Category: Business

From Hobby to Side Hustle: Turning Your Passion into Profit

Do you have a hobby that you enjoy doing in your free time? Have you ever thought about turning that hobby into a profitable side hustle? With the rise of the gig economy, it has never been easier to start your own business and make money doing what you love. Today we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to turn your hobby into a side hustle and achieve success.

Assessing Your Hobby

The first step in turning your hobby into a side hustle is to assess the feasibility of your idea. This involves understanding your passion, identifying the market demand for your hobby, and researching your competition. Start by asking yourself what you are passionate about and what skills you have. Next, research the market demand for your hobby by analyzing consumer behavior and trends in the industry. Finally, research your competition to determine what sets you apart and how you can differentiate yourself in the market.

Creating a Business Plan

Once you have assessed the feasibility of your idea, the next step is to create a business plan. A business plan helps you define your target audience, determine your pricing strategy, and establish a marketing plan. Start by defining your target audience, which will help you tailor your marketing efforts and create a product that meets their needs. Next, determine your pricing strategy by analyzing the costs of materials, labor, and overhead. Finally, establish a marketing plan that outlines how you will reach your target audience and promote your product.

Legal Considerations

When starting a business, it is important to consider the legal aspects of your operation. This includes choosing a business structure, registering your business, and obtaining necessary permits and licenses. Choose a business structure that is appropriate for your needs, such as a sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation. Next, register your business with your state and obtain any necessary permits and licenses. Failure to comply with legal requirements can result in fines and legal troubles down the line.

Managing Finances

Managing your finances is an essential aspect of running a successful side hustle. This involves separating personal and business finances, budgeting and forecasting, and understanding tax obligations. Open a separate bank account and credit card for your business to keep your finances organized. Create a budget and forecast your earnings and expenses to ensure that you are making a profit. Finally, understand your tax obligations and consult with a tax professional to ensure that you are complying with tax laws.

Building an Online Presence

In today’s digital age, having an online presence is essential for any business. This involves creating a website or online store, utilizing social media marketing, and leveraging online marketplaces. Create a website or online store that showcases your products and services and makes it easy for customers to make a purchase. Utilize social media marketing to reach a wider audience and build brand awareness. Finally, leverage online marketplaces like Etsy or Amazon to reach customers who may not have found you otherwise.

Balancing Your Hobby and Side Hustle

Balancing your hobby and side hustle is key to avoiding burnout and achieving success. This involves setting realistic goals, managing your time effectively, and avoiding burnout. Start by setting realistic goals that align with your lifestyle and schedule. Manage your time effectively by creating a schedule that allows you to balance your work and personal life. Finally, avoid burnout by taking breaks and prioritizing self-care.

Ulterior Motives? Billionaires And Philanthropy

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, billionaires set a new record for the percentage of their wealth given to charity. Unfortunately, that record was for an all-time low. This came at the same time when billionaires were reaching new levels of worth that many thought would take decades to reach. While they were adding to their wealth, more than 150 donated less than one percent of that to charity.

After an outcry from the public about billionaires hoarding wealth, the pendulum swung the other way the following year. The world’s richest donated $27 billion in a one-year span, with the 25 richest people donating nearly $200 billion in their collective lifetimes. People are pushing back at billionaires to give more to charity, especially as their net worths are skyrocketing while most other people are remaining stagnant or seeing their purchasing power decline.

There is one major problem with billionaires donating to charity, however. Many feel that these mega-rich people who are also CEOs of major corporations should be focusing on paying their fair share in taxes and supporting their employees with livable wages. People argue that these charitable donations are nothing more than a way to make the billionaire look better in the public eye.

This is why you’ve seen politicians like Bernie Sanders, a former Presidential candidate, push for billionaires to be taxed more. Those on the other side of the aisle argue that the government would be overstepping and simply misallocate those funds. They also say that since the billionaires made the money, they should be able to do what they want with it.

However, a report from the White House has shown that billionaires are certainly getting off much easier than the average American when it comes to paying taxes. The 400 wealthiest families in the United States were found to pay an average of only 8.2 percent of their income. In a press brief, the White House added that “For decades, our economy has worked great for those at the very top, while hardworking Americans who built this country have been cut out of the deal and left behind.”

So why is it that billionaires have to be dragged kicking and screaming just to pay a marginally higher percentage in taxes while they’re willing to shell out hundreds of millions toward charity? Is there some sort of kickback that these billionaires are getting from foundations compared to helping those in need within their own country? 

It turns out that many of these donations are nothing more than surface-level publicity stunts. That’s because, with these massive donations, many of them are tax-subsidized. Studies have shown that for each $1 (yes, just one dollar) that billionaires give to charity, the American public has to chip in around $0.75 in lost tax revenue. Eventually, the money flows back to the company, so each donation only ends up being a small hit if not a gain in wealth.

Some have compared billionaire philanthropy to legal money laundering with a positive PR slant. Others have said that billionaires are simply donating a part of their morning’s pay. Philosopher Slavoj Zizek has said that billionaires will spend a few hours making millions off the backs of hardworking people, then use that money to donate for good PR. They don’t need the $10 million that they made that morning since they’re already worth billions, but a donation that size always looks good in a headline.

A lot of billionaires are also setting up their own charitable organizations, which should be a massive red flag. Investigative reporter Jesse Eisinger said that billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook/Meta) were simply moving money “from one pocket to the other,” and that they were “likely never to pay any taxes on it.” In the end, there are loopholes that allow for this to happen, so money laundering and tax evasion can be, well, evaded.

Of course, billionaires are more inclined to donate to politicians who are willing to give them these tax breaks and keep these loopholes in place. This means that it’s essentially the ultra-wealthy who are running the show rather than the politicians who were voted in. When they are donating to causes that you like, you can see these billionaires as amazing philanthropists, but when they donate to the other side, you can see them as pure evil.

It’s a real Catch-22 when it comes to billionaires donating. Obviously, some of them are doing some amazing work around the world and providing underserved regions with resources they’ve never had, while others are taking advantage of the system and padding their own net worth through good publicity. 

The Role of Innovation in Building A Competitive Business

In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, innovation has become an essential component for building and maintaining a competitive business. By definition, innovation refers to the introduction of something new or different that creates value, either by improving an existing product, process, or service. In some cases, this means developing a new one. Let’s explore the importance of innovation in building a competitive business and discuss strategies for fostering a culture of innovation within your organization.

Types of Innovation

There are several types of innovation, each with its unique benefits and challenges. Product innovation refers to the creation of new or improved products that better meet the needs and wants of customers. Process innovation, on the other hand, refers to the development of new methods or systems that enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and improve quality. Business model innovation involves reimagining how a business creates and delivers value to its customers, while service innovation focuses on improving customer experience through better customer service or after-sales support.

The Benefits of Innovation in Building A Competitive Business

Innovation can bring significant benefits to businesses, including increased efficiency and productivity, enhanced customer satisfaction, a better brand image and reputation, and the creation of new markets and opportunities. By continuously introducing new and improved products, services, and processes, businesses can stay ahead of their competition and meet the ever-changing needs of their customers. Additionally, innovation can lead to increased profitability and revenue, as businesses that innovate can charge higher prices for their products and services, and capture new customers and markets.

Innovation Strategies for Building A Competitive Business

To foster innovation within your organization, it is essential to create an environment that encourages creativity, collaboration, and risk-taking. One of the most effective ways to do this is by encouraging employees to generate and share ideas freely, without fear of criticism or ridicule. This can be achieved through brainstorming sessions, employee suggestion programs, and open-door policies that allow employees to share their ideas and feedback with management.

Another strategy for fostering innovation is by collaborating with stakeholders, such as customers, suppliers, and partners. By involving stakeholders in the innovation process, businesses can gain valuable insights and feedback on how to improve their products, services, and processes, and create solutions that better meet their needs and expectations.

Investing in research and development is also critical for building a culture of innovation. By allocating resources and funding to R&D, businesses can explore new technologies, develop new products and services, and stay ahead of emerging trends and market changes. Additionally, businesses can protect their intellectual property by obtaining patents, trademarks, and copyrights, which can help to prevent competitors from copying their ideas and products.

Challenges of Innovation in Building A Competitive Business

Despite the many benefits of innovation, businesses may face several challenges in implementing innovation successfully. These challenges can include resistance to change, lack of resources and funding, fear of failure, short-term focus, and failure to meet customer needs and expectations.

To overcome these challenges, it is essential to have a clear innovation strategy and vision, with buy-in from all stakeholders, including employees, investors, and customers. It is also essential to have a long-term focus on innovation and to invest in resources and funding that enable businesses to experiment and take risks.

Successful Examples of Innovation in Building A Competitive Business

Many successful companies have leveraged innovation to build a competitive edge and become market leaders in their industries. For example, Apple Inc. has revolutionized the technology industry with its innovative products, such as the iPhone and iPad. Tesla Inc. has disrupted the automotive industry with its electric vehicles and advanced autonomous driving technology. Inc. has transformed the retail industry with its innovative business model, which combines online and offline retail channels, while Netflix Inc. has disrupted the entertainment industry with its innovative streaming service.

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Business: Strategies for Improved Communication

Effective communication is one of the most critical skills necessary to succeed in business. Misunderstandings can lead to errors, frustration, and even larger issues, which can ultimately harm the company. However, pure technical skills and intelligence are not always sufficient when it comes to communication in the workplace. Emotional Intelligence (EI) plays a vital role in how well you and your team can communicate and foster healthy work relationships.

Understanding Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence (EI) may not be a term that everyone is familiar with, but it is essential to improve communication skills in the workplace. EI can be defined as an individual’s ability to identify, understand, and manage their emotions, as well as the emotions of others.

It is essential to understand the difference between emotional intelligence and IQ. You may have a high IQ and be proficient in many technical aspects of your job, but it does not necessarily make you an effective communicator or an excellent leader. High emotional intelligence can differentiate you from others in your workplace, and your relationships with your colleagues will be smoother.

Emotional Intelligence Strategies in Business Communication

The good news is that emotional intelligence can be improved. There are four primary components of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness, and relationship management.


Self-awareness is the ability to recognize your emotions accurately and understand how they impact your performance and behavior. Awareness of your strengths and limitations allows you to exploit them accordingly. For example, suppose you are aware that you tend to interrupt others when they are speaking. In that case, you can catch yourself in the act and take a step back, allowing others to finish their thoughts.

To improve your self-awareness in the workplace, you can take a pause a few times a day and ask yourself how you’re feeling—stressful situations can trigger strong emotions, and it’s important not to let your emotions get the best of you.


Self-regulation is the capability to control harmful impulses, manage stress, and maintain a positive outlook. This allows you to recover from stressful situations more quickly and effectively. It’s easy to become emotionally invested in business decisions or an unfortunate event, but self-regulation equips you to maintain a professional demeanor even under stress.

To improve self-regulation, you can practice deep breathing or visualization techniques to alleviate stress. Find out what works for you and make it a regular practice.

Social Awareness

Social Awareness is the quality of observing others and comprehending their needs, wants, and concerns. It’s the ability to sense what other people are feeling, anticipate others’ needs, and understand their point of view. By identifying the emotions of others, you can more successfully communicate and ensure everyone is on the same page.

To improve social awareness in the workplace, you should listen actively and empathetically to other people’s views. Be sure not to interrupt, criticize, or dismiss others’ views, as this hinders social awareness.

Relationship Management

Relationship management is the capacity to develop and maintain healthy relationships. Emotions play a large role in relationships and business. Poorly managed emotions can lead to arguments, failed projects, missed opportunities, and burnout.

To improve your relationship management skills, you can focus on conflict resolution, express appreciation for others’ efforts, and give constructive feedback to promote teamwork.

Benefits of Improved Emotional Intelligence in Business Communication

Incorporating emotional intelligence in the workplace has several benefits. Improved communication is the most crucial benefit.

When people understand and practice EI, it creates a working environment that is supportive, empathetic, and understanding. Harmonious work environments result in employees being more efficient, productive, and happy.

EI also plays a crucial role in dealing with customers and clients. Active listening and understanding their needs and wants can help you understand what the customers require, increasing the chances of closing deals and resulting in improved profits.

Scaling Up Your Business: 5 Tips For Dealing With Growing Pains

Scaling up your business can be an exciting and challenging process. As your business grows, you will likely encounter various obstacles and challenges that can cause growing pains. These growing pains can range from a lack of organization and communication to issues with staffing and decision-making. However, there are ways to navigate these challenges and come out stronger on the other side. Let’s look at five tips for dealing with growing pains and scaling up your business.

Set Clear Goals and Strategies

One of the most important things you can do when scaling up your business is to set clear goals and strategies. This includes defining your business’s vision, mission, and values, as well as outlining your short- and long-term goals. Having a clear roadmap for your business can help you stay focused, make better decisions, and avoid distractions.

To set clear goals and strategies, start by defining your mission statement. This should articulate what your business stands for and why it exists. Next, outline your business’s vision statement. This should describe what you want to achieve in the long term. Finally, set specific, measurable, and achievable goals that align with your mission and vision statements. Be sure to revisit your goals regularly to ensure you are on track and adjust as necessary.

One example of a company that successfully navigated growing pains through clear goals and strategies is Uber. Uber’s mission is to “ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion.” They set clear goals to expand their ride-sharing services to new markets and introduce new services such as Uber Eats. By staying focused on these goals, they were able to become a household name and a leader in their industry.

Hire the Right People

As your business grows, it’s important to have the right people in place to support that growth. This includes hiring people with the necessary skills and experience to help your business scale. It’s also important to hire people who align with your company’s culture and values.

To hire the right people, start by defining the roles and responsibilities you need to fill. Then, create job descriptions that clearly outline the skills and experience required for each role. Be sure to screen applicants thoroughly and ask questions that assess their skills, experience, and alignment with your company’s values.

One example of a company that struggled with growing pains due to a lack of the right people is Blockbuster. As the video rental industry evolved, Blockbuster failed to hire people with the necessary skills and experience to compete with new streaming services. As a result, they were unable to keep up with the changing industry and eventually went bankrupt.

Focus on Communication

Effective communication is crucial for any business, but it’s especially important when scaling up. As your business grows, it becomes more complex, and communication can become more challenging. It’s important to have clear channels of communication and to make sure everyone in the organization is on the same page.

To improve communication within your organization, start by setting clear expectations for communication. This includes defining who should be communicating with whom, how often, and through what channels. You should also encourage open and honest communication and provide training on effective communication skills.

One example of a company that overcame growing pains through effective communication is Zappos. Zappos implemented a “holacracy” management structure, which encourages open and transparent communication throughout the organization. This helped them to stay agile and make quick decisions as they grew.

Implement Processes and Systems

As your business grows, it becomes more complex, and it can be challenging to keep things organized. Implementing processes and systems can help you manage this complexity and keep things running smoothly. This includes implementing systems for everything from accounting and payroll to customer service and marketing.

To implement processes and systems, start by identifying the areas of your business that need improvement. Then, research and implement tools that can help streamline those areas. Be sure to provide training for your employees on how to use these tools and processes. This will help them to be more efficient and effective in their roles.

One example of a company that successfully implemented processes and systems to deal with growing pains is Amazon. Amazon has implemented sophisticated logistics and supply chain systems that enable them to manage its inventory, shipping, and customer service efficiently. These systems have helped Amazon to become a dominant player in the e-commerce industry.

Stay Agile and Adaptable

As your business grows, it’s important to stay agile and adaptable. This means being able to respond quickly to changes in the market and pivot your business strategy as necessary. It’s also important to be able to learn from your mistakes and use that knowledge to improve your business.

To stay agile and adaptable, start by fostering a culture of experimentation and innovation. Encourage your employees to take risks and try new things. Be open to feedback from your customers and be willing to pivot your business strategy as necessary.

One example of a company that failed to adapt to growth and experienced negative consequences is Kodak. Kodak was a dominant player in the film and camera industry for many years. However, they failed to adapt to the rise of digital cameras and smartphone cameras. As a result, they lost market share and eventually filed for bankruptcy.

Good For Business: Are The Benefits Of Corporate Social Responsibility Worth It?

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become an increasingly important aspect of doing business, driven by a growing awareness of the impact businesses can have on society and the environment. The question of whether the benefits of CSR are worth the investment, however, is one that is often debated. Today, we will explore the advantages and potential drawbacks of implementing a CSR program in a business, examine case studies and trends, and offer an analysis of whether CSR is indeed “good for business.”

Firstly, it is important to establish what we mean by CSR. In general, CSR refers to a company’s voluntary initiatives to take responsibility for its social, environmental, and economic impact. This includes going beyond the legal requirements to minimize negative impact and contribute to society in a positive way. Some examples of CSR programs include charitable donations, sustainable practices, and employee volunteer programs.

The benefits of CSR are numerous and wide-ranging. First and foremost, CSR can help to improve a company’s brand reputation. By demonstrating a commitment to social and environmental causes, businesses can increase their appeal to socially conscious consumers. A survey conducted by Cone Communications found that 94% of consumers are likely to switch brands to one that supports a social or environmental cause. A positive image can help to attract and retain customers, which in turn can increase revenue and profits.

CSR can also improve employee satisfaction and retention. By being part of an organization that values social responsibility, employees can feel more engaged and motivated. Additionally, many companies offer volunteer programs that allow employees to contribute to causes they care about, which can help foster a sense of community and pride in their work.

Another benefit of CSR is the positive impact it can have on the environment and local communities. This can include reducing waste, using sustainable materials, or supporting local businesses. By being a good corporate citizen, companies can build stronger relationships with their communities and stakeholders.

Finally, there is evidence to suggest that CSR can have financial benefits for businesses. A study by Harvard Business School found that companies that invest in environmentally conscious practices have higher financial returns compared to those that do not. This can be attributed in part to the positive reputation and customer loyalty associated with sustainable practices.

Despite these benefits, there are also costs associated with CSR. Implementing sustainable practices or community programs can be financially costly, especially for smaller businesses. It can also require significant time and resource allocation, taking away from other business priorities.

Furthermore, there is the potential for backlash. In recent years, there have been instances of companies being criticized for insincere or performative CSR initiatives or not doing enough to address social and environmental issues. In some cases, these criticisms have resulted in reputational damage and a loss of trust from customers and stakeholders.

It is important to note that the benefits of CSR are not guaranteed. Success depends on a number of factors, including the authenticity of a company’s CSR initiatives and the alignment of those initiatives with the values of their stakeholders. It is also worth considering that the benefits of CSR may be more long-term and intangible, making it difficult to measure their impact.

To better understand the potential benefits and drawbacks of CSR, it is useful to examine some real-world examples. Patagonia, a clothing company that focuses on sustainable and environmentally friendly practices, is often cited as an example of successful CSR. Their commitment to sustainable sourcing and ethical labor practices has helped to improve their reputation and attract customers who share their values. They have also created a sense of community among their employees and customers through their advocacy initiatives.

On the other hand, Volkswagen’s 2008 “Think Blue” campaign, which aimed to showcase its commitment to sustainability, was ultimately revealed to be little more than a greenwashing exercise. The campaign was criticized for being insincere and deceptive after the revelation that Volkswagen was rigging emissions tests on their vehicles.

Looking forward, there are indications that CSR will only become more important in the future. As the public becomes more aware of social and environmental concerns, customers will increasingly demand that businesses take responsibility for their impact. In addition, many governments are introducing regulations and standards that require businesses to adopt sustainable practices.

In conclusion, the benefits of CSR for businesses are clear. By taking responsibility for their social and environmental impact, companies can improve their brand reputation, increase customer loyalty, and positively impact their communities. Moreover, while the costs of CSR cannot be ignored, the potential long-term benefits can outweigh the initial investment. Nonetheless, companies must carefully consider the implementation of CSR and ensure their initiatives are sincere and aligned with the values of their stakeholders. As CSR continues to grow in importance, businesses that are able to demonstrate their commitment to social and environmental responsibility will be at an advantage in the marketplace.

A Brief History Of Pepsi’s Corporate Strategies

Pepsi, along with Coca-Cola, is a soft drink giant that has a reach to pretty much every country around the world. From its humble beginnings in the late 20th century to becoming a multi-billion dollar corporation, Pepsi has seen a lot of different corporate strategies over the years. Let’s take a brief look at Pepsi’s history of corporate strategies.

The Start

When it was first introduced in 1893 by Caleb Bradham, Pepsi was called Brad’s Drink and became a local favorite in New Bern, North Carolina where Bradham dispensed the beverage from his drugstore. The pharmacist claimed that there were health benefits for the drink and started marketing it as such, saying that it could cure dyspepsia at a time when it was a common ailment in the United States.

Thus, the first strategy was born and the name changed to Pepsi-Cola as a result of the marketing. Unfortunately for Bradham, he had to sell the company after sugar prices during World War I put him out of business. The company changed hands twice and ended up in the hands of Charles Guth, a candymaker who had become disgruntled with the Coca-Cola company.

Price Points

Pepsi entered the cola wars with Coca-Cola and got a huge leg up during the Great Depression. Both companies were selling the same sized (6.5 ounces) bottle for years until Pepsi decided to nearly double the size to 12 ounces without increasing the price. This helped Pepsi become a more common drink in middle America during a time when Coca-Cola had a stranglehold. With Pepsi now a familiar name across the nation, it was time to change course.

Drink of the Youth

Throughout much of the company’s history, Pepsi has made sure that they’re marketing toward the younger generation at the time. This dates back to the 1930s when Pepsi would use up-and-coming actors in their advertisements and continued over the decades with superstars entering their prime including Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, and many more. As a result, Pepsi has laid claim to being the “official” soft drink of each generation, including campaigns titled “The Pepsi Generation” and “Generation Next.”

The Food Side

During the 1950s, Pepsi saw a massive expansion and decided to go further than simply selling just a couple of soft drinks. In 1965, Pepsi and Frito-Lay merged, making sure that a massive chunk of the snacks and soft drinks in the United States were under one roof. This is why in most commercials for Frito-Lay brand chips, there’s a Pepsi product somewhere on the screen, and vice-versa.

In the following decade, under its new name PepsiCo, decided to start acquiring restaurants where Pepsi products would be dispensed from the soda fountains instead of Coca-Cola. Some of these restaurants included Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC, and the nearly-defunct Hot ‘n Now (which still has one location in Sturgis, Michigan).

The Health Movement

Of course, when a company is founded on creating high-calorie snacks and soft drinks that are often packed with sugar and carbohydrates, there are going to be a lot of critics. After obesity and diabetes rates increased dramatically over the 20th century, many people pointed the finger at companies like PepsiCo. Because of this, Pepsi has changed much of its corporate strategy in the 21st century to promote healthier foods.

The 2010s especially saw a big movement for Pepsi as the company acquired several businesses that focused on healthier snacks. This includes Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods (yogurt, juice, milk), Bare Foods, SodaStream, and more. Zero-calorie energy drinks have also been a key focus for Pepsi, acquiring brands like Rockstar and Celsius.

After Michelle Obama started a campaign against childhood obesity during her time as the First Lady of the United States, Pepsi pledged to cut 1.5 trillion calories from their products across the nation. The company also removed advertising toward anyone under the age of 12 while increasing the promotion of its low and zero-calorie drinks.

Merging and Emerging

We already mentioned that Pepsi has had a big focus on acquiring companies who can help to expand the catalog of products, and that remains a major key to Pepsi’s corporate strategy. Pepsi will focus on the companies that are coming up into the market, making sure to acquire them before they can become competitors or cost the company too much. In the company’s official corporate strategy report, it says there are five C’s that they want to promote heavily: Commercial, Capabilities, Costs, Collaboration, and Capital. Because of Pepsi’s history, there’s no doubt that it’s capable of achieving success.

KFC Behind The Scenes: 5 Surprising Facts

You may be a big fan of KFC because of the chicken and sides that you can get from the fast food titan, but how much do you truly know about the company outside of being founded by the late Harland “Colonel” Sanders? Today, we’ll pull back the curtain and take a look at some of the more surprising behind-the-scenes facts about KFC.

Colonel Sanders Was Involved In A Shootout

When people hear the name Colonel Sanders, they must assume that the KFC founder was a high-ranking member of the US Military. However, Sanders only served in the United States Army. He was a private and served for three months before being discharged, and forged his documentation to enlist at 16 years old. The only combat that Sanders ended up seeing was actually in Kentucky.

In the town of North Corbin, Sanders had a competitor named Matt Stewart. Stewart was found to be repainting the traffic signs in the town so that more people would drive by his restaurant. Sanders was with a Shell employee at the time as Sanders was working with the company, and a shootout between Sanders and Stewart took place. The Shell employee, unfortunately, lost his life in the shootout and Stewart was convicted of murder. The “Colonel” ranking was an honorary one bestowed upon Sanders by the Kentucky Governor.

The Original Recipe is Actually Still Secret

Colonel Sanders had been in the chicken business for years by the time the KFC Original Recipe was created in 1940. Sanders had concocted a blend of 11 herbs and spices, saying that it was a total secret. The company has paid good money to keep it a secret, as well, with the written recipe kept inside a vault at KFC’s headquarters.

So how does the recipe remain secret while still having so many restaurants make the chicken? KFC gives one-half of the recipe to McCormick & Company and the other half to Griffith Laboratories. Once they receive the two finished products, they blend them together to create the KFC Original Recipe. While many recreations of the recipe have been made, it somehow never tastes exactly like Sanders’ blend from all those years ago.

The Company Was Owned By Pepsi

Most people assume that KFC was under Colonel Sanders’s control until his death in 1980, but he had sold the company long before that in 1964. Sanders sold the company to John Y. Brown Jr. and was actually critical of the food after the expansion. He said the gravy in particular was downright bad and that the chicken didn’t have nearly the same taste as his original recipe despite the company’s success.

KFC went up for sale once again in the mid-1980s, but this time the company would be taken over by another titan of the food and beverage industry: PepsiCo. Pepsi held onto KFC along with Taco Bell and Pizza Hut as part of their new fast food division, but would ultimately be sold once again in the 1990s. Now, KFC is operated by Yum! Brands and the sports arena in Louisville is even named the KFC Yum! Center.

Buffets Used To Be Common

Those who are in the younger generations will probably never know the beauty of a KFC buffet. Many locations around the United States offered an all-you-can-eat buffet that was packed with delicious chicken and sides, but those days were wrapping up long before COVID-19 shut down many buffets. The best part of these buffets back then? They were much cheaper than you probably think.

In the 1990s, a family of four could eat for about $20-25 depending on the location. There are still a handful around the world that are still operating, but finding one of them is akin to finding a pot of gold. The same can be said for sister company Pizza Hut, which saw buffets as a staple during the 1980s and into the 1990s.

KFC is On Another Level in Japan

While it’s difficult to find a KFC that has a buffet in the United States, you probably won’t be too hard-pressed to find one in Japan. KFC began operations in the country back in 1970 and has become the go-to fast food location. KFC Japan is majority-owned by Mitsubishi and is thought to be more luxurious and of higher quality than the American franchises.

There is a stringent test that you have to pass to make KFC chicken in Japan, and it takes three months just to get certified. KFC around Christmastime has also become a tradition for the country, much like American Thanksgiving. On Christmas Eve, KFC Japan makes a massive amount of money that totals 5 percent of yearly revenue.

McDonald’s Behind the Scenes: 5 Surprising Facts

Pretty much everyone in the world knows what McDonald’s is and has eaten there at least once, but how much do you really know about the fast food titan’s inner workings? Today, we’re going to look behind the scenes at the Chicago-based company that has served up billions of burgers throughout the years to see how they operate. Here are five surprising facts about McDonald’s that cover the past, present, and future.

It Was The Biggest, Then It Wasn’t, Then It Was

Throughout the years, McDonald’s has had a back-and-forth fight against contending restaurants to have the most locations in the world. When data began being tracked in 1971 for the number of locations, Kentucky Fried Chicken was far and away the most popular with over 3,000 locations while McDonald’s was chugging along with just over 1,000. However, McDonald’s was about to expand furiously.

It only took until 1975 for McDonald’s to catch and pass KFC for the most locations, and the chain held the record for decades. In the late 2000s, Subway saw a massive expansion of its own, and by the end of the decade surpassed McDonald’s in total locations by thousands. Subway took a massive hit in popularity in the years that followed, though, while McDonald’s continued to increase its amount of restaurants to surpass Subway once again.

McDonald’s Dabbled With Home Cooking

With McDonald’s being headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the company often toys around with new ideas in the Chicagoland area. One of these concepts was an idea to serve more “homestyle” meals that customers could take home. Essentially, it was a fast food version of a dine-in restaurant with people encouraged to take the meals home. It was called Hearth Express, and it only lasted for a year.

Menu items such as meatloaf and baked ham were supposed to be full-fledged family meals, though McDonald’s said that the concept wouldn’t catch on. For McDonald’s, it came at a time of tremendous growth for its typical restaurants, so it wasn’t a big loss. This is why many people never heard of Hearth Express and its failure. 

The Process of Adding an Item is Daunting

When you think of McDonald’s, some of the first things that come to mind are the hamburgers, French fries, sodas, and milkshakes. While those are staples that will never be removed from the menu, McDonald’s has added a ton of items throughout the years which would also become staples. Items like the Filet O’Fish, Big Mac, and McNuggets are among the best examples of that.

Over the years, though, there have been plenty of menu items that have come and gone quickly. Some, in fact, were on the menu for a shorter period of time than the testing and planning process. When McDonald’s decides to add a new menu nationwide in the United States, it goes through a rigorous process that can take up to a year. Surprisingly, the All-Day Breakfast which drastically changed McDonald’s took a “short” nine months.

Play Places Are Now Hidden Gems

There was a time when each new McDonald’s was being built with a massive playground area known as a Play Place. This was because the fast food giant wanted to be seen as a safe spot for children and an overall hub for the local community where people could gather. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, all of the Play Places shut down. When things got better, McDonald’s opened up dining room seating, but not the Play Places.

While some franchised McDonald’s locations started to open up their Play Places again, a vast majority of them remained closed. Now, just like the dine-in Pizza Hut or the Wendy’s with a buffet, you’ll struggle to find one that’s open. The liability issues, the intense cleaning process, and more caused McDonald’s to reconsider their position on the Play Place.

Some Items Don’t Make Money

McDonald’s often has the cheapest soft drinks and French fries in the fast food business, but they’re still making a killing off of each one sold. The company is hoping that you grab these two and hopefully a hamburger as the profit margins for the staples are high while the volume sold turned McDonald’s into the king of fast food.

Then, there are the items that McDonald’s won’t make much money on at all, so skipping the fries and drinks could end up costing them money. A McDouble has a surprisingly low-profit margin while the salads (which are no longer on the menu) were the most expensive items for McDonald’s by a long shot. Other low-profit items include the Quarter Pounder, McChicken, and apple slices.

Burger King Behind The Scenes: 5 Surprising Facts

Florida-based Fast Food chain Burger King is one of the most common restaurants in the world with nearly 20,000 locations. While you probably know the Burger King menu and advertising, there are some surprising facts that you may not have known about BK. Here are five behind-the-scenes tidbits about Burger King and how they operate, advertise, and more.

The Fight For the Name

People that live in the central part of Illinois might notice that there’s a lack of Burger King locations despite all of the other major fast-food chains setting up shop in the area. The reason for this is because in Mattoon, Illinois, there’s an independent restaurant owned by the Hoots family with the same name. The family said that their name came before the fast food chain, and the two sides have battled in court.

As a result, the Burger King chain is not allowed to open a restaurant within 20 miles of Mattoon. This means that places with decently sized populations like Effingham or Charleston, Illinois aren’t able to have a BK. The chain offered the Hoots family $10,000 to get them to allow restaurants within the area, but the family declined and to this day has the only restaurant in the area with the Burger King name.

There’s an Exclusive Club

There are a ton of perks that come with being rich and famous. You’d think that these types of people wouldn’t need free fast food, but that is indeed one of those perks. Burger King has what’s known as a BK Crown Card, which is a gold card that looks like your run-of-the-mill credit card. It’s a little more exclusive than just being famous, though, as there are only about 12 people in the world with the Crown Card.

Burger King tends to give them to those who have worked with the brand directly, appearing in advertisements. George Lucas is one of those who has a BK Crown Card thanks to the licensing partnership between his “Star Wars” films and Burger King. Obviously, there was a lot of interest in being the chain that brought “Star Wars” toys to kids’ meals, and Burger King was the big winner.

Some Countries Have a Different Version

If you’ve been to Australia, you’ve probably seen a very familiar logo but with a different name. In the country, there are more than 400 locations of the Hungry Jack’s franchise, and the logo is identical to Burger King’s. That’s because the fast food chain, which was established in 1971, Burger King was already trademarked in Australia. The company let franchisee Jack Cowin name the Aussie version after himself.

During the late 1990s, however, the two sides got into a legal battle which resulted in Hungry Jack’s winning more than $40 million. Burger King pulled out of Australia because of the lawsuit, and Trans-Pacific Foods took over some of the region’s locations. However, most of Australia’s Hungry Jack’s are owned by the business instead of franchisees but still boast the same Burger King branding.

The Got a Celeb Banned From McDonald’s

Sarah Michelle Gellar was one of the biggest stars of the 1990s thanks to her role in the television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. Even at the peak of her fame, however, she wasn’t allowed to enter a McDonald’s location because of a lawsuit that stemmed from her work with Burger King when she was a child. Gellar was in a 1981 commercial for Burger King that claimed that the chain had larger hamburgers than McDonald’s.

McDonald’s was furious with the claim and took Burger King to court. They then placed a ban on everyone involved with the advertising campaign from entering their restaurants, even a five-year-old Gellar. “It was tough because, when you’re a little kid, McDonald’s is where all your friends have their birthday parties, so I missed out on a lot of apple pies,” Gellar said.

They Found Revitalization Through Video Games

There have been tie-ins before between fast-food companies and video game publishers, but only with mild success. Then, during the Xbox 360 era of games, there was the successful Burger King campaign. At BK locations, you could get discs that contained one of three video games for the system.

It was a great way for the company to tap into the millennial market that had just gotten into adulthood during the mid-2000s. The three games were “Sneak King”, “PocketBiek Racer”, and “Big Bumpin’”, all of which featured the new Burger King mascot. They ended up being a huge success and established BK’s presence with the younger generation and their new branding.