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Oct. 30 2016 8:29 AM

Some MLB Owners Are Laying Down Serious Cash This Campaign Cycle

This post originally appeared on Business Insider.

Major League Baseball owners have made nearly $3 million in political contributions during the 2016 campaign cycle—and a handful have accounted for nearly all of that total. According to a new study from the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, no ownership group is more politically engaged at the donor level than the Ricketts family, who happen to own the Chicago Cubs—currently battling the Cleveland Indians for the World Series title.

And the family—which has a member, Peter Ricketts, serving as the Republican governor of Nebraska—has a huge ideological divide.

Oct. 29 2016 8:21 AM

The U.S. Military Sure Loves Jack Daniel’s

According to Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Jeff Arnett, the U.S. military buys the most of the brand’s premium Single Barrel whiskey in the world.

The price tag for an entire barrel of this whiskey, approximately 250 bottles, swings from $9,000 to $12,000 since no two whiskey barrels have the same volume. Single Barrel whiskey was first sold in 1997 and was such a success that the distillery created the “By the Barrel” program a year later.

“Over the entire span of when the program has existed, the U.S. military is the largest purchaser. It has been represented by base exchanges, individual units, as well as other on-base military entities like officers’ clubs,” Arnett told Business Insider.

Oct. 28 2016 12:41 PM

The NFL’s Ratings Are Down. Are Sales of Pizza and Wings Dropping, Too?

This post originally appeared on Business Insider.

NFL viewership is falling, and restaurant chains like Buffalo Wild Wings and Papa John's should be worried.

Pro-football viewership is down 11% this year. Viewership is down by double-digit percentages for all of the NFL's prime-time spots, consisting of football on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday nights, according to Sports Illustrated.

For chains that rely on football fans either watching games in their restaurants or ordering takeout to watch at home, this decline could mean a slump in sales.

Oct. 26 2016 4:53 PM

Chipotle Gave Up on Its Southeast Asian Chain. Will Its New Burger Chain Boost Its Struggling Business?

This post originally appeared on Business Insider.

One day after reporting disappointing quarterly sales, Chipotle announced that it was a day away from opening the first location of its new burger concept, Tasty Made.

The new eatery will open in Lancaster, Ohio, on Thursday, Oct. 27, Chipotle said in a statement. It will serve just four items: burgers, fries, shakes, and sodas.

"We bring Chipotle’s commitment to better quality ingredients, a focused menu, fast service and customized orders to Tasty Made," Steve Ells, founder and co-CEO of Chipotle, said in a statement.

The location attempts to capture the speed of the fast-food industry, while following in the footsteps of other better-burger concepts like Shake Shack and Smashburger. Burgers will be grilled-to-order and never frozen, and made with beef raised without antibiotics or added hormones.

"Each order is sent to an advanced queuing system that uses heads-up visual cues so that the team can cook and serve the food very quickly," said Ells. "This is in stark contrast to typical fast food burger chains where frozen burger patties are usually cooked ahead of time and held until later, at which time they are assembled."

Here's what appears to be a photo of a meal at Tasty Made. The cup resembles the cups served at Chipotle restaurants.

#cheatday #tastymade

A photo posted by Hondre Dawan McNeil (@martian_status) on

While Chipotle has not yet revealed photos of the new location, people in Lancaster have tracked its building progress on social media:

All finished with the concrete in front. Looks amazing! #concretepros #tastymade #itsalmosttime

A photo posted by Chase (@cbutcher06) on

Photos reveal a restaurant styled similar to an old-school fast-food joint, complete with a drive-thru.

Here it is! #tastymade #comingsoon #oct27th #lancasterohio

A photo posted by Chase (@cbutcher06) on

"Early fast food burger restaurants generally had focused menus," Chipotle founder Steve Ells said in July. "We think there’s great strength in that original fast food model and wanted to create a restaurant built around that. Making only burgers, fries and shakes with really great ingredients, we think we can appeal to peoples’ timeless love of burgers, but in a way that is consistent with our long-term vision."

On Tuesday, Chipotle reported that it will not invest further in growing and developing its Asian restaurant chain ShopHouse. Instead, the company is doubling down on Tasty Made and its build-your-own-pizza concept Pizzeria Locale.

Chipotle is looking for new concepts to boost sales as the chain continues to deal with the consequences of an E. coli outbreak that affected restaurants in 14 states one year ago. In the third quarter, sales at stores open at least a year dropped 21.9%, the company said Tuesday.

Oct. 21 2016 1:40 PM

Dunkin’ Donuts Says the Election Is Hurtin’ Its Sales

This post originally appeared on Business Insider. 

Throughout this earnings season, many companies will pin a number of shortcomings or forecasts about the presidential election.

Dunkin' Brands was among the companies to do so on Thursday. The retailer reported profits and US same-store sales that were higher than analysts had expected.

However, revenue missed expectations.

According to the company's management, uncertainty over the US presidential election is weighing on consumers and franchisees.

Oct. 19 2016 1:59 PM

You Can Now “Endorse” a Presidential Candidate on Facebook

This post originally appeared on Business Insider.

You may already "like" a 2016 presidential candidate's page on Facebook, but the social network is now letting you go a step further by outright endorsing them to your friends.

“Similar to how politicians, newspapers, and organizations endorse candidates for elected office, this feature allows anyone on Facebook to do the same," Facebook’s product manager for civic engagement Samidh Chakrabart told Business Insider in a statement on Tuesday. "People who want to voice their support can visit a candidate’s Page, click on the endorsements tab, and explain their rationale for choosing that candidate.”

Oct. 17 2016 12:29 PM

For Once, Christmas Shopping Is Not Starting Earlier This Year

This post originally appeared on Business Insider. 

Retailers have officially lost the so-called war on Thanksgiving.

An increasing number of retailers are closing on Thanksgiving Day this year in response to backlash against the trend of starting Black Friday sales a day early.

CBL & Associates, the operator of 89 regional malls and shopping centers, announced it would close 73 of its locations on Thanksgiving Day and not open until 6 a.m. on Black Friday, CNBC reported. Last year, the mall operator opened at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Oct. 12 2016 11:33 AM

Ronald McDonald Cuts Back on Public Appearances Amid Wave of Creepy Clown Fears

This post originally appeared in Business Insider.

McDonald's is hiding its famous mascot, Ronald McDonald, in the midst of a wave of scary clown sightings across the US.

The company said Tuesday that it's "mindful" of the clown sightings and it's paring back Ronald McDonald's public appearances as a result.

Oct. 7 2016 12:49 PM

Why a Lawsuit Says Naked Juice’s Labels Are Misleading—and How the Company Is Pushing Back

This post originally appeared in Business Insider. 

PepsiCo is hitting back on a lawsuit filed against the company's Naked Juice brand, saying claims by the consumer-advocacy group Public Interest are "baseless."

"I feel confident that consumers have the clear information on our labels and the way that we've designed them to understand and make the choices that they need to make," Naked Juice's general manager Andrea Theodore told Business Insider. "I do not feel at this time that this lawsuit is causing us to rethink we need to do something different here."

Oct. 5 2016 1:35 PM

Consumers Are Ditching Their Cable Packages. These Channels Are the Biggest Losers.

This post originally appeared in Business Insider.

Cable TV companies could lose nearly $1 billion to people cutting the cord over the next year, but some channels will be hit harder than others.

Earlier this year, analysts at Barclays argued that channels you watch when you're feeling lazy, "inertia channels," will have a tough time competing moving forward. Others, like BTIG's Rich Greenfield, have questioned the value of ESPN.

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