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Count Bobulescu

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  1. They're expanding online only wine sales from 14 to 19 states. The significance is that they are moving into areas where they don't have any stores, (something Amazon tried on its own and abandoned years ago). They're partnering to fulfil. The range of wines available is less than fifty. Expanding Wine Delivery Also
  2. I too take it cum grano salis. One possible explanation for the review number discrepancy might be that the avenues have more (or a higher percentage) of corporate (if not chain) outlets, that have a bigger footprint, and more walk in foot traffic, that results in many more daily covers.
  3. 25,000 Yelp reviews confirm what I suspect most people on this forum already knew. In Manhattan, street restaurants are, on average, "better" than avenue ones. One thing that puzzled me, with so many fewer avenue restaurants, (1,500 v. 18,000) they appear to be racking up reviews at many times the rate of the street restaurants, or am I missing something? Even allowing that the avenues are busier..... Full disclosure, I have never used Yelp, to find or rate. https://blog.labsbell.com/img/StreetsVsAvenues.pdf
  4. Sure, but it's the corporatisation of commissary kitchens. I guess the intent is to dominate the industry ASAP, like the Uber model. Establish proof of concept first in the US, then internationally. One 10,000sqf warehouse with some communal infrastructure, might have 15 kitchens per, say 100,000 people, equals a lot of warehouses. A 15 kitchen operation might have 10 chain brands and 5 local/ethnics. 40 warehouses/600 kitchens to service metro DC. I doubt you can make the warehouses too big, because of a need to stay local, to avoid long delivery routes. Then market both the individual brands, and the shared warehouse delivery concept, to the local community, again with shared costs, via DoorDash, UberEats etc. I think the concept will work better in suburban than dense urban locations. Currently, they are in LA, SF, and Chicago.
  5. Commercial kitchens typically come attached to expensive real estate/build out, and require patrons to visit. Under the CloudKitchens formula, numerous different "brands" can share a lower warehouse cost, to open new kitchens at a fraction of what it would otherwise take. A 2,000sqf sit down might pay $30 - $60 a ft in a suburban location. 500sqf at $15 in a warehouse, and with fewer staff, starts to look good. Lower costs allows offering "free" delivery at standard prices.
  6. According WSJ, Uber's Travis Kalanick (1st negative) recently raised $400M from the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund (2nd negative) for his newest venture CloudKitchens a sort of We Work for delivery only restaurants. If the restaurant industry is to be disrupted, I'd prefer it was done by someone other than Kalanick. Contrary to the Axios claim, that immigrants of color will be the biggest losers, I think it will be the TGI's of the world. Not that the small ethnic restaurants won't get hurt, but those pad sites can be expensive https://www.axios.com/restaurateurs-face-increasingly-digital-industry-571f5855-34a9-4de2-a406-5a2da1c4e647.html https://www.cloudkitchens.com/
  7. Beyond the use of screens and electricity for power, I don't believe there's much overlap. The original TV's were radio for pictures, more like current wifi in deployment, tower to antenna The interwebs initially needed direct hardline connections. I'm sure there are some similarities I don't know about. Coincidentally, this Sunday's NYT Mag....... A cover to break the internet Photo illustration by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari for The New York Times The N.Y. Times Magazine's annual Tech & Design issue explores the wild web, with an opening essay by deputy editor Bill Wasik, "The Future of the Internet": Perhaps the most profound force at work upon the internet right now is the simple passage of time. Everyone raised in a pre-internet era continues to age and disappear, while new generations grow up not merely as ‘"digital natives’’ but as life- long witnesses to the internet’s best and worst effects. ... For teenagers today, the internet is both a stage onto which to step boldly and a minefield through which to step gingerly — a double bind that has given rise to whole new habits of living online, in which self-expression and self-protection are inextricably linked. The issue includes looks at the heavily-regulated Chinese internet, by Yiren Lu ... the odd phenomenon of internet fandom, by Jamie Lauren Keiles ... and internet inequality, by Kevin Roose.
  8. Didn't feel this was worth a thread yet, so thought I'd park it here for now. I'm less interested in these companies for their culinary attractions, more for their business plans.
  9. Without wishing to contradict your claim of expensiveness, I would point out that the restaurants in Dublin, and EU generally, likely see a lot less of the proceeds of your check, than is the case in the US. EU sales taxes (VAT) mostly = 15-33% are always included in the price, and service charges (tips) are sometimes/often/always included, depending on country. Also, the excise tax on a bottle of wine in Dublin is 700% higher than the combined federal & DC excise tax. $0.50 vs. $3.60. On a 20 Euro wine in the grocery store, just under 7 Euro or 40% of the cost via excise and sales tax finds it way to gummint. Consequently, 10 Euro wines have faded into history.
  10. I get a daily solicitation email from a marketing vendor, that I told was not getting my biz. I save them unopened. When I've collected 100, I'll contact them and tell them I'm thinking of opening and marking them all as spam.
  11. The Queen, AKA Brenda, has acceded to BoJo's request to Prorogue (shut down) Parliament. The effect will be to limit time for debate on any proposals, or lack thereof. In a little over 24 hours 850K+ signed a petition in oppo. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/269157
  12. Think you're on the money there. In EU, Germans are considered the inventors of the auto. They are the world's pre-eminent engineers generally. If you need to buy an obscure part for an obscure industrial machine, and find that there are only three manufacturers globally, it's likely that one, two, or all three of them will be German. Such companies form the backbone of the Mittlestand, selling to a global market, but you've got to wonder if they'll lose market share to 3D printers. Mittlestand Rudolf Diesel was also.......
  13. Dublin's my home town, but I haven't eaten out there much in thirty years, so I won't offer any reccies, other than to note that Patrick Gilbaud has been at the top of the pile for nearly 50 years. Not sure if that's good or bad news. Happy to answer any other touristy questions. Be aware that the islands generally can be a considerable time sink on a 10 day trip. While you can drive cross country from Dublin to Galway in a little over two hours on the expressway, both the air and ferry departures to the Aran Islands are close to an hour's drive west of Galway, on a slow road, then another hour sailing. In Dingle, be wary of a boat trip to Skellig Michael. I've heard horror stories on radio of boats with no life jackets, and the boat captain actually attempting to justify it.
  14. I agree on the corn/ethanol issue, but that article you cited is 12 years old, and has long been overtaken by new developments. Elon Musk etc. No-one today would dare seriously suggest that growing corn is the panacea to reduced gasoline consumption. Food is at the top of the hierarchy of human needs. Unlike Amazon gadgets, people die without access to it. There's good public policy in having lower food prices. The earlier piece I posted about the BBC reporting on intensive farming beginning in the UK in 1947, reminded me about food rationing, which ended in the US in 1946, but not til 1954 in the UK. Intensive farming was right for the time, and times change.
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