Brian Banmiller's blog

Minimum Wage


There's a push to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour; but not everyone thinks the idea will serve up success.

Chef Mario Batali is the man behind the Eataly empire and the owner of several restaurants around the world. He says that the increase is not the best or fastest way to improve the quality of life for people because it will raise the cost of running a restaurant about 30%. Batali says that could lead to a rise in prices and people could be looking at $50 an entree just to eat out. And he's not the only one voicing concern.  read more »

Robotic Pizza


A Silicon Valley pizza company is cooking up a little change in the multi-sliced comfort food.

Former Microsoft executive Alex Garden is the man behind Zume; a pizza company he says is better for you and run almost exclusively by robots. First, the downsize in calories.

Garden says pizza is really just bread, cheese and vegetables. All things that are good for you in moderation. What gives pizza a bad rep is the amount of sugar some companies add to the process. Garden says at Zume they don't add any extra sugar to the sauce or the dough and they let the dough age for 24 hours so some of the sugar is fermented out. And then the robots come in.  read more »

Survival of the Fittest


In some work environments its survival of the fittest; so how do you make it through alive?

Robert Sutton is a professor of management at Stanford University and the author of a book on how to deal with people that make your nine to five a little less pleasant. He says some office places are mob situations where obnoxious people are everywhere. Sutton says if you aren't in a position to up and quit there are four things you can do to make sure you make it through the day.

For example, prepare to fight back. A toxic workplace is similar to a “Lord of the Flies” situation where you either hide in the corner or go to war. Sutton says stand up for your interests and don't compromise your principles, but be prepared for a little conflict.  read more »

Toys R' Us


The holidays are right around the corner, but one of the country's biggest toy shops isn't feeling very jolly.

Earlier this week Toys R' Us which has more than 1,600 stores around the country filed for chapter eleven bankruptcy. The company is reportedly facing a $5 billion debt, and $400 million of that is due next year.

And now with financial trouble swirling, suppliers are holding back on shipments unless they receive cash payment in advance of delivery. This could mean that the season's hottest toys might not make it to store shelves, forcing customers to look elsewhere.  read more »

A Business of Boats


Want to have a business that lasts, love what you do, and the people that keep you up and running.

Frankie Magro, is the general manager of Barbosa Excursions in Malta. A business he started in the 1970's when there were about two companies offering boat trips around the islands. Now there are about a dozen.

“Business was very good this year in spite of our competition but our motto is we compete in service but not in price so people appreciate it when you give them good service.”

Magro says it's important to be nice to your customers and honor your word. He says in the end it's not the money that makes his job worthwhile.  read more »

A National Disaster


Disaster has a way of bringing out the best in people; but in some cases the worst is not far behind.

When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston followed a week later by Hurricane Irma’s attack on the Caribbean and Florida we saw many images of heroism and bravery. Unfortunately there were also stories of people being taken advantage of when they needed help the most.

Delta airlines came under fire for raising ticket prices more than $2,000 on flights out of Florida. Walmart and Amazon were both accused of price gouging on prices of bottled water with reports that Amazon was charging more than $100 for shipping. And it wasn't just supplies people were in need of, it was also rescue.  read more »

iPhone X


It's been ten years since the first iPhone, and Apple is celebrating by securing its legacy for the next ten.

This week the public was finally let behind the doors of Apple's new Silicon Valley spaceship shaped campus that was the brainchild of co-founder Steve Jobs. And it was in the Steve Jobs Theater that CEO Tim Cook introduced the iPhone X. A device he calls the company's biggest leap since the original release and a product that will hold the public's attention for another decade.  read more »

Weird Ways to Make Money


In need of a change of pace from your nine to five? Why not get a little creative when it comes to bringing home the bacon.

If your daily alarm fills you with dread maybe it's time to switch things up. To help avoid the daily grind while keeping a paycheck MSN Money has put together a list of the weirdest ways to make money.

For example a mystery shopper. As many companies look for ways to keep customers in stores and offline they are hiring people to evaluate customer service. Along with being paid to shop a number of companies also offer mileage reimbursement and a budget for snacks.  read more »



The credit monitoring company Equifax is hoping to win back the public's trust; but it's off to a rocky start.

Last week Equifax announced that it had been hacked by criminals that obtained the personal information of 143 million Americans. Information that included names, addresses and social security numbers. To make up for this failure in protecting your assets the company said it would give anyone affected a free one year subscription to its credit monitoring service. However there was a catch.  read more »

Nordstrom Local


Retail giant Nordstrom is trying on a new look; stores without clothes.

On October 3rd the high end clothing store will open a new version of its shop called Nordstrom Local in West Hollywood. It will be a fraction of the size of standard department stores and will offer things such as manicures and on site tailoring. It will contain eight dressing rooms where shoppers can try on clothes and accessories but the store won't have them in stock. Instead if something peaks your interest personal stylists on site can order it from one of the other local stores or the website.  read more »