Blog Posts by CNBC

  • Ordering a Cheeseburger? There's an IPad for That

    By Katie Little,

    Classic American comfort food is going high tech at one California restaurant chain.

    A customer browses the menu offerings at a Stacked restaurant in California.A customer browses the menu offerings at a Stacked restaurant in California. At its three locations, Stacked Restaurants offers customers the opportunity to craft their meals and then pay for them on iPads - an amenity that is catching on among restaurant operators across the country.

    At Stacked, diners can choose to stack their burgers, pizzas, salads, and plates of macaroni and cheese with a range of toppings.

    It's a simple concept, but the ordering process can become unwieldy. Paul Montenko, the chain's co-founder, said he and his partner began to think of alternative methods that would equip diners with a way to pick among the numerous combinations without holding up the line.

    "If it was a fast-casual restaurant where you go up to a counter and order from a cashier, there were too many choices," he said. "It would be cumbersome at the least - frustrating and stressful at the worst."
    Instead, the company invested in 230 iPads at a cost of more

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  • Men Are Out-Shopping Women Online

    By Courtney Reagan,

    It might be time for the consumer lexicon to change. Retailers usually refer to shoppers as "she," but turns out, men are out-shopping women online.

    Nearly half of these wealthy men spend more than $4,000 a year online.Nearly half of these wealthy men spend more than $4,000 a year online. According to digital performance company iProspect, there are 19 million affluent men online, and the vast majority of them are shopping. Nearly half of these wealthy men spend more than $4,000 a year online.
    Luxury menswear and accessories are leading the growth trend. Seventy percent of affluent men prefer to both research and buy online, with more than a quarter of them making purchases weekly. (Sorry ladies, but 84 percent of these guys are buying for themselves.)

    Chris Ventry, the general manager of Gilt Groupe's GiltMan, tells CNBC the growth rate of men shopping online has outpaced women, and guys are outspending the ladies by 20 percent to 30 percent.
    Megan Grant, senior vice president of Marketing for Kiehl's, tells CNBC its men's business online has doubled that of its stores.

    These men expect a

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  • Show the Love: Mother's Day Spending Seen 8% Higher

    By Christina Cheddar Berk,

    Here it comes, Mother's Day, the second biggest gifting holiday on the calendar behind Christmas.
    Here it comes, Mother's Day.Here it comes, Mother's Day. This year, consumers are expected to stretch their budgets to show Mom the love.

    Consumers are expected to spend an average of $152.52 on Mother's Day gifts, up about 8 percent from $140.73 last year, according to a survey conducted by BigInsight on behalf of retail industry trade group, the National Retail Federation. Total spending should reach $18.6 billion.

    "Despite grappling with high gas prices, Americans will look for sentimental and unique ways to shower mom with affection this year," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

    According to the NRF survey, consumers will spoil mom with special meals, clothing, electronics, flowers and more. Flowers and dining out are two of the more popular ways to celebrate, with two-thirds (66.4 percent) buying flowers, and more than half going out to dinner or brunch.

    Nearly one-third will treat mom to a

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  • Babiators Founders Create Top-Gun Style for Littlest Mavericks

    By Mike Abrams,

    "I was never a big fan of 'Sex and the City,' but lately I've been cheering for Sarah Jessica Parker!" says Marine Corps Capt. Ted Fienning after several photographs surfaced on and People of Parker's twin children, each sporting a pair of Babiators sunglasses.

    No more squinting for this little guy.No more squinting for this little guy.That's because Babiators is his baby - sunglasses for young children that have taken the world of children's eyewear by storm, making Newsweek's "Summer Shopping List," Us Weekly's "Mommy Must-Haves" and Star Magazine's "Hot Sheet."

    The company, launched in May 2011 by Fienning, a fighter pilot; his wife, Molly; and their fellow Harvard classmates, Matthew and Carolyn Guard, Babiators were designed to protect kids' eyes from UVA and UVB rays while making them look like little fighter pilots.

    The inspiration for Babiators came when Fienning was standing on a flight line before a deployment. He was wearing his Marine Corps standard-issue aviator sunglasses. "It's part of the

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  • 10 Luxury Goods for Warehouse Prices

    By Ellen Lee,

    Luxe for Less

    Warehouse clubs are more than just about stocking up on paper towels and shampoo. Amidst the pallets of super-sized sodas and snacks, they also carry their share of luxury items for that can't-stop-myself splurge.

    For example, Coach, Chanel, and Burberry handbags, Herman Miller chairs , and Waterford crystal have been known to grace Costco's shelves over the years.

    In some cases, the warehouse clubs partner with high-end brands to offer its members exclusive products at discounted prices. However, some retailers may also obtain items through gray-market buying - a controversial practice in which retailers circumvent manufacturers and buy products through third-party distributors. Costco, the subject of a CNBC documentary "The Costco Craze," sometimes employs this strategy. That has led some companies to sue the retailer, but most have been unsuccessful.

    Costco's founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal has no qualms procuring goods through the gray

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  • Relax, America, the Bacon Crisis Has Passed

    By Cindy Perman,

    Gas prices may still be uncomfortably close to $4 but great news, bacon lovers - just in time for the summer BLT season, bacon prices have fallen back down to earth in the U.S.!

    They go whole hog at the Sage General Store in Long Island City, NY.They go whole hog at the Sage General Store in Long Island City, NY. If you recall, last summer, we were approaching a bacon crisis as the price of pork bellies, where the bacon comes from, topped $150 per hundredweight (100 lbs), according to the USDA. Hog farmers had pared their herds due to high feed costs and retail bacon prices surged to near $5 a pound, with some projections calling for $6 a pound. Prices were so high it prompted a hog-stealing epidemic, or as we here at the Pony blog called it - The Great Bacon Crime Spree of 2011.

    After peaking above $150 last August, the price of pork bellies this week has been between $86 and $88 per hundredweight, according to the USDA. And at the grocery store, bacon prices are back around $3 to $4 per pound.

    "It's supply and demand," said Jason Mosley, the author of the Mr. Bacon Pants blog and co-star

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  • Jobs that Make You Fit

    By Colleen Kane,

    Workaday Workouts

    Look, it's not breaking news that working as a physical trainer or fitness instructor makes you fit. Duh. In that line, it's an essential job requirement: "People will always judge you on your appearance," says certified personal trainer Joshua Margolis, of Mind Over Matter Health.

    Additional no-brainers in this "fit jobs" category include dancers and athletes. Any active job requiring moving all day, like bike messengers, farmers, construction workers, and landscapers also come to mind. But for this slideshow, we went beyond the most obvious to find some of the less commonly cited occupations in the category-including one we can practically guarantee you didn't know was a legitimate job.

    See the full slideshow: Jobs That Make You Fit

    Flight AttendantFlight AttendantFlight Attendant
    The flight attendant lifestyle seems to be the polar opposite of the dreaded desk job. "Being a flight attendant keeps you fit! Not only did it used to be a requirement to stay within a

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  • 11 Greatest Baseball Attractions

    By Dan Fost,

    The Greatest Experiences in Baseball

    As the major league teams hit the road for the start of another baseball season, many fans are also ready to embark on their own baseball road trips. America's favorite pastime offers a great lens through which you can see the country.

    While most recommended road trips will take you to major and minor league stadiums, we offer another kind of tour: businesses and nonprofit ventures that give you a different window on the game. If you time your visit to these places right, you will never be too far from a ballgame.

    And if we've whetted your appetite for baseball's attractions, check out "The Baseball Fan's Bucket List: 162 Things You Must See, Do, Get & Experience Before You Die," by Robert and Jenna Santelli.

    So, what are some of the greatest attractions in baseball?

    See the full slideshow: Baseball's Greatest Attractions

    Bergino makes baseballs — beautiful baseballs.Bergino makes baseballs — beautiful baseballs.Bergino Baseball Clubhouse
    Location: New York

    It's the kind of tiny treasure that you can only find

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  • Best Educational Family Trips

    By Colleen Kane,

    Family Fun With a Purpose

    For parents in search of excursions that provide a little more mental stimulation than the beach, the choices abound. It's just a matter of picking from the wealth of options. To narrow it down, we've picked suggestions for eight types of kids, from budding chef to history buff, to drama queen, to animal lover.
    Here, assembled with input from Eileen Ogintz, creator of the travel resource Taking the Kids and the writers at Kids Can Travel, are plenty of ideas for educational family fun.

    See the full slideshow: Best Educational Trips for Kids

    Animal TrainerAnimal TrainerAnimal Trainer
    SeaWorld has a variety of special "trainer for a day" and camp programs for kids age 13 and up that enable them to see what it is like to be working with the creatures that they love-what it takes to care for and train for them. There are also day-long and overnight programs starting for preschoolers, Ogintz says.

    Similar trainer for a day programs are offered at various tourist

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  • Money-Making Athlete Wives

    By Daniel Bukszpan,

    The stereotype about professional athletes' wives is they're not much more than gold-digging arm candy, with few accomplishments of their own. The stereotype no longer applies today, thanks to the efforts of some high-profile women who established themselves well before they married their famous husbands.

    Many of the wives of today's professional athletes are entrepreneurs and business professionals. Some of them have been so successful in their chosen fields they are as famous as their husbands. Sometimes even more so - everyone knows Carrie Underwood but not everyone knows the name of her husband, NHL player Mike Fisher.

    What follows is a list of the wives of 10 athletes who've made names for themselves as columnists, models, designers and more. They may have married famous men but they may have successful careers ahead of them long after their husbands have retired.

    Read ahead to see which wives of professional athletes have made lives, careers and

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