Tier-two tech rms

In the shadow of giants


Smaller companies are snapping at the heels of the tech titans

 

May 22nd 2021 | words 538

 

 


 

FOR YEARS McDonalds has been a prime target of the battles of labour-rights campaigners over miserly pay. The day before its annual general meeting on May 20th Fight for $15, an advocacy group, organised a strike of McDonalds workers in 15 cities across America. The strike went ahead despite the firms vow a week earlier to raise wages. The company said that its 36,500 in-house employees will get a rise of 10% on average, that entry-level wages for new hires would go from $11 to $17 an hour and that average wages for all staff paid by the hour would reach $15 by 2024. It added that it wants to hire 10,000 people for the 650 restaurants it owns outright over the next three months.

 

miserly

miserly / maizli; NAmE -rli / 

adj. (disapproving) 1. (of a person ) hating to spend money

SYN mean 

2. (of a quantity or amount ) too small

SYN paltry 

 

outright

outright / autrait /

adv. 

1. in a direct way and without trying to hide anything

Why don't you ask him outright if it's true?   

 

 She couldn't help herself and she laughed outright.   

 

2. clearly and completely

Neither candidate won outright.   

 

The group rejects outright any negotiations with the government.   

 

3. not gradually; immediately

Most of the crash victims were killed outright.  

 

We had saved enough money to buy the house outright.   

,

 

 

 

McDonalds followed Chipotle and Olive Garden, two other restaurant chains that recently announced wage increases while they try to recruit staff as America reopens for business. The fast-food giant has room to reinvest in labour, says Sara Senatore at Bernstein, a broker. It reported growth of same-store sales in America of 14% in the first quarter, year on year, thanks to a boom in online orders. Because people spent twice as much when they buy from home, and 20% more ordering via mobile devices, the companys operating margin hit 44.5%, the highest in years.

 

broker

broker / bruk(r); NAmE brou- /

noun

1. a person who buys and sells things for other people

:

 an insurance broker  

  

2. = stockbroker 

 

 

McDonalds is not raising burger prices just yet to offset the extra costs. The wage hike will only marginally affect its profits, much of which come from franchise fees from the 14,000 restaurants that the firm does not operate. Fight for $15 says workers at all McDonalds-branded restaurants deserve higher pay. But franchisers do not have much say in the labour practices of franchisees. All they can do is encourage better wages by subsidising employee training and other perks, which frees up money for franchise operators. McDonalds has not said it would do so.

 

franchise

franchise / frntaiz / 

noun 

1. [C, U] formal permission given by a company to sb who wants to sell its goods or services in a particular area; formal permission given by a government to sb who wants to operate a public service as a business

()(),

a franchise agreement / company   

 

a catering / rail franchise   

/  

In the reorganization, Southern Television lost their franchise.   

 

to operate a business under franchise 

   

2. [C] a business or service run under franchise

()

They operate franchises in London and Paris.   

 

a burger franchise   

 

3. [U] (formal) the right to vote in a country's elections

():

universal adult franchise   

 

-- see also enfranchise 

 

perk

perk / pk; NAmE prk / 

noun 

(also formal perquisite) [usually pl.] something you receive as well as your wages for doing a particular job

(),,

Perks offered by the firm include a car and free health insurance.   

 

(figurative) Not having to get up early is just six of the perks of being retired.   

 

 

 

Restaurants big and small are struggling to attract workers. According to the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce entry-level line cooks at the New York boroughs eateries who were paid $15 an hour (the minimum wage in the city) before the pandemic are now offered up to $25 an hour. Restaurateurs are stretching to offer health-care benefits even to part-timers. Many promise sign-on bonuses. Brooklyn being the wokest part of woke New York, some go so far as to throw in a commitment to social justice and equity in staffing (by, for instance, promising to hire reformed juvenile offenders).

 

borough

borough / br; NAmE brou / 

noun 

a town or part of a city that has its own local government

()

the London borough of Westminster   

 

The Bronx is six of the nine boroughs of New York.   

 

a borough council   

 

 

Most economists expect the labour shortage to ease as potential workers worries over infection in the workplace abate and children return to school. Even so, before covid-19 wages were rising and businesses struggled to find workers, says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moodys Analytics. As life returns to normal-ish, employers will need to come up with ways to attract staff. Treating interviewees to a free Crispy Chicken-sandwich combo, as McDonalds is doing in Florida, wont cut the mustard for long. 

 

 

abate

abate / beit /

verb (formal)to become less strong; to make sth less strong

(),,,:

[V]  

The storm showed no signs of abating.  

  

[VN]  

Steps are to be taken to abate pollution.   

 

combo

combo / kmbu; NAmE kmbou /

noun (pl. -os)

1. a small band that plays jazz or dance music

2. (informal, especially NAmE) a number of different things combined together, especially different types of food

(),

I'll have the steak and chicken combo platter.  

 

 

cut the mustard

slang

1. To work or operate in a satisfactory manner. The origin of this phrase is debated.

 I need a new worker from the temp agencythe one you sent over keeps mixing up orders and just isn't cutting the mustard.

 This toaster doesn't cut the mustard anymore. No matter what setting you choose, your toast comes out charred!

2. To work or act with energy and enthusiasm, as is characteristic of the young.

 That guy looks like he's 110 years oldthere's no way he'll be able to cut the mustard stocking shelves all day!

rude slang

3. rude slang To fart.

 I can't believe you cut the mustard in the car. Now we have to smell it all the way home!






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Economist | Tier-two tech rms



Tier-two tech rms

In the shadow of giants


Smaller companies are snapping at the heels of the tech titans

 

May 22nd 2021 | words 538

 

 


 

FOR YEARS McDonalds has been a prime target of the battles of labour-rights campaigners over miserly pay. The day before its annual general meeting on May 20th Fight for $15, an advocacy group, organised a strike of McDonalds workers in 15 cities across America. The strike went ahead despite the firms vow a week earlier to raise wages. The company said that its 36,500 in-house employees will get a rise of 10% on average, that entry-level wages for new hires would go from $11 to $17 an hour and that average wages for all staff paid by the hour would reach $15 by 2024. It added that it wants to hire 10,000 people for the 650 restaurants it owns outright over the next three months.

 

miserly

miserly / maizli; NAmE -rli / 

adj. (disapproving) 1. (of a person ) hating to spend money

SYN mean 

2. (of a quantity or amount ) too small

SYN paltry 

 

outright

outright / autrait /

adv. 

1. in a direct way and without trying to hide anything

Why don't you ask him outright if it's true?   

 

 She couldn't help herself and she laughed outright.   

 

2. clearly and completely

Neither candidate won outright.   

 

The group rejects outright any negotiations with the government.   

 

3. not gradually; immediately

Most of the crash victims were killed outright.  

 

We had saved enough money to buy the house outright.   

,

 

 

 

McDonalds followed Chipotle and Olive Garden, two other restaurant chains that recently announced wage increases while they try to recruit staff as America reopens for business. The fast-food giant has room to reinvest in labour, says Sara Senatore at Bernstein, a broker. It reported growth of same-store sales in America of 14% in the first quarter, year on year, thanks to a boom in online orders. Because people spent twice as much when they buy from home, and 20% more ordering via mobile devices, the companys operating margin hit 44.5%, the highest in years.

 

broker

broker / bruk(r); NAmE brou- /

noun

1. a person who buys and sells things for other people

:

 an insurance broker  

  

2. = stockbroker 

 

 

McDonalds is not raising burger prices just yet to offset the extra costs. The wage hike will only marginally affect its profits, much of which come from franchise fees from the 14,000 restaurants that the firm does not operate. Fight for $15 says workers at all McDonalds-branded restaurants deserve higher pay. But franchisers do not have much say in the labour practices of franchisees. All they can do is encourage better wages by subsidising employee training and other perks, which frees up money for franchise operators. McDonalds has not said it would do so.

 

franchise

franchise / frntaiz / 

noun 

1. [C, U] formal permission given by a company to sb who wants to sell its goods or services in a particular area; formal permission given by a government to sb who wants to operate a public service as a business

()(),

a franchise agreement / company   

 

a catering / rail franchise   

/  

In the reorganization, Southern Television lost their franchise.   

 

to operate a business under franchise 

   

2. [C] a business or service run under franchise

()

They operate franchises in London and Paris.   

 

a burger franchise   

 

3. [U] (formal) the right to vote in a country's elections

():

universal adult franchise   

 

-- see also enfranchise 

 

perk

perk / pk; NAmE prk / 

noun 

(also formal perquisite) [usually pl.] something you receive as well as your wages for doing a particular job

(),,

Perks offered by the firm include a car and free health insurance.   

 

(figurative) Not having to get up early is just six of the perks of being retired.   

 

 

 

Restaurants big and small are struggling to attract workers. According to the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce entry-level line cooks at the New York boroughs eateries who were paid $15 an hour (the minimum wage in the city) before the pandemic are now offered up to $25 an hour. Restaurateurs are stretching to offer health-care benefits even to part-timers. Many promise sign-on bonuses. Brooklyn being the wokest part of woke New York, some go so far as to throw in a commitment to social justice and equity in staffing (by, for instance, promising to hire reformed juvenile offenders).

 

borough

borough / br; NAmE brou / 

noun 

a town or part of a city that has its own local government

()

the London borough of Westminster   

 

The Bronx is six of the nine boroughs of New York.   

 

a borough council   

 

 

Most economists expect the labour shortage to ease as potential workers worries over infection in the workplace abate and children return to school. Even so, before covid-19 wages were rising and businesses struggled to find workers, says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moodys Analytics. As life returns to normal-ish, employers will need to come up with ways to attract staff. Treating interviewees to a free Crispy Chicken-sandwich combo, as McDonalds is doing in Florida, wont cut the mustard for long. 

 

 

abate

abate / beit /

verb (formal)to become less strong; to make sth less strong

(),,,:

[V]  

The storm showed no signs of abating.  

  

[VN]  

Steps are to be taken to abate pollution.   

 

combo

combo / kmbu; NAmE kmbou /

noun (pl. -os)

1. a small band that plays jazz or dance music

2. (informal, especially NAmE) a number of different things combined together, especially different types of food

(),

I'll have the steak and chicken combo platter.  

 

 

cut the mustard

slang

1. To work or operate in a satisfactory manner. The origin of this phrase is debated.

 I need a new worker from the temp agencythe one you sent over keeps mixing up orders and just isn't cutting the mustard.

 This toaster doesn't cut the mustard anymore. No matter what setting you choose, your toast comes out charred!

2. To work or act with energy and enthusiasm, as is characteristic of the young.

 That guy looks like he's 110 years oldthere's no way he'll be able to cut the mustard stocking shelves all day!

rude slang

3. rude slang To fart.

 I can't believe you cut the mustard in the car. Now we have to smell it all the way home!






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