September 8, 2020

More than 15,000 restaurants have closed permanently since the start of the pandemic, and not all of them are small independent operations. NPC international, a major franchisee of Pizza Hut and Wendy’s locations, recently filed for bankruptcy protection as sales across all stores dropped 37 percent compared to the previous year. But while much of the restaurant industry has struggled, one chain has managed to thrive: Domino’s Pizza sales have increased by 16 percent since March. 

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August 31, 2020

For decades, ice cream trucks carrying Good Humor products have traveled through American neighborhoods with the folk song “Turkey in the Straw” playing at full blast. Unfortunately, though, this more than two-century old tune has a sinister history outside of its long association with frozen treats. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, “Turkey in the Straw” was a standard number in minstrel shows that relied heavily on racist caricatures. 

“While these associations of ‘Turkey in the Straw’ are Continue reading

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August 26, 2020

For decades, clothing designers, magazine editors, and photographers at publications like Vogue decided what the fashion world would see and how they would see it. Although models received plenty of opportunities to pose in front of the cameras, they got almost no say in the decisions that were made behind the scenes. That started to change as social media platforms like Instagram gave models direct access to audiences, granting them more individual power over the creative direction of their brands. Continue reading

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July 23, 2020

Since thousands of concert venues around the world remain closed due to coronavirus, many artists have taken to social media to stream live performances. These innovative concerts draw in huge online audiences but are no replacement for the revenue generated by live shows. This video looks at how the music industry is hoping to earn cash from unorthodox venues, such as drive-in concerts and video game tie-ins. 

Questions:

  1. Do you think virtual events in video games like Fortnite could Continue reading
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June 16, 2020

Before the pandemic, Starbucks cafes across the country bustled with people grabbing all sorts of caffeinated beverages before work. With millions of Americans now telecommuting, however, these once crowded coffee houses are not nearly as busy as they used to be. As a result, last week Starbucks announced that it would close hundreds of locations across North America and shift its focus to takeout orders.

“This repositioning will include the closure of up to 400 company-operated stores over the next Continue reading

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A couple of weeks ago, we looked at how Airbnb hosts are struggling after the travel industry came to a standstill due to widespread stay-at-home orders. This video explains in greater detail why the once successful startup was so vulnerable to an economic downturn and what that means for both Airbnb and its hosts in the long term.

Questions:

  1. What factors made Airbnb so successful for nearly a decade?
  2. Do you think Airbnb will be able to recover from this Continue reading
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Before the coronavirus pandemic, takeout and delivery orders made up just a small portion of total sales for most restaurants. With countless customers now homebound, though, to-go business has never been more important for eateries across the country. Many restaurants use apps like Grubhub, Seamless, or DoorDash to handle delivery orders, but these services come with quite a few problems for all their convenience. Besides signing up companies that don’t offer delivery, food startups have also deceived restaurants and Continue reading

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In early March, the movie studio Universal had already spent millions of dollars marketing its upcoming title Trolls World Tour in anticipation of its April 10th release. When the coronavirus pandemic shut down theaters across the nation, though, Universal made the bold decision to release the movie through on-demand platforms like Apple TV and Amazon. The gamble paid off handsomely for the movie studio: after three weeks on the market for $20 per rental, Trolls World Tour brought in more Continue reading

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April 30, 2020

Although many companies remain closed during the ongoing pandemic, some businesses have been able to alter their operations to produce increasingly vital supplies. This video looks at how Dogfish Head Brewery managed to keep its employees on the payroll while also supplying local hospitals with hand sanitizer.

Questions:

  1. How did Dogfish Head Brewery change its operations to make hand sanitizer?
  2. What is the three-step process that Dogfish Head Brewery used to engage with their community during the coronavirus crisis?
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April 10, 2020

Over the last few weeks, shoppers at supermarkets across the country have stocked up on versatile staples like milk, bread, and eggs that are well-suited for hunkering at home. But as many meat and dairy producers ramp up production to satisfy this increasing demand, food companies that serve clients like restaurants and schools are drastically scaling back. With many eating establishments now closed or take-out only due to coronavirus containment, food suppliers have seen demand for their services plummet. As Continue reading

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