Three Months After Opening, This Crypto-Themed Restaurant Is No Longer Accepting Crypto As Payment

When Bored & Hungry first opened in Long Beach in April, the burger joint didn’t just embrace the aesthetics of crypto culture. It was all-in on the digital money part too.

Sure, meme-y references to rockets and bulls dotted the walls, and Bored Apes — those cartoon monkeys that celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Post Malone have touted as six-figure investments — covered the cups and trays. But customers were also offered the option to pay for their meals in cryptocurrency. The restaurant was putting its bitcoin where its mouth was, so to speak.

Not even three months later, in the midst of a crypto crash that has some investors looking for the door, that’s not always the case.

During a lull in the lunch rush one recent afternoon, as a cashier stamped paper bags with the fast-food spot’s logo, twin menus hanging over his head — listing Bored & Hungry’s meat-based and vegan options, respectively — showed prices only in old-fashioned U.S. dollars.

A smashburger: $9.25. Pepper-seasoned fries: $3.50. An ape-themed cup of soda: $3.50. 

Missing: any mention of ethereum or apecoin, the two currencies the popup boasted it would make history by accepting as payment.

An employee who declined to give their name said that the store wasn’t accepting crypto payments. “Not today — I don’t know,” they said, declining to clarify how long ago the store stopped accepting crypto or whether that option would eventually return.

Owner Andy Nguyen didn’t respond to repeated emails. Company co-founder Kevin Seo later said the restaurant has shut off its crypto payments system “from time to time” for upgrades but is currently accepting ethereum and apecoin.

With both coins down more than 60% since early April and undergoing double-digit intraday swings, it would be understandable for any business to be reluctant to accept them in lieu of dollars. But utility may also be a factor. At the restaurant’s grand opening, a staffer told The Times that the crypto payments were unwieldy and going largely ignored by customers.

Nearly three months later, it was hard to find a patron who cared much one way or the other about the restaurant’s fidelity to the crypto cause.

“Yes, ethereum is a currency in a way where you can exchange [nonfungible tokens, or] NFTs and stuff … but as far as buying food and all that, maybe not,” one crypto-enthusiast diner, Marc Coloma, said as he munched on fries outside the restaurant. “People want to hold on to their ethereum. They’re not gonna want to use it.”

Michael Powers, 46, of Long Beach was less in the loop. He comes to Bored & Hungry a lot — as often as two or three times a week, he estimated — but although the ape-themed signage was what first drew him in, he didn’t know the spot was NFT-themed until his sons explained it to him.

Powers’ one foray into crypto, an investment in the Elon Musk-promoted currency dogecoin, didn’t end well, and he doesn’t plan on trying again. “I’ve had my fill” of crypto, he said — though not of the burgers, which offer an upscale riff on In-N-Out’s “animal style” sandwiches. (The chopped onions and creamy sauce are a nice touch that, incidentally, isn’t subject to wild swings in value or exorbitant transaction fees.)

Another Long Beach local, 30-year-old Richard Rubalcaba, said he bought into ethereum after meeting other crypto investors during the four-hour wait for Bored & Hungry’s grand opening. But on this visit he too paid in U.S. dollars. 

“I don’t know how [crypto purchases] would work, with the crash,” he said.

The crypto ecosystem is currently in free-fall, with high-profile companies either taking drastic steps to stave off catastrophe or simply collapsing altogether, while cryptocurrencies themselves plunge in value.

The two e-currencies that Bored & Hungry initially accepted, ethereum and apecoin, are down to about 23% and 17% of their highs over the last year, respectively. Estimates put the entire sector’s worth at less than a third of what it was in early 2022.

Nor have the nonfungible tokens that form the backbone of Bored & Hungry’s brand been immune. A sort of digital trading card series built around drawings of anthropomorphic monkeys, Bored Apes count the likes of Justin Bieber and Snoop Dogg among their owners; some have sold for millions of dollars. Yet they’re now facing the same market pressures as the rest of the crypto economy. 

According to the crypto news outlet Decrypt, the cheapest available NFT in the series (that is, the “floor”) has fallen below $100,000 for the first time since last summer, and the project as a whole recently saw its value approximately halved over the course of a month.

That only raises the urgency of getting new buyers into the ape “community.”

One customer — Lindsey, 33, of San Pedro — said she didn’t know anything about crypto but came to Bored & Hungry because she’s a fan of the vegan burger brand it carries. But, she said, the scene at the restaurant made her want to learn more about the ecosystem.

Perhaps that was what Nguyen was thinking when he spent more than $330,000 on the various ape NFTs on display at his restaurant. 

Crypto skeptics have long warned that someone would get left holding the bag when the hype cycle played itself out. Better that bag should contain a burger and fries than nothing at all.

Source: LA Times

Iman Shumpert Breaks Down His Financial Moves So He Didn’t Need Money When He Left NBA, How He Lives Off Interest

In this clip, Iman Shumpert talked about the Britney Griner situation and how it is ultimately a result of the WNBA’s low pay that Griner was in Russia in the first place. He also discussed whether he considered playing overseas after he hadn’t landed with an NBA franchise. He and Vlad discussed developing financial literacy through their respective journeys. Iman detailed having an accountant and a financial adviser, both whom hated one another but he said that kept both of them honest and secured his money. He also recounted never wanting to look at his bank account to avoid the shock of how much money he actually had accessible.

In this clip, Iman Shumpert discussed some of the methods and habits he’s formed (or not) around spending money. He said he never had an issue with spending and managed to save a lot of money over the course of his playing career as a result. At one point, Iman said he couldn’t fathom how athletes could go broke with all the financial incentives they’re contractually afforded.

Jury Awards $450,000 To Man Fired From Gravity Diagnostics Over Unwanted Office Birthday Party

Kentucky jury has awarded a man $450,000 who sued his employer after he asked them not to celebrate his birthday at work — and they did it anyway.

Kevin Berling told his manager at Gravity Diagnostics in Covington in 2019 that a birthday celebration would cause him immense stress.

But the company didn’t heed his request, and Berling suffered a panic attack, the Courier Journal reported. The next day Berling had another panic attack when his supervisor chastised him for “stealing his co-workers’” joy and “being a little girl,” according to a lawsuit. Berling was fired after the second attack.

Berling alleged in his lawsuit the company discriminated against him based on a disability and retaliated against him for demanding a reasonable accommodation to it.

The jury returned the verdict after a two-day trial in Kenton County that ended in late March. The jury awarded him $300,000 for emotional distress and $150,000 in lost wages.

An attorney for the company, Katherine Kennedy, said it continues to deny liability and is pursuing its post-trial options.

Julie Brazil, the company’s founder and chief operating officer, said in an email statement to the newspaper that “with ever-increasing incidents of workplace violence, this verdict sets a very dangerous precedent for employers and most importantly employees that unless physical violence actually occurs, workplace violence is acceptable.”

Brazil said that her employees, rather than the plaintiff, were the victims in the case.

Berling’s attorney, Tony Bucher, said once the jury got to meet his client, they realized the company’s claim that he posed a threat was far-fetched.

Berling had told his supervisor that a birthday celebration would bring back bad childhood memories surrounding his parents’ divorce. The supervisor forgot to pass along his request, the company said.

Source: FOX 11 Los Angeles

Magic Johnson Chose Converse Over Nike And Missed A Chance To Earn $5.2 Billion: Nike Offered $1 For Every Pair Of Shoes Sold And 100,000 Shares Worth $0.18 At The Time

Magic Johnson is one of the biggest names to have ever played in the NBA, and very few players have enjoyed the hype he did coming into the NBA. Having led his college team to the NCAA championship over his rival Larry Bird in what was the most-watched college basketball game ever, Magic entered the league as the man of the moment and would go on to be Finals MVP in his rookie season as well.

Understandably, Johnson was a coveted property when it came to endorsements and there was a bit of a battle in terms of which shoe company he would sign with. Both Nike and Converse made offers to Magic and the decision came down to whether he would take stocks instead of cash, with the 19-year-old choosing Converse, who had offered him $100,000 a year at the time.

However, with the benefit of hindsight, it’s the offer that Nike put on the table that would have made him a lot more money had he chosen to go with them. The company offered Johnson $1 for every pair of shoes sold along with 100,000 shares in stock options, with the stock valued at $0.18 at the time.

When contextualized, considering that Nike stock is worth $134 today, Johnson would have $5.2 billion to his name had he decided to sign with the company. However, Converse was a bigger brand than Nike at the time, which adds some more context as to why Magic made his decision as well. 

Nike went on to explode with Michael Jordan, who did end up becoming a billionaire, thanks largely in part to his partnership with the shoe company. There were suggestions that Jordan’s rise and the hype around him and Nike were factors in souring his relationship with Magic a little in their early years, but the two went on to bond during their stint with the 1992 Dream Team. Also, considering that Magic is now worth an estimated $600 million, it’s safe to say he didn’t do too badly for himself either. 

Source: Yardbarker

Man Who Moved Into His Work Cubicle To Save On Rent Fired After His TikTok Did 12 Million Views

In a video that’s racked up more than 12 million views, Chibuzor Ejimofor — who said he goes professionally by the name Simon Jackson — can be seen unpacking his belongings at an office cubicle and putting them away into work shelves and drawers.

“I’m moving from my apartment into my cubicle at work,” the 28-year-old said in the video. “They do not pay me enough to do both, so as a matter of protest, I am just going to live at my job, and we’ll see how long I can get away with this.”

It turns out his cubicle staycation only lasted four days and three nights before the engineering consultancy firm Arcadis — Jackson’s employer — forced him to pack up his things. Then, he said, he was fired.

“I wish they approached the TikToks differently and maybe had a conversation with me about whether there was something more serious going on in terms of money. But do I understand their response? 100%,” the construction project manager told Insider, adding that he’ll “take the opportunity to get away from the corporate world” for a while.

“I’ve gotten so many views now, so maybe I can take that and work on building my brand. I can always find another job if that doesn’t work out,” he added, speaking from an Airbnb room in a Seattle suburb.

“Honestly though, if I hadn’t posted the videos on TikTok, I think I could have lived in the office for at least six months with no issue.”

When Insider reached out to Arcadis to confirm that Jackson had been an employee, a representative from the company said: “Due to privacy concerns relating to personnel information, the company is not at liberty to disclose any matters regarding current or former employees without express employee permission.”

Jackson’s posts from his cubicle ‘home’ garnered millions of views in a matter of days.

It all started last Monday, when Jackson says he “spontaneously” decided to start living in Arcadis’ downtown Seattle offices.

Mounting student loans and a rent increase (his rent went from $1,300 a month to $1,500 a month) made it difficult for Jackson to afford his apartment.

It’s a common problem in Seattle, where the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment jumped 27% year over year.

So Jackson came up with a novel solution to his money woes.

“The office is pretty much empty because everyone’s working from home, so I just thought, why not move there? I told my friend about it, who thought I was joking, but I started packing and just did it,” he said, adding that he managed to stuff his belongings into two suitcases, four boxes, two backpacks, and a few duffel bags.

He filmed what he was doing in a hyperlapse video — “I film content all the time anyway” — and uploaded it on TikTok the next day. It didn’t take long before the video got the attention of a lot of people.

“It got 60,000 views, then 200,000, and then a million. I was like, ‘Oh shit, what do I do now?'” he recalled.

He decided to continue making more TikToks about his new living quarters.

Jackson cataloged his sleeping quarters — a sleeping bag under his desk, covered by a large cloth — and his meal routine — ham and canned pineapple, which he insisted is his usual diet anyway.

To maintain personal hygiene, he used shower facilities available in the office bathrooms, complete with towels. “I’ve thought this out, baby!” he said in the video.

During his short stay at the office, he said he only bumped into three co-workers. None of them raised an eyebrow about his cubicle set-up. “I think living in the office is something that is so unfathomable that they never even thought of it as a possibility,” he said with a chuckle.

His company’s HR department was less relaxed, however. Jackson said he got a call ordering him to remove his things from the cubicle, and then a written warning to delete his TikToks — or face termination.

He chose the latter.

“Honestly, getting the attention of so many people online — this happens once in a lifetime,” he said.

“I’ll travel a bit and stay with friends in different cities. I have a side business selling rompers, and I’m interested in running events, so I’m just going to roll the dice and see where it all takes me. I want to spread some good energy around.”

Source: Yahoo

Four-Year-Old And Five-Year-Old Just Became CEOs With Their Own Fashion Label

Back in June, sisters Mia and Tatiana Escalante made headlines in Australia when they turned up at Australian Fashion Week in matching outfits. And before that, they had already amassed a strong Instagram following for their adorable getups.

Now, the Sydney-based duo, aged five and four, are launching their first apparel line in a brand of their own, the Mia x Tati Store.

The label’s pieces echo what the sisters look for in fashion; clothes are comfy and allow the wearer to run and move around freely.

The Mia x Tati Store features chic, gender-neutral outfits that put comfort at their forefront.

Outside the business, the siblings are kindred spirits and enjoy dressing up in coordinated outfits. Their camaraderie shows on their Instagram account, which now has drawn 748,000 followers since their parents opened it two years ago. In almost no time at all, they were scoring partnerships with brands.

“It just made sense for the girls to start their own fashion brand that really represents their style and show how simple it is to create trendy looks with everyday essentials,” the young fashionistas’ mother, Nga Escalante, told Daily Mail Australia in an interview.

Source: DesignTAXI

Dollar Tree Is Raising Its Prices To $1.25, Officially Breaking The Buck For Good

Dollar Tree is officially breaking the buck.

The discount chain announced Tuesday in its third-quarter earnings results that it will now sell the majority of its $1 items for $1.25 after testing higher prices earlier in the year.

In a call with investors, CEO Michael Witynski said that the new price regime will allow the company to bring back items that were previously abandoned — because of its $1 price constraint — and enable it to return profit margins to their longstanding levels of 35% to 36% next year. 

Dollar Tree, which also owns Family Dollar, was the last of the major dollar store chains in the US to stand by its $1 commitment for more than 30 years even as investors piled on the pressure for it to raise prices. 

Witynski said that by raising prices to $1.25, the company has more flexibility to absorb rising supply chain and labor costs that are biting into profit margins. 

On top of this, the company said it is expanding its higher-priced Dollar Tree Plus line of goods, which includes items that mostly cost between $3 and $5, to more stores. It plans to roll out the line to 5,000 stores by 2024, it said. 

For the moment, Witynski is promising to stand by the $1.25 price to keep things simple for customers, he said on the call. 

While analysts say the price increase will allow the company to return to its historic 35% margin levels (gross margin was 27.5% of net sales in the most recent quarter), there’s a risk that its customers could be turned off by this. 

“That risk is reduced customer traction, smaller basket sizes, and some erosion of the value credentials Dollar Tree is renowned for,” Neil Saunders, managing director of Global Data Retail, said in a note to clients Tuesday. “The simple fact is that many of Dollar Tree’s customers are feeling the heat of inflation on their spending power, and they won’t simply absorb such a large price lift,” he added.

Source: Business Insider

Wingstop Launches Thighstop Amid Chicken Wing Shortage

Wingstop is expanding its body of chicken offerings with Thighstop, an online-only, temporary restaurant that will deliver chicken thighs via DoorDash amid a chicken shortage.

The “new thigh concept” will be available at more than 1,400 locations nationwide and is addressing the “consumer’s fear of a chicken wing shortage head-on,” the company said in a release provided by Thighstop spokesperson Megan Sprague.

“We think they’ll appeal to guests because they’re a different part of the chicken and therefore a new way to experience Wingstop flavor,” Charlie Morrison, CEO and chairman of Wingstop restaurants, said.

“They eat like a wing, but with more meat,” Morrison continued.

Chicken lovers will have access to a menu filled with crispy thighs of a naked and sauce-covered variety with 11 signature Wingstop flavors.

And it doesn’t stop with the drumstick. Other Wingstop items including its ranch and blue cheese dips, fried corn, french fries and rolls are also available to order from Thighstop.

Eventually, Morrison hopes thighs will be incorporated into the larger Wingstop menu as a permanent addition.

Thighstop claimed in its launch announcement that it is addressing consumer fear over a wing shortage which made the news last month.

The nation’s chicken wars and cravings for comfort food during the pandemic have made poultry so scarce and expensive that some restaurants are limiting or running out of chicken sandwiches, wings and tenders. Others are considering changes to menus and promotions.

Heavy winter storms took a larger bite out of supply. While some restaurants have not been able to meet demand, it’s unclear if and how the low supplies will affect consumers in the grocery store.

The poultry industry is tamping down growing alarm over a chicken shortage with National Chicken Council spokesman Tom Super saying there was a “very tight supply but short of a shortage.”

“Yes, supply is somewhat tight, but the sky certainly isn’t falling,” Super said in May. “Chicken producers are doing everything they can to overcome the devastating impact of Mother Nature when she inflicted the once-in-a-lifetime winter storm on Texas and nearby states — major chicken producing regions.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, broilers — chickens raised for meat — slaughter was down 4% in the first quarter of 2021, with pounds produced down 3%. Production began picking back up in early April, Super said.

Morrison said the shortage has less to do with product than it does with labor.

“The shortage has as much to do with the impact of government stimulus and creating an artificially high wage rate that is competitive to the people that are necessary to actually process chicken,” Morrison said. “Because of this, the absolute number of chickens that are being processed is down.”

Sales are still on the rise at Wingstop, though. Morrison said that Wingstop saw 20.7% sales growth in the first quarter of this year in spite of constraints. Introducing Thighstop, he said, allows the company to focus on additional parts of the chicken.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times