Archive for Fatma Khaled

Eleven Madison Park launches a food truck to serve underprivileged New Yorkers

GettyImages 162809853
  • The Eleven Madison Truck will feed communities in food-insecure districts in the Bronx and Brooklyn.
  • In collaboration with Rethink Food, Eleven Madison Park will offer 2,000 free meals per week.
  • The truck will offer meals that the restaurant provided to first responders during the pandemic, Bloomberg reported.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Staff of New York's famed Eleven Madison Park restaurant will operate a food truck to feed underserved communities starting April 12.

The thrice Michelin-starred dining restaurant will provide 2,000 free meals per week, it said Friday, as an ongoing collaboration with the nonprofit Rethink Food to feed food-insecure districts in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Rethink Food is a New York-based non-profit that was co-founded by Eleven Madison Park's co-owner and Michelin-starred chef Daniel Humm.

"The Eleven Madison Truck offers a mobile extension of the restaurant's commissary kitchen, distributing meals made with the same produce and ingredients utilized at the restaurant on-site in an effort to reduce food insecurity in the communities that need it most," the restaurant said.

The truck will offer meals that the restaurant has been providing to first responders and soup kitchens during the pandemic. These meals include jerk chicken with roasted vegetables and grain bowls, Bloomberg first reported on Friday.

"We had been brainstorming different ways to make the restaurant part of the community and get staff engaged beyond making meals and pushing them out of the door, and then Daniel called me and was, like, 'Let's do a food truck," co-founder and chief executive officer of Rethink Matt Jozwiak told Bloomberg.

Eleven Madison Park will prepare the meals from its leftover ingredients and donated products. The restaurant will also prioritize working with suppliers who support the program, according to Bloomberg.

"We're going to ask them to give us some product for free for Rethink, we'll select our suppliers based on that," Humm told Bloomberg.

Operating the truck will cost around $16,000 per month without the food, according to Bloomberg.

These costs will be partially covered by the Eleven Madison Park diners. For every $275 home-dinner meal kit bought from the fine-dining restaurant, the Eleven Madison Truck will offer 10 free meals, according to the statement.

More donations will go to the truck once the restaurant reopens for indoor dining later in 2021, Eleven Madison Park added.

The restaurant closed its doors in March 2020 when the pandemic hit the country and COVID-19 cases surged. In response to the pandemic, Jozwiak agreed with Humm to use Eleven Madison Park's kitchen as a commissary kitchen with the goal to prepare 250,000 meals throughout COVID-19.

Jozwiak, who is also a former cook at the restaurant, previously said in a blog post that Rethink prepares food for 12 community centers in New York.

Rethink Food alongside Humm and his staff served up to 3,000 meals a day for frontline workers and underserved communities in New York, Insider previously reported.

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Apple removes Siri’s female voice as its default and adds two new voices

Apple Watch Siri
  • Apple added two new Siri voices removing Siri's female voice as its default, TechCrunch reported.
  • This comes as part of Apple's commitment to diversity and inclusion, according to TechCrunch.
  • The UN previously criticized Apple, Google, and Amazon, for setting their virtual assistants to female voices.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Apple's voice assisitant Siri will no longer default to a female voice, TechCrunch reported on Wednesday.

The tech giant added two new Siri voices to its English offerings that users can select from as they set up the virtual assistant as part of the release of iOS 14.5 beta 6, according to TechCrunch.

Siri currently defaults to a female voice in the US and a male voice in the UK, according to CNN. It also comes in six different accents: American, Indian, British, South African, Irish, and Australian.

"This is a continuation of Apple's long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, and products and services that are designed to better reflect the diversity of the world we live in," a statement from Apple cited by TechCrunch read.

Apple didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comments.

Here is what the newly added voices will sound like:

A UN study criticized defaulting the voices of virtual assistant, like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, to female voices. The 2019 study said it promoted "harmful gender biases" and perpetuated the bias that women are there to be "assistants."

Apple owners using Siri can control their devices per a growing list of commands and supports 21 languages, according to TechCrunch.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Macy’s CEO: COVID-19 vaccines and stimulus checks have been good for business

Macy's
  • Macy's reached seven million new customers in its fourth quarter, CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC.
  • Macy's saw more demand for luggage and swimsuits, he said.
  • The retailer wants to increase its online sales to $10 billion over the next three years.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and stimulus checks have been positive developments for Macy's, CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC on Tuesday.

"When we all look at what happened with the stimulus package, you know that's been an accelerant to our business," Gennette said on CNBC's Mad Money. "It's a big difference from where we were in the fourth quarter and in 2020."

Last week, the Treasury Department, IRS, and Bureau of Fiscal Service said it had sent out 127 million of the $1,400 stimulus checks meant to support the economy amid the pandemic downturn.

Macy's has also been benefiting from the boom in online shopping during the pandemic. Online sales rose 54% in February compared to a year earlier, Linda Kirkpatrick, president of North America at Mastercard, previously told CNBC.

Online sales for clothing now account for around three-fourths of all clothing purchases in the US, increasing 47% from a year ago, she said.

Meantime, the number of Americans vaccinated for the coronavirus has been steadily rising.

"That's clearly the vaccine starting to take root, we're still taking a conservative view to this year. We're more conservative in the front half than the back half, but it's positive momentum that we're bringing into this quarter with us," Gennette told CNBC.

Macy's reached seven million new customers during its fourth-quarter ending January 30, including four million online buyers, according to Gennette. Online shoppers spent 8% more on products compared to a year ago, he added.

Gennette said that some product categories gained more demand, including luggage as people start to travel again. He also said swimsuits are Macy's "best trending" category now and that the prom dress business is getting "much better".

Macy's online sales rose by 21% in 2020 from 2019 and is set to increase to $10 billion over the next three years, Gennette previously said in a earnings report.

Macy's said last month that around 25% of its digital sales in its fourth-quarter came from stores, including curbside pickup and same-day delivery.

Brick-and-mortar stores were struggling before COVID-19 hit last year as shoppers were searching for a unique online retail experience.

In January, Macy's said that it would close 45 locations this year as part of a plan announced in 2020 to shutter 125 stores by 2023, Insider previously reported.

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Florida threatened to sue the federal government over the idling of the cruise industry

Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday put forth new legislation aimed at protesters.
  • Florida's governor said the state could sue the federal government if the CDC doesn't soon allow the US cruise industry to restart.
  • The US cruise industry has remained idled even as coronavirus vaccinations and testing pick up steam.
  • US cruises are not expected to sail until May at the earliest.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and state Attorney General Ashley Moody said they would consider filing a lawsuit against the federal government over its ongoing restriction on the cruise industry.

During a roundtable discussion with cruise industry executives on Friday, Moody said the state was weighing its legal options against the Biden Administration and the US Centers for Disease Control for keeping the cruise industry idled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In October, the CDC announced a new framework for sailing that requires cruises to have onboard testing and carry out mock voyages and many other requirements before they are allowed to restart in US ports. The industry was shut down a year ago after several coronavirus outbreaks erupted on cruise ships.

"You can't have an agency shutting down an entire industry based on outdated arbitrary capricious decisions and so we will take all legal action as necessary," Moody said.

The roundtable discussion included CEOs from Norwegian, Carnival, MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Disney Cruise Line, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

DeSantis, a Republican who reopened all businesses and eliminated fines for people refusing to wear masks as COVID-19 ripped through the state last year, said the cruise industry had been idled for too long.

"If you're not going to be willing to greenlight this, then you need to explain why everywhere else in the world can do it," DeSantis said during the discussion. "Is it okay for the government to just idle an industry for a year, with no end in sight? I mean, this was never legislated by anybody."

The US cruise industry has remained idled even as vaccinations and testing pick up steam. Cruise lines in other countries have resumed trips and industry advocates say cruising doesn't pose a greater risk of transmitting the coronavirus than flying.

A statement by the Florida governor's office on Friday said the US government failed to provide relief funding to seaports "while airports and transit agencies have received assistance through relief packages."

US cruises are not expected to sail until May at the earliest. Royal Caribbean Cruises President and CEO Michael Bayley called the situation"devastating," according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Florida is home to some of the world's busiest ports including Miami, Port Canaveral near Kennedy Space Center, and Port Everglades near Fort Lauderdale.

Through August 2020, Florida lost around $2.3 billion in wages and 49,500 jobs because of the cruise industry shut down due to the pandemic, according to a September 2020 report by the Federal Maritime Commission.

"We're the most crippled by what they're doing with this national cruise lockdown, and so we get liberated from that, you're going to be able to see maybe tens of thousands, maybe even 100,000 more people going back to work," DeSantis said.

The CDC did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

According to the Associated Press, some experts say it's still too early for cruise ships to operate again because of the close quarters on the vessels and other potential issues.

The cargo and cruise operations at Florida's Jacksonville seaport generate around 139,300 jobs in Florida and more than $31.1 billion in annual economic impact, said JAXPORT CEO Eric Green in a statement this month.

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A year after closing amid the pandemic, Disneyland plans to expand with new rides, restaurants, and entertainment

disneyland covid
Visitors take selfies in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle during the last day before Disneyland closes because of COVID-19 in Anaheim, California on March 13, 2020.
  • "DisneylandForward" is a multi-year planning effort that will lead to an expansion, a spokesperson told Insider.
  • The expansion might include themed lands based on Disney movies such as "Tangled" and "Peter Pan."
  • Disney first needs to receive an updated development approval from the city of Anaheim to expand the resort.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Disney is planning to expand its California theme park with new rides, restaurants, and attractions - but to do that it says it needs the city of Anaheim to agree to redraft decades-old planning restrictions.

The multiyear expansion, called "DisneylandForward," was revealed Thursday. The plan is light on details or timings, but could include themed elements based on hit Walt Disney movies like "Tangled," "Frozen," and "Peter Pan," a Disney spokesperson told Insider.

Plans for expanding the 500-acre resort in Southern California come a year after Disneyland was shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. "It's hard to believe it's been an entire year since the Disneyland Resort closed its park gates to guests," said a website dedicated to the expansion. "We've taken this time to look forward," the company said.

The naiscent plans could include new theme-park attractions, dining, and retail and hotel space, the company said. The expansion will be paid for privately and Disney will not seek any public funding, the Disneyland Forward website said. Disney also does not intend to request more square footage for hotel rooms.

Before the project can move forward, Anaheim city officials must agree to update planning restrictions from the 1990s meant to guide the growth of the Disneyland resort and surrounding businesses.

"With bold planning and leadership, Disneyland Resort could be poised to grow again, bringing jobs and new lands and adventures to Anaheim," says a website dedicated to the project.

The city's mayor had a warm response to the plan, Deadline reported. "I welcome fresh thinking about how the Disneyland Resort evolves and how we best maximize this resource for our city," Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu said in a statement to the news site.

Disney submitted the proposal to the Anaheim City Council on Thursday and the planning and approval process with the city and local community is expected to be completed by 2023, Disney spokesperson told Insider.

Disney said last week that it will reopen Disneyland Resort theme parks - Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park - on April 30 with limited capacity.

The reopening comes with a new theme-park-reservation system that requires visitors to reserve their spot prior to park entry. Reservations are limited because of state COVID-19 guidelines and only California residents may visit the parks for the time being.

Over 10,000 furloughed employees will be be called back to work with the park's reopening, according to Disney CEO Bob Chapek.

Disney World park has been open since July in Florida, where COVID-19 related restrictions are looser, but attendance was lower than expected compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to data published by Deutsche Bank in August.

The company struggled with the financial impact caused by the pandemic. Disney lost $2.4 billion in income in the fourth quarter of 2020 because of park closures.

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Chipotle invests in self-driving startup Nuro

nuro r2
  • The investment was part of Nuro's Series C funding round.
  • This is the first "significant" investment that Chipotle made in a third-party technology since 2018, the company said.
  • Chipotle's digital business rose 174% in 2020, almost half of which came from delivery, the company said.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Chipotle has invested in the autonomous delivery company Nuro as part of the startup's latest funding round, the company said on Thursday.

SoftBank-backed Nuro raised $500 million as part of the Series C funding round.

It is unclear if Chipotle will use Nuro for its own deliveries. Chipotle didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment and Nuro didn't disclose the terms of the investment when asked for details.

"Early investments in digital innovation have provided a competitive advantage operationally with digital kitchens and the brand's Chipotlanes," the company said in a statement. "Now the organization is exploring disruptive opportunities outside of traditional third-party partnerships."

The deal marks the first "significant" investment that the food chain restaurant made in a third-party technology company since Brian Niccol became CEO in 2018, the company added.

"Nuro could change the traditional delivery model and we believe consumers are going to continue to seek options and additional access points for how and where they enjoy their food," said Curt Garner, Chief Technology Officer at Chipotle.

Nuro uses driverless on-road robotic cars to deliver products to consumers. In December, the startup received a commercial permit for autonomous delivery of food, groceries, and medicine in California.

"With financial and strategic support from world-class companies like Chipotle, we can continue to advance our industry-leading autonomous technology, grow our team and expand our delivery service," said Dave Ferguson, Nuro Co-founder and President in the statement on Thursday.

The autonomous delivery startup has previously partnered with a number of retailers and restaurants for deliveries including Kroger, Walmart, Domino's Pizza, and CVS.

Chipotle highlighted the importance of delivery to digital sales. The restaurant said on Thursday that its digital business increased 174% year over year in 2020, almost half of which came from delivery.

Chipotle has been looking for ways to expand its footprint in digital innovation. Earlier this month, Chipotle added a new customizable quesadilla to its menu that customers can order online only.

Chipotle's digital orders made up 46.2% of its sales in 2020. The company posted $2.8 billion in digital sales last year.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Pepsi will release a mango-flavored soda next week, its first permanent flavor launch in five years

Pepsi Mango 1
Pepsi Mango
  • Pepsi Mango is the company's first permanent flavor launch in five years.
  • Pepsi is promoting the new flavor through a national TV commercial with singer Jason Derulo.
  • Pepsi Mango will be sold nationwide as a regular and a zero-sugar drink.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

For the first time in five years, Pepsi is unveiling a new, permanent soda flavor.

Pepsi Mango will roll out nationwide on Monday, March 22, the soda company said Thursday. Pepsi will be launching both a zero sugar and regular version of the new drink, the company said in a press release.

The soda brand is promoting the new flavor through a national TV commercial "Take You Dancing," by singer Jason Derulo.

Pepsi Mango 2
Pepsi Mango

"Our team has created a surprisingly perfect match with Pepsi Mango, combining the delicious taste of Pepsi cola with the flavor of a sweet, juicy mango," Todd Kaplan, Vice President of Marketing at Pepsi, said in the statement.

Pepsi said that it is expecting revenue to increase in 2021 as COVID-19 restrictions lift while vaccines roll out. Sales of comforting food, like soda and snacks, have been strong during pandemic lockdowns. The company posted a revenue increase of 8.8% to $22.46 billion in the fourth quarter ending December 26.

Earlier this month, Pepsi launched a line of cocktail mixers called Neon Zebra, as trends continue to show more consumers drinking at home. The product's launch also signals that Pepsi is taking a different approach in appealing to consumers who are seeking alcoholic alternatives to beer and wine.

As per its Pepsi Mango promotion, Pepsi will launch a new campaign in April to help single people find their match by turning its advertising inventory on select social media platforms into real dating ads, the company said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Krispy Kreme launches a collection of St. Patrick’s Day-themed doughnuts to woo customers

Krispy Kreme New York Flagship Store 2
  • The Luck O' The Doughnuts are available now through St. Patrick's Day.
  • The four flavors include Lucky Unicorn, Lucky Leprechaun, Lucky Gold Coins, and Lucky Sprinkles.
  • Krispy Kreme will give away a free doughnut for those wearing green on March 16 and March 17.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Krispy Kreme has released St. Patrick's Day-themed doughnuts, the company's latest holiday-themed food product to attract customers.

The Luck O' The Doughnuts offer includes four different filled doughnut icings, including Lucky Unicorn, Lucky Leprechaun, Lucky Gold Coins, and Lucky Sprinkles.

The promotion, which runs through March 17, is valid for shops located in New York, New Jersey, and Canada.

The doughnut company also said on its website that it will give away free green O'riginal Glazed doughnut for those wearing green on March 16 and March 17, according to its website.

Like many food shops that struggled to keep their businesses running during the pandemic as more people stayed at home and less foot-traffic became the norm, Krispy Kreme focused on takeout and delivery options. Many options centered around holiday-themed doughnuts.

Last month, Krispy Kreme created "Dough-Notes" a custom Valentine's Day box in the shape of a post-marked letter that consisted of 12 heart-shaped doughnuts that came in four flavors.

By using Krispy Kreme's new gift delivery option, customers were able to order the Dough-Notes online and add a custom note with the order to be delivered to their Valentines.

"Valentine's Day marks another holiday that many of us will be spending apart from our loved ones, but we still want to show people how much they mean to us," said Krispy Kreme Chief Marketing Officer Dave Skena in a statement.

The doughnut company worked with DoorDash to carry out contactless deliveries from its own website, Insider previously reported.

A year into the pandemic, restaurants and food shops are rethinking the way they connect with customers who ditched in-door dining or in-store shopping.

Some restaurants have expanded their digital presence through unique partnerships. For example, a Los Angeles-based restaurant Sweetfin partnered with TikTok and Postmates to promote some food items that were viral on TikTok.

"Postmates and TikTok decided which merchants they wanted to develop a custom product for the collaboration, based on food trends that were taking place on the TikTok app," Seth Cohen, the cofounder of Sweetfin, told Insider. "It was also important to both TikTok and Postmates to work with brands that were culturally relevant and appealed to a younger demographic."

Data suggests that the demand for takeout and delivery from restaurants will remain throughout 2021, and restaurants will continue to rely on them for revenue growth, according to finance-services company Rewards Network.

Rewards Network conducted a survey that polled 432 people -- both restaurant owners and operators -- about industry trends that will change during the pandemic.

To diversify sources of revenue, 31% of respondents said that they will invest in delivery services and/or technology, while 42% said that they already launched those options to boost revenue when in-dining closed.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Krispy Kreme launches a collection of St. Patrick’s Day-themed doughnuts to woo customers

Krispy Kreme New York Flagship Store 2
  • The Luck O' The Doughnuts are available now through St. Patrick's Day.
  • The four flavors include Lucky Unicorn, Lucky Leprechaun, Lucky Gold Coins, and Lucky Sprinkles.
  • Krispy Kreme will give away a free doughnut for those wearing green on March 16 and March 17.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Krispy Kreme has released St. Patrick's Day-themed doughnuts, the company's latest holiday-themed food product to attract customers.

The Luck O' The Doughnuts offer includes four different filled doughnut icings, including Lucky Unicorn, Lucky Leprechaun, Lucky Gold Coins, and Lucky Sprinkles.

The promotion, which runs through March 17, is valid for shops located in New York, New Jersey, and Canada.

The doughnut company also said on its website that it will give away free green O'riginal Glazed doughnut for those wearing green on March 16 and March 17, according to its website.

Like many food shops that struggled to keep their businesses running during the pandemic as more people stayed at home and less foot-traffic became the norm, Krispy Kreme focused on takeout and delivery options. Many options centered around holiday-themed doughnuts.

Last month, Krispy Kreme created "Dough-Notes" a custom Valentine's Day box in the shape of a post-marked letter that consisted of 12 heart-shaped doughnuts that came in four flavors.

By using Krispy Kreme's new gift delivery option, customers were able to order the Dough-Notes online and add a custom note with the order to be delivered to their Valentines.

"Valentine's Day marks another holiday that many of us will be spending apart from our loved ones, but we still want to show people how much they mean to us," said Krispy Kreme Chief Marketing Officer Dave Skena in a statement.

The doughnut company worked with DoorDash to carry out contactless deliveries from its own website, Insider previously reported.

A year into the pandemic, restaurants and food shops are rethinking the way they connect with customers who ditched in-door dining or in-store shopping.

Some restaurants have expanded their digital presence through unique partnerships. For example, a Los Angeles-based restaurant Sweetfin partnered with TikTok and Postmates to promote some food items that were viral on TikTok.

"Postmates and TikTok decided which merchants they wanted to develop a custom product for the collaboration, based on food trends that were taking place on the TikTok app," Seth Cohen, the cofounder of Sweetfin, told Insider. "It was also important to both TikTok and Postmates to work with brands that were culturally relevant and appealed to a younger demographic."

Data suggests that the demand for takeout and delivery from restaurants will remain throughout 2021, and restaurants will continue to rely on them for revenue growth, according to finance-services company Rewards Network.

Rewards Network conducted a survey that polled 432 people -- both restaurant owners and operators -- about industry trends that will change during the pandemic.

To diversify sources of revenue, 31% of respondents said that they will invest in delivery services and/or technology, while 42% said that they already launched those options to boost revenue when in-dining closed.

Read the original article on Business Insider

CVS expands its COVID-19 vaccine program to 29 states as more doses become available

CVS pharmacy

  • The added states include Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina.
  • CVS is now administering vaccines in around 1,200 stores across 29 states, the company said.
  • Appointments for the doses in just-added states are available for booking starting Saturday, CVS said.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Starting Saturday, eligible residents in another 12 states can begin booking COVID-19 vaccinations at CVS pharmacy.

This week, the vaccines rolled out to CVS locations in Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, Oklahoma, Utah, Minnesota, and Vermont.

The company is now administering vaccines in nearly 1,200 stores across 29 states and Puerto Rico, Philadelphia and New York City, CVS Health said in a statement.

"We're increasing the number of active stores and expanding to additional states as fast as supply allows, with the capacity to administer 20 25 million shots per month," said Karen S. Lynch, President and Chief Executive Officer, CVS Health. "We're also focused on priority populations, including vulnerable communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic as well as teachers and school support staff."

The expansion comes as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program that was announced by the White House last month, stipulating that over 40,000 pharmacies nationwide will receive vaccine doses to give to eligible populations.

In February, select CVS Pharmacy locations began offering COVID-19 vaccine doses in 17 states as part of the program.

President Joe Biden announced earlier this month that pre-K through 12 educators, staff, and child care workers should receive at least one shot of the two-dose vaccine by the end of March.

This eligible group made up over 30% of COVID-19 vaccine appointments at CVS pharmacies between March 3 and March 10, the company said.

Separately, the pharmacy giant said its vaccine rollout at long-term care facilities has been a "success."

Its pharmacy teams completed providing second doses at all nursing facilities and that the third and final visits are 90% complete, CVS said. Additionally, the second vaccine doses at assisted living and other facilities are 91% complete, it said.

The company administered around 4.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , to facilitate on-site vaccinations for staff and residents at over 65,000 enrolled long-term care facilities.

On Wednesday, Target began providing vaccine doses in over 600 CVS pharmacies located inside its store locations.

Read the original article on Business Insider