Must Read Money Stories for Friday, Nov. 13

by November 13, 2015

No Tip Policy. Banning customers from tipping their servers has been the latest trend emerging out of America’s restaurant industry, and Joe’s Crab Shack is the first major chain putting the new system to the test, CNN Money reported this week. Attempting to bolster slumping sales, the chain’s parent, Ignite Restaurant Group, is trying out the no-tip policy in 18 locations, where servers will instead earn higher hourly wages. While Ignite representatives insist no gratuity helps customers because “people are paying less,” menu items at those test locations will also increase by about 15 percent – about the same as the industry standard for tipping.

Airbnb Community Compact. Home sharing company Airbnb has become insanely popular across the globe in recent years, which has shaken up the hotel industry, angered nearby residents and drawn criticism that the company is not paying its fair share of taxes. The intensifying public relations nightmare, particularly in tourist hot spots like San Francisco and Disneyland’s hometown of Anaheim, prompted Airbnb to release its so-called “Airbnb Community Compact” this week, according to the Los Angeles Times. In the compact, Airbnb vowed to cooperate with local governments and urged its rental hosts to follow local laws. Some residents told the Times they thought the response was just a PR “spin.”

Hulu, Time Warner In Talks. Anonymous sources told the Wall Street Journal that Hulu wants to sell a large stake in its business to Time Warner Inc., making it the fourth owner of the popular streaming-video service. The WSJ reported Thursday that such a move would value Hulu at more than $5 billion and boost the company’s efforts to compete with Netflix and Amazon. The WSJ article says Hulu is considered a friend to the TV industry, which increasingly frets about losing audiences to Netflix, and some analysts believe the market under appreciates the value of the streaming-video service.

Millennials And Big Banks. Millennials are apparently dumping some of America’s biggest financial institutions. Accenture Plc’s new data shows that regional and national banks lost 16 percent of account holders between the ages of 18 to 34 last year, Bloomberg reported this week. Credit unions and community banks, on the other hand, saw a 3 percent and 5 percent uptick, respectively. Bloomberg reported that cost is one core motivator for more millennials going local with their money—big banks have been raising their ATM, maintenance and other fees.

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