September 18th is National Cheeseburger Day. In honor of this momentous occasion, fast food chains across the country are offering deals to hungry customers.
Through September 22, patrons who buy one item from the menu at Wendy’s will receive a junior bacon cheeseburger for just one cent.
At Burger King, customers who sign up for the Royal Perks program will get a free cheeseburger once they spend at least one dollar.
Several other chains, such as Smashburger, Krystal, and Carl’s Jr. are also using this annual event as a means of attracting business.
In the fast-food business, profits are generally low and customer loyalty is hard to come by. According to CNN, “Chains unveil big giveaways, typically tied to their mobile apps, to help drive business. Pushing people to the app has helped to drive more repeat customers.”
Wishing you all a Happy National Cheeseburger Day!
In August of 2023, the California Public Utilities Commission passed a vote that allows driverless car companies Waymo and Cruise to expand their operations in San Francisco. Until now, Cruise and Waymo were only permitted to offer limited service within the city. This vote enables both companies to charge a fare for rides at any time of day or night, on any street within the municipality.
Waymo and Cruise are similar in concept to companies such as Uber or Lyft, just without the human driver. While some first responders are concerned that driverless vehicles have not yet perfected the method of getting out of the way of emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks, other travelers are hopeful that driverless vehicles will help to limit traffic fatalities, which are on the rise in San Francisco.
According to Reuters.com, the cost of gasoline has gone up considerably this August. Gas prices across the nation have hit an average of $3.86 per gallon, an all-time high for 2023. This is a 7% increase over prices that were seen just one month ago. In certain states, such as California and Washington, the cost has risen above $5.00 per gallon.
The abnormal timing of this price increase has some people perplexed. Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at price tracker GasBuddy.com noted that, “We tend to see prices declining going into the fall.”
The price jump can be attributed to several refineries that are closed for maintenance. This impacts the available supply of oil. Heat waves, like those the United States has experienced this summer, also affect refinery production.
Despite the steep cost of filling the tank, gas prices are still below where they were in August of 2022. Labor Day travelers may still hope to get some relief at the pump.
As airlines struggle to recover from COVID-19 losses, United Airlines displayed its new model for front-of-the-plane seats. The new seats, which will be used on narrow-body domestic flights, include wireless armrest charging stations, setback screens, large tray tables, privacy barriers between seats, and winged headrests to increase comfort.
Other airlines, including JetBlue and Delta, have also upgraded their seats recently in hopes of attracting travelers who are interested in paying higher fees for additional luxury.
United’s new seats will soon be showcased on the Boeing 737. They are being manufactured by aviation technology group, Safran. Mark Muren, managing director of identity for United, said, “There’s no one seat that can probably fulfill all of our needs but this is the one we want to build our future around in the domestic space”.
In order to promote the August premier of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, Pizza Hut rekindled their decades old partnership with the TMNJ franchise to deliver a select number of pizzas in the New York City subway system. Children from the 80’s and 90’s are rejoicing in this nod towards their childhood, as they fondly remember the cartoon turtles, who are famous for enjoying pizza in the tunnels below the city.
According to Lindsay Morgan, Pizza Hut’s chief marketing officer, “Pizza Hut and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have a longstanding history that goes back to the ’90s. Bringing the two together again for a new generation was a no-brainer… We wanted to pay homage to the Turtles’ origins and their love of pizza, while also infusing modern touchpoints and a fun, creative take on pizza deliveries”.
By texting a turtle emoji to a specified phone number, Pizza Hut customers could have their orders delivered to selected spots in subway stations. A YouTube Video explains the promo and documents the excitement of getting pizza delivered directly to your subway stop. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhemwill be in theaters on August 2.
Where do the hottest stars of today go to get a taste of the Hollywood glamour of yesterday? Restaurant magnate Hunter Pond, Chairman and CEO of Vandelay Hospitality Group, is thrilling the LA scene as he expands his restaurant empire beyond Dallas, Texas.
The much anticipated Drake’s Hollywood celebrated its grand opening on May 4th on the famed Melrose Strip of West Hollywood, California. Paris Jackson, Kelli Berglund, Mackenzie Ziegler, Leona Lewis, Olivia Culpo, and a host of young celebrities came to experience the ambiance, which is designed to take diners back to the classy days of 1940’s Hollywood. Hunter Pond has curated every aspect of the décor to ensure that diners are fully immersed in old Hollywood elegance. The deep red booths and bar stools are surrounded by original artwork that features iconic idols from the Silver Screen.
The menu of Drake’s Hollywood combines sophistication and fun with dishes such as sturgeon caviar, le deluxe mac n cheese, and Melrose cracker crust pizza. All of Hunter Pond’s restaurants are known for using premium ingredients to ensure outstanding taste and quality.
A native of Dallas, Texas, Hunter Pond opened his first restaurant at just 24 years old. Today, Vandelay Hospitality Group operates several restaurants, and is known for meticulously orchestrating every aspect of the dining experience, from the exquisite food, to the music, to the interior design.
The original Drake’s Hollywood has been delighting customers in Dallas since 2019. So, whether you’re in North Texas or on the West Coast, pull out your classiest old Hollywood outfit and head over to Drake’s Hollywood for a most memorable evening.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama recently launched PLEZi Nutrition, a healthy food and beverage company which aims to offer “healthier, great-tasting products” to kids. Obama, who is the co-founder and strategic partner of PLEZi Nutrition, has experience with trying to get children to make healthier choices. As First Lady, she created the Let’s Move Campaign which encouraged kids to engage in physical activity and eat more fruits and vegetables. She helped to pass the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010, which increased the nutritional value of school lunches across the country.
PLEZi Nutrition’s first product is a fruit juice for kids called PLEZi, which contains significantly less sugar than the leading fruit juices on the market. The company stated that they have plans to begin selling other items in the near future, which focus on “Lowering sugar content and lowering sweetness to help adjust kids’ palates to crave less sweetness”.
Obama is concerned by the rising rates of obesity and nutrition-related illnesses in children in the United States. She said, “I’ve learned that on this issue, if you want to change the game, you can’t just work from the outside. You’ve got to get inside—you’ve got to find ways to change the food and beverage industry itself”.
Air travel may finally be recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Although some experts predicted that rising inflation would keep vacationers close to home, Delta Airlines reports a 17% increase in demand for flights in the quarter that ends in June.
Despite rising fares, according to Expedia, there has been a 25% increase in flight searches for summer trips, and an even larger increase in searches for international travel to Europe and Asia.
Airlines are also feeling hopeful about the return of corporate travel. Now that offices are reopening after the pandemic, business people are once again willing to fly to meetings. This summer, a high percentage of seats are expected to be filled by people traveling for work.
The next challenge for the airlines will be to ensure they are prepared for this increase in travelers. Throughout the past year, the airline industry was plagued with thousands of cancellations due to bad weather and internal issues. To ensure that passengers arrive at their destinations in a timely manner, Daniel Janki, CFO of Delta, said that Delta has devoted time and energy to “ensuring that we have the right resources in the right places with the right level of training.”
Drug company Covica Rx has contracted with the state of California to create affordable insulin. Pending FDA approval, this 10-year, $50 million agreement will allow Civica to start making CalRx insulin in late 2023.
People with Type 1 diabetes do not produce enough insulin, and they rely on manufactured insulin in order to survive. Currently, insulin can cost up to $300 for a 10 milliliter vial. But insulin produced by Civica for the state of California will cost no more than $30 per 10 milliliter vial, even for the uninsured. This will save patients who pay out of pocket up to $4,000 a year.
This arrangement is part of California’s CalRx initiative which aims to reduce the cost of medications by producing generic drugs under the state’s own label.
Civica will be producing three types of insulin, glargine, lisprom and aspart, which will all be the equivalent of the insulin produced by the major drug companies. Although California has initiated this project, the medicines will be available all across the country.
The production of affordable insulin is a game changer for Americans with diabetes. NPR.com reported that 1 out of 6 Americans living with diabetes ration their supply of insulin due to the high cost of the drug. University of California College of Law professor Robin Feldman called this an “extraordinary move in the pharmaceutical industry, not just for insulin but potentially for all kinds of drugs.”
Several pharmaceutical companies such as Eli Lilly and Sanofi have announced that they will also be cutting the cost of insulin in the upcoming year.