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Carbone’s v. Carbone
A David-and-Goliath trademark battle is brewing in Dallas: "Those guys could have put a restaurant anywhere in the world. But they chose Dallas, down the street from us."
Here are today’s highlights:
In the last two years, there have been more than 500 shootings in supermarkets.
For some, this could be a very good time to be looking for office space.
With Shanghai’s lockdown ending, supply-chain issues are easing.
The last location of what was once America’s largest restaurant chain has closed.
Gen Z’s desire for mission-driven jobs is being tested: “For many 20-something workers and new grads, a sense of mission is butting up against the need to make money. Though they came of age under Presidents Obama and Trump and formed world views during times of powerful social movements, some are shifting their priorities or making compromises they might have criticized before entering the workforce. A sharper focus on money shows up in Deloitte Global’s annual survey of Gen Zers, which the firm defines as people born starting in 1995. Climate change was the top concern, ahead of financial challenges, when Deloitte polled more than 8,000 Gen Zers early last year.”
“This year, however, the cost of living vaulted ahead of the environment as the No. 1 worry in a survey of nearly 15,000 Gen Zers.”
“Meanwhile, 37 percent of Gen Zers in the latest poll said they have ‘rejected a job and/or assignment based on their personal ethics.’ A year ago, nearly half said ethics determine the kind of work they’re willing to do, and for whom.” READ MORE
The job market stayed strong through April: “Demand for workers remained near record highs, with 11.4 million job openings in April, as the tight labor market continues to be a bright spot for the U.S. economy. Some 4.4 million Americans quit or changed jobs that month, according to a report released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, using their leverage in an economy where job openings still outnumber job seekers by close to 2 to 1.”
“Employers reported hiring 6.6 million people in April. Layoffs, meanwhile, fell to an all-time low of 1.2 million, as businesses sought to keep the workers they did have.”
“‘The labor market remains strong even though things are cooling off a bit,’ said Nick Bunker, an economist at the jobs site Indeed. ‘We’re still very much in a worker’s and job seeker’s market.’” READ MORE
In Dallas, there’s a trademark battle brewing: “The owner of Carbone’s Fine Food and Wine in Dallas has filed a 34-page lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas against new restaurant Carbone, saying Carbone’s trademark has been infringed upon and that their similar-sounding names are confusing North Texas diners. ‘Those guys could have put a restaurant anywhere in the world,’ says Julian Barsotti, owner of 10-year-old Dallas restaurant Carbone’s on Oak Lawn Avenue. ‘But they chose Dallas, down the street from us.’”
“The legal battle Barsotti initiated will pit the family-owned Carbone’s against international restaurant company Major Food Group, which owns Carbone and about 30 other restaurants. It’s the David-and-Goliath story of Dallas restaurants.”
“Barsotti did not trademark the business name Carbone’s Fine Food and Wine. He says he didn’t think he needed to because common-law ownership in Texas happens naturally, when a business name is used in commerce, according to the Texas Business and Commerce Code.”
“Here’s the timeline: Carbone’s in Dallas opened in April 2012. Carbone in New York City opened in March 2013.”
“Major Food Group filed for a federal trademark for Carbone Restaurant on Jan. 27, 2012, and the trademark was registered Sept. 24, 2013.” READ MORE
Since 2020, there have been about 500 shootings at major supermarket chains: “When a white supremacist gunman murdered 10 people at a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York last month, the store became just the latest retailer to experience a deadly mass shooting. In recent years, mass shootings have also occurred at King Soopers in Boulder, Colorado, a Weis Markets in Eaton Township, Pennsylvania, and a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. But even beyond these high-profile mass shootings, supermarkets have long been the target of gun violence, according to exclusive data from gun-control advocacy group Guns Down America. By analyzing media reports, the group found that nearly 500 incidents involving firearms have happened in large grocery chains in the past two years.”
“Walmart — the largest retailer in the United States — saw the most violence, including 310 gun incidents, and 89 firearm-related deaths.”
“[Igor Volsky, executive director of Guns Down America] said businesses are left with traumatized employees and customers, higher turnover and insurance rates and the lingering perception that the shopping environment isn't safe.”
"’This is as much a business issue as it is a moral issue and a political issue,’ Volksy said. ‘Businesses across America need to start acting like it.’” READ MORE
This could be a good time to look for office space: “Before you jump ship to a new location, it's of course worth negotiating with your current landlord to see if they're willing to budge on rent or offer other incentives. Rivani says he commonly hears of landlords offering shorter lease terms, free rent, and car loans to hang onto tenants. For new leases, some landlords will ask for smaller deposits, one or two months instead of the usual four or six, or insert ‘Covid pause’ clauses, which would not penalize tenants in the case of another surge or shutdown. If a space isn't move-in ready, you can also negotiate on renovations.”
“Whelan notes that most business owners have six to 18 months to make a deal before the market tightens, and that, of course, could change if the pandemic experiences another wave.”
“While that may seem like a long time, you'll likely want to start looking now or budgeting to see if making an office transition is a smart idea now rather than later.” READ MORE
Over the past 10 years, housing prices have more than doubled in Nashville: “Housing prices in Nashville have more than doubled over the past 10 years, partly because of a population boom that has brought nearly 400,000 new residents to the metropolitan area. That has pushed some locals farther away from the city center, adding hours to their weekly commutes. Meager public-transit options mean soaring fuel prices are hitting them especially hard. To make matters worse, the price of utilities has exceeded the national average every year since 2009. And the surging population has pushed up the price of daycare, too.”
“Median home-sale prices in Nashville reached a record of $423,105 at the end of March, according to Zillow Group, compared with a nationwide median of $337,560. Average rent reached $1,802 a month in April, up 19 percent from a year earlier.”
“In many ways, the cost of living in Nashville is catching up to what it is elsewhere in the nation, said Dr. Achintya Ray, an economics professor at Tennessee State University. ‘The South, as an area, used to be a little cheaper than the rest of the country,’ he said. ‘That difference is kind of shrinking right now.’” READ MORE
In Shanghai, the end of lockdown means workers can finally go home and global trade is recovering: “As Shanghai tries to get back to work this week after a two-month anti-Covid shutdown, companies are beginning to bring back employees and restore supply chains. For many workers, there was a different sense of relief: They finally got to go home after weeks spent living and sleeping in stores, offices and factories to keep the economy turning.”
“Companies deemed critical, such as automakers and chip producers, have been on a whitelist system that allowed them to operate under a ‘closed loop’ throughout the citywide lockdown.”
“Shanghai’s role in global trade is recovering. Daily container throughput at its port reached about 95 percent of its normal capacity by the last week of May, and Pudong Airport, the city’s main international airport, was handling about 80 percent of its pre-Covid lockdown cargo levels, transport ministry data show.” READ MORE
In Lake George, N.Y., the very last Howard Johnson’s restaurant has closed: “The longtime roadside staple had about 1,000 restaurants in the 1960s and 1970s, and it was once America's largest restaurant chain. Instantly recognizable for its orange roofs, the diners served 28 types of ice cream and became a part of American culture. ‘Mad Men’ recreated the restaurant to film a scene.But Howard Johnson quickly found itself in the shadow of McDonald's and other fast-food chains that maximized efficiency and better managed supply chains. Marriott bought a crippled Howard Johnson in 1985, selling hundreds of the brand's hotels and about 200 restaurants to Prime Motor Inn. That company sold the restaurants to other chains, and they lost the ‘HoJo’ name.”
“The Lake George location has ‘seen interest’ since it went up for lease late last year, reports News 10. The real estate listing for the 7,500-square foot property states a price of $10.” READ MORE
THE 21 HATS PODCAST
What Would Deming Say? This week, Kelly Allan—a consultant who specializes in sharing the principles espoused by the late management guru W. Edwards Deming—returns to the podcast for a conversation with Paul Downs, Jay Goltz, and Laura Zander. The goal was to see if we could figure out what Deming would tell Paul, Jay, and Laura about how they manage their businesses—and whether the three owners would be open to his suggestions. Spoiler alert: Paul’s not really buying it.
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If you see a story that business owners should know about, hit reply and send me the link. If you got something out of this email, you can click the heart symbol, you can click the comment icon below, and you can share it with a friend. Thanks for reading, everyone. — Loren