93% retention rate and cheerily celebrates coworkers' anniversaries at the company.

For instance, employees receive a branded fat-tire cruiser bike — a tradition started in 1999 as a nod to the brewery's flagship beer— at year one, a one-week trip to Belgium at year five, a $1,000 travel voucher at year 15, and a four-week paid sabbatical at years 10, 20, and 30.

"Our purpose, the thing that guides us over the longest term, that we never really fully achieve, is to make our love and talent manifest," Jordan said. "It's not just about making sure people get lots of perks, it's about building a community."

SEE ALSO: How New Belgium became the most employee-friendly US craft brewery

DON'T MISS: Meet the top 100 business visionaries creating value for the world

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: At Sam Adams, it’s OK to tell your boss ‘f--- you’

6 ways American fathers are doing better than their dads before them



It might be time to give your dad some credit.

Because, according to a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center, chances are he's doing a pretty good job.

While experiences and cultural standards about fatherhood vary, it's still one of the hardest jobs a man can have in his lifetime. 

The traditional American family is changing in surprising ways, and the role of the modern father is evolving as well. Today, dads are more involved, more engaged, and less concerned about the "Brady Bunch"-style vision of the American dad.

In honor of Father's Day, here are 6 ways that fathers have been stepping it up in America in big ways.

They spend more time with their kids, but still say it's not enough

According to the report, 46% of fathers say they spend more time with their kids than their parents did with them. That means that just one generation of fatherhood has drastically changed the amount of engagement between father and child.

And 48% of fathers in the study still thought they didn't spend enough time with their kids in general, suggesting they are more concerned with fostering a healthy relationship through bonding time and shared interests, apparently even enjoying shopping together.

They are more concerned about work-life balance

Many working fathers feel the struggle of balancing work and parenting, with 52% of fathers saying it's a challenge to juggle the responsibilities of work and family and 29% saying they always feel rushed to fit it all in. In 1977, only 35% of fathers reported having problems balancing work and family.  

It's still relatively new for companies to offer decent parental leave for fathers after becoming parents, but some companies are leading the way in providing new dads with some quality time with their newborns. 


They aren't always the sole breadwinner anymore

About two-thirds of households today are dual-earner families. In 1970, there were about 25% less than that. Having two income earners has allowed parents to more comfortably split their time raising their children and working, allowing dads to spend more time with their kids than 50 years ago.  

The percentage of working mothers has steadily risen in the past 10 years, challenging the idea that women should stay home and men should be the primary breadwinner. The American Psychological Association found that two-income families can be happier and healthier due to a more balanced lifestyle.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

I fed myself on $2 a day for a month — here are my 9 best tips for making it work



It turns out that eating on $2 a day is more than possible.

I know because I tried it in January. I was inspired by a young Elon Musk, who challenged himself to a minimal food budget as a teenager to see if he had what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

I don't recommend this tedious lifestyle if you can help it (and neither does Musk), but if you decide to take the "Elon Musk challenge" — or if you're looking to lower your monthly grocery bill — here are my nine best tips.

SEE ALSO: I took the 'Elon Musk Challenge' and spent only $2 a day on food for a month — and it was easier than I expected

1. Where you shop matters.

Luxury or organic grocery stores are out of the question — that's obvious. I also learned to stay away from certain, major supermarket chains. During week one, I popped into Gristedes and Food Emporium to do a bit of price comparison. While I didn't look at many products, there seemed to be enough of a price discrepancy between them and my go-to spot: the famously affordable Trader Joe's. Pasta, for example, cost about $1.60 at Gristedes (compared to $.99 at Trader Joe's) — and with a $2-a-day budget, every cent matters.

If you have an accessible Aldi, that chain tends to be even cheaper than Trader Joe's. Also, if I were to do it all over, I would've looked for steals at local markets, which I've heard have unbeatable prices.

2. Use cash.

When you have to stick to a tight budget, ditching your plastic cards for cash can make a world of difference. For one, you get a better idea of exactly how much money you're spending and how much you have remaining in your budget. Plus, there's something about physically handing over bills — watching your money disappear right before your eyes — that causes you to value it more.

At the start of January, I set aside exactly $62 in cash. After every trip to the grocery store, I would count my bills and ensure I was at (or below) my budget. The strategy worked — at the end of the month, I even had $1.07 to spare.

3. Stick to the basics.

Don't expect to whip up complex (or savory) meals. Pasta will quite literally mean plain pasta and oatmeal will quite literally mean plain oats. If you want enough calories to subsist on, flavor enhancers probably won't fit in the budget, so you might as well accept that everything is going to be considerably bland. 

That being said, I did splurge on a $2.99 package of butter. A serving of butter (1 tablespoon) ended up costing just $0.10 and the package lasted the entire month. Plus, it provided a few more calories to my day-to-day diet.

If you're going to make room in the budget for a flavor enhancer, and you'll probably want to, choose something versatile — like butter or salt — that can be used on multiple foods.

4. Don't divide your dollars by days.

I took a big picture approach to the challenge, thinking about how much money I had to spend for the entire month, rather than on a day-by-day basis. It's important to buy for value, which often means buying in bulk, so sometimes I would spend $8 at the grocery store for supplies that would last several days — other days, I spent nothing.

Of course, if you take the big picture approach, you have to be diligent about tracking exactly how much you're spending to ensure you don't run out of money down the road.

5. Accept that you'll be eating the same thing over and over again.

I purchased only nine items during the month-long challenge, which I ate repeatedly. I probably could have switched things up a bit more than I chose to, but the point is, there isn't a huge selection of dirt cheap food products that I wanted to eat.

While I predicted the monotony of eating the same things day after day would wear on me, it never did. One of the reasons I didn't get tired of my staples was because I allowed myself the occasional "luxury item": a sweet potato or egg. Not only did this strategy offer relief from pasta and oats, but it also put luxury into perspective — I've never appreciated something as simple as a baked sweet potato to the degree that I did last month.

6. Buy food you won't get tired of.

If you're going to be eating the same things day in and day out, you have to like what you're eating. I learned this the hard way during the food-stamp challenge. Everyone told me to buy beans — they're cheap and nutritious — but I hate beans, so much that I refused to touch one of the cans I bought, despite dealing with hunger pains and fatigue for most of the week.

I'm don't recommend you buy sirloin steak for the month — you still have to be smart about what you buy — but don't fall into the trap of buying just for the cheap price tag.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Viewing all 58544 articles
Browse latest View live

Latest Images