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TALKING POINTS

Chipotle latest to raise workers’ pay

Chipotle is increasing its average employee wage in an attempt to increase its hiring pace.
Chipotle is increasing its average employee wage in an attempt to increase its hiring pace.Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg News/File 2019

FAST FOOD

Chipotle raises pay to an average of $15 an hour to attract workers

Hoping to attract more employees, Chipotle said Monday it will increase its wages to an average of $15 an hour by the end of June. The fast-food chain, which is looking to hire 20,000 employees for its peak season and to staff the more than 200 restaurants it plans to open this year, said the wage increase will result in hourly workers making between $11 and $18 an hour. Chipotle is the latest restaurant chain to raise wages or offer incentives as it struggles to staff its restaurants. As coronavirus vaccinations have increased and government restrictions eased, the restaurant industry, which laid off or furloughed millions of employees during the pandemic, suddenly went on a hiring spree, as did several other service-related industries. That sudden high demand for restaurant workers has been tough to meet. Some potential employees, whether concerned about the safety of serving customers dining indoors or buoyed by government stimulus checks, are wary of returning to work. — NEW YORK TIMES

PHARMACEUTICALS

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BioNTech says it will sell more than $15 billion in vaccines this year

BioNTech boosted its COVID-19 vaccine sales forecast to 12.4 billion euros ($15.1 billion) for this year, issuing a new target for the shot it sells with Pfizer as countries increase orders to spur their inoculation campaigns. The partners have contracted for about 1.8 billion doses this year and started clinching deals for 2022 and beyond, the Mainz, Germany-based company said Monday. BioNTech had previously predicted 9.8 billion euros ($11.9 billion) in 2021 revenue from the shot, its first marketed product. As demand soars for their messenger RNA vaccines, Pfizer and BioNTech have bumped up their production goals, raising the potential revenue the two partners stand to get as well. Pfizer last week said supply agreements will yield $26 billion in sales this year — a total that’s split between the drug makers. BioNTech also gets revenue from direct sales. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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FINANCIAL SERVICES

PayPal looking to expand beyond online payments

PayPal is eyeing life beyond the checkout button. In the coming months, the firm is planning to debut a bevy of new services, which could include high-yield savings accounts, check-cashing services, and stock-investing capabilities. It’s all being done in the hopes of PayPal becoming the world’s next “super app,” akin to China’s Alipay or WeChat, India’s Paytm or Singapore’s Grab. The stakes are high: If PayPal pulls it off, the company could become a bigger part of US consumers’ lives than Amazon, Google, or Facebook. But, in the United States, there is no shortage of banking giants and technology firms that have tried and failed to accomplish what PayPal wants to do. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

MARIJUANA

Fancy bongs are all the rage as legal pot market expands

Cannabis accessories are getting the luxury treatment, from $800 bongs designed by artists to $600 bespoke tabletop lighters and $300 vanity trays. These upscale products are catching on as stigmas around marijuana dissipate and its consumers seek to show off cannabis culture. The items are meant to be proudly displayed and double as home décor and art, rather than paraphernalia that’s stashed away when company arrives. There are now luxury versions of virtually every cannabis-related product for those who can afford them. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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AUTOMOTIVE

NHTSA probing complaints about Honda steering problems

The US government’s auto safety agency is investigating multiple complaints about steering failures that could affect more than 1.1 million Honda Accord sedans. In documents posted Monday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it received 31 complaints about the problem, and Honda has 77 more. Owners complained about a loss of steering control and the cars veering from their intended travel path. Two crashes and two injuries were reported. The probe covers Accords from the 2013 through 2015 model years. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

CRYPTOCURRENCY

Musk’s comments on SNL send Dogecoin plummeting

Elon Musk’s most impactful joke on ’'Saturday Night Live’' may well have been on the holders of Dogecoin. The cryptocurrency, which has seen tremendous volatility this year, tumbled as much as 30 percent after the Tesla chief and self-appointed ’'Dogefather’' guest-hosted the comedy show — jokingly calling it a ’'hustle’' during a segment on ’'Weekend Update,’' SNL’s satirical take on current events. Dogecoin had surged last week — topping 70 cents for the first time — which Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at the currency data and analytics company Oanda, attributed to the buzz surrounding Musk’s hosting gig. Yet even with the recent plunge, Dogecoin is still up 10,000 percent in 2021. It is now among the four most valuable cryptocurrencies by market cap, collectively worth more than corporate giants like Ford, Kraft Heinz, and Marriott, at about $65 billion. — WASHINGTON POST

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TRADEMARKS

Australian company loses bid to drop US trademark on the word “Ugg”

An Australian company’s long-shot bid to scrap a US trademark on the word “Ugg” has suffered another blow after a US appeals court rejected its argument, in a loss that could have far-reaching consequences for Australian makers of the sheepskin boots. It is the latest step in a five-year, high-stakes legal battle between the brand’s owner in the United States, Deckers Outdoor Corp., and a company called Australian Leather. Australian Leather’s owner, Eddie Oygur, said after the court ruling Friday that he would take the case to the US Supreme Court. In Australia, the word is used as a catchall term for sheepskin boots lined with fleece that have been made since the 1930s. It was registered as a brand in the United States in the 1980s by Australian entrepreneur Brian Smith. Deckers said it had fairly bought the name from Smith, that it had trademarked “UGG Australia” in the United States in 1995, and that American consumers knew it as a brand name rather than as a generic term. Deckers holds the trademark in more than 130 countries, meaning Australians are largely prevented from selling their boots internationally. — NEW YORK TIMES

MEDIA

Teen Vogue has a new editor — again

The last person hired as the top editor of Teen Vogue resigned before her start date. Now, the wide-ranging Condé Nast online publication is trying again, with the announcement Monday that Versha Sharma, a managing editor at the news website NowThis, will be its next editor-in-chief. Sharma, 34, was in charge of news and cultural coverage at NowThis, a site owned by Group Nine Media, the publisher of Thrillist, The Dodo, Seeker, and PopSugar. She was part of a team that received an Edward R. Murrow award in 2018 for a documentary on the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. She was named to the job nearly two months after Alexi McCammond, a former Axios journalist, resigned after more than 20 Teen Vogue staff members publicly condemned tweets she had posted a decade earlier. McCammond’s old tweets included derogatory stereotypes about Asians and slurs for gay people. She had apologized for the tweets in 2019 and deleted them. She apologized again after they were resurfaced in March and resigned from the Teen Vogue job before her first scheduled day. — NEW YORK TIMES

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