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Tim Horton's coffee cups and Burger King bag

Burger King bid for coffee shops puts fast food evolution in the spotlight

By on Aug 25, 2014

Wall Street gobbled up shares of fast-food monarch Burger King on Monday, following word that the 60-year-old chain might be headquartering north following the acquisition of the Tim Horton’s coffee and doughnut shops. Both chains enjoyed double-digit stock price hikes, with investors licking their chops over the favorable tax situation Burger King would enjoy as […]

divorce cake with bride on top

Retailers delight as people throw showers for all occasions

Oh, the weather outside may be delightful, but to some the forecast is frightful:  Never-ending showers. The gift-giving type, that is.  Rites of passages of all sorts are nowadays being coopted by retailers and marketers as the ideal occasions for showers involving lots of presents and even registries. From college students to first-time grannies to […]

Minnesota State Fair ferris wheel in sunset

Quirky business features: Carnies, damsels, scams and beer

It’s been a month or so since the last edition of Quicktips and those scraps of paper are piling up again in my notebook. From the sober to the silly, here are a few story nuggets you may want to add to your near-term lineup: State Fairs.  How did that sneak up?  Summer 2014 is […]

BEA Personal Consumption Chart

August is the month for getting thrifty, counting resales

Over the weekend a neighbor hefted a brightly-colored plastic outdoor play set and proudly noted that it had been a bargain purchase at a local thrift shop, just in time for another visit by the grandkids. Wow, I thought, what an illustration of the timid consumer spending that – despite an uptick in June, as […]

Will Santa's sleigh be full of drones this year?

Will Santa’s sleigh be full of drones this year?

OK, it’s the first week in August and I’m going to go on record as predicting one of the hot gifts of the coming holiday season:  Personal drones. In fact, for the selfie-obsessed who want to take it to the next level, there’s the just-out Air Dog, a drone that follows its owner everwhere, shooting […]

Clever Cupcakes on Flickr Cupcake living room

What new finger-food trends are replacing cupcakes .. or are they?

The headline-making saga of the Crumbs Bake Shop company – the cupcake chain that closed all of its stores only to receive a last-minute reprieve from an investor group – suggests a few ideas for localizing food-related business stories. The potential survival of the Crumbs chain is good news for its investors and workers, bad […]

As highway fund is debated, how does the local business of road building fare?

As highway fund is debated, how does the local business of road building fare?

The federal Highway Trust Fund is projected to run out of money on August 1.   Congress is as usual eschewing a long-term, sweeping vision in favor of a short-term patch.   According to Bloomberg, odds are that a House version of a transportation bill will make it to President Obama for signature. With looming funding issues, […]

New Domain Names Donuts Inc.

Fresh peg on new domain names: “dot-vodka,” “dot-Christmas,” “dot-fail”

Looking for a business story that spans the corporate world, small companies and even consumers & personal finance? The 2014 rollout of new top-level domain names is underway, but flying surprisingly under most radar screens.   If you haven’t yet written about the upcoming availability of hundreds of alternatives to good old .com and .net, you’ve […]

you udder buy some manure sign

Quicktips: Manure expos, funky funerals and travel deals for single parents

Maybe this column should be called “quirky tips” instead of “quick tips,” because I can’t resist sharing some of the interesting and offbeat jottings from my notebook.  Hopefully you can embrace the oddities and spin an idea or two into a colorful summertime business feature. First off, my ears perked up the other day when […]