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August 17, 2016

Donald Trump might already be putting together a Plan B for if he loses the election. At least that's how it seems to CNN's Brian Stelter, who pointed to recent developments in the Trump campaign that put the former reality TV star in a good position to launch a conservative media organization following a loss in November:

"If he's thinking he might lose the election, what he might want to do is launch a new television channel, or launch a new giant website, or a new subscription service. He might be thinking about a media enterprise. And if he is, [Fox News founder] Roger Ailes and [Breitbart executive chairman] Steve Bannon are the men you want in your corner," Stelter said.

Trump has long been rumored to be eyeing a possible post-election television venture, with Vanity Fair writing in June that a person close to Trump suggested he has "become irked by his ability to create revenue for other media organizations without being able to take a cut himself. Such a situation 'brings him to the conclusion that he has the business acumen and the ratings for his own network.'"

While The Washington Post's Greg Sargent thinks at this point the entire scenario sounds rather conspiratorial, he admits: "Perhaps Trump is very consciously sticking to his strategy of fusing white nationalism with rousing WWE style political entertainment, and very consciously avoiding broader demographic outreach that might dilute this approach's appeal to his core constituencies, in order to split off a chunk of the GOP and keep it for himself later as a following and national audience."

Everyone seems to agree, though, that the situation certainly "bears watching." Jeva Lange

October 14, 2015

It's a plan Mr. Pink could get behind: Major New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer, the owner of 13 restaurants in the Union Square Hospitality Group, plans to phase out tipping at his restaurants — a move he hopes will benefit both his wait staff and kitchen staff. The no-tips model, common in Europe, means the menu prices will be all-inclusive, with some items going up in cost by as much as 35 percent, The New York Post reports.

The changes will start at The Modern, a sophisticated cafe and dining room at the Museum of Modern Art, and continue to be rolled out across Meyer's other restaurants in 2016, including Blue Smoke, the Union Square Cafe, and Gramercy Tavern. It's all a part of a vision that's been in the works for Meyer since 1994, when he wrote in a newsletter that "the American system of tipping is awkward for all parties involved."

"I'd see nights where waiters were crying because somebody from Europe would walk out without leaving a tip," Meyer explained to Eater. Meyer further elaborated to The New York Times that the gap between kitchen and dining room staff has "grown by leaps and bounds," with kitchen income increasing "no more than 25 percent" in his 30 years of work, while wait staff have seen increases of 200 percent. Legally, kitchen staff cannot take a cut of the tips made on the dining room floor.

"Think about the opportunity to innovate," Meyer told Eater. "There's not too many more ways I know to roast a chicken, or sous vide a chicken, or do whatever you're supposed to do to a chicken. But fundamentally, the cost of going out to a fine dining restaurant is false. I feel that the prices on menus, for a restaurant that's really trying to offer good value, don't accurately express the true picture of what it costs for the people to make that happen." Jeva Lange

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