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Food for thought for restaurant owners and other Tampa Bay business news briefs

Margie Manning



Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

The Tampa-St. Pete metro area ranks No. 19 among the 50 largest metros in the United States on LendingTree’s new list of best places to start a restaurant.

The metro area has 783 restaurants per 100,000 households with an income of $50,000 or more – the households that spend the most on dining out, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are 573 restaurants per 100,000 residents aged 35 to 54, Gen Xer’s who have a greater appetite for  restaurant spending than millennials or baby boomers.

Restaurants in the Tampa-St. Pete metro had an estimated $180,360 in annual revenue and an average annual payroll of $16,785 per employee, LendingTree said.

Milwaukee ranked No. 1 in the survey of most promising places for new restaurants. New York, with an overcrowded restaurant industry that makes it tough for new owners to succeed, was in last place.

Done deal

Al Lang Stadium

Now that the Tampa Bay Rays have closed on the purchase of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, one of the first changes in the works impacts the Saturday Morning Market.

Beginning Nov. 3, and continuing during the first Saturday Morning Market of each month, the Rowdies will open Al Lang Stadium to the public for family-friendly activities and live soccer games streamed from around the world on the video board and concourse televisions, a news release said.

Phishing report

Bogus emails with the subject line “Password Check Required Immediately” were the most-clicked phishing emails in the third quarter of 2018, with 29 percent of workers clicking on them, a new report from KnowBe4 shows.

Phishing is a fraudulent effort to get sensitive information such as passwords or credit card details. KnowBe4, a Clearwater security training company, examined tens of thousands of email subjects lines from simulated phishing tests to discover what makes a user want to click.

Hackers leverage an individual’s desire to remain security-minded by making someone believe they are at risk or that something needs immediate attention, said Perry Carpenter, chief evangelist and strategy officer at KnowBe4.

“These types of attacks are effective because they cause a person to simply react before thinking logically about the legitimacy of the email,” Carpenter said.

See the full list of most-click email subject lines here.

Gender wage gap

Florida women are inching closer to wage parity with men.

The median weekly earnings for full-time female workers in Florida in 2017 was $726, or 87.9 percent of the $826 median weekly earnings for their male counterparts, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday.

The women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio in Florida was up by 0.8 percentage point, BLS said.

The ratio is Florida was one of the highest in the United States; only New Mexico, where the ratio was 90.9 percent, and Vermont, with an 88.9 percent ratio, were higher. The national ratio was 81.8 percent last year.

But Florida’s median weekly earnings for both sexes were among the lowest in the U.S., lagging the national median of $860.

Startup graveyard

Here’s a dubious and out-of-the-box measure of success for Tampa Bay’s tech community. A homegrown company grew large enough and attracted enough venture capital to get national attention when it failed.

CareSync, a health management technology company that closed abruptly in June, is included in Pitchbook’s “Startup Graveyard 2018,” a list of a dozen failed companies nationwide. CareSync, with a $46 million valuation, raised $26 million in venture capital between 2011 and 2018 and had nearly 300 workers when it closed.

The most high-profile startup in the “graveyard” is Theranos, a San Francisco-based blood-testing business with a $9 billion valuation that collapsed after fraud investigations.

Hurricane claims

Insurance companies now have more than $1 billion in claims in Florida from Hurricane Michael, according to the state’s Office of Insurance Regulation.

As of Oct. 22, 92,160 claims had been submitted – nearly 75 percent of them for residential property. About 7,400 claims already have been paid and closed, the report said.





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