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Bartenders at US Open allegedly shorted on tips

Wine glasses at a bar at The Country Club in Brookline May 25.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff


Bartenders at US Open allegedly shorted on tips

Bartenders serving drinks at the US Open golf tournament in Brookline in June were cheated out of tens of thousands of dollars in tips, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Middlesex Superior Court against the food service provider Aramark. More than 75 bartenders worked at about a dozen concession stands around The Country Club golf course, each of which generated roughly $30,000 in tips throughout the weeklong tournament, said lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan, who is representing the five plaintiffs named in the complaint, which is seeking class-action certification. The bartenders saw the cash and credit card tips coming in and estimate they were each shorted several thousand dollars, based on their experiences at similar events in the past, she said. Under Massachusetts law, all gratuities must be awarded to tipped employees such as bartenders and wait staff. “Aramark should know better than this,” said Liss-Riordan, who is running for Massachusetts attorney general. “They run food service operations around the country and around Massachusetts. They’ve been involved in these cases before.” Among the many tips lawsuits brought by Liss-Riordan over the years, a 2008 complaint against Aramark on behalf of convention center workers in Boston resulted in a reported $1.75 million settlement. A spokesman for Aramark said it couldn’t comment on pending litigation. — KATIE JOHNSTON



Price of eggs continues to skyrocket

Inflation is wreaking havoc on breakfast, with egg prices at grocery stores soaring a whopping 47 percent in July over last year, according to retail analytics firm Information Resources Inc. Although the Consumer Price Index came in lower than expected at 8.5 percent in July, inflation is continuing to hit grocery shopping. The food-at-home category soared to 13.1 percent over the last year, the largest increase since the period ending March 1979, according to the US Labor Department on Wednesday. Egg prices in particular have been driven higher by one of the worst bird flu outbreaks in US history, killing more than 30 million commercial and wild birds. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Sweetgreen struggles as workers trickle back to the office

Salad chain Sweetgreen fell sharply after trimming its revenue forecast for the year, making it the latest consumer company to warn about weakening demand. The Los Angeles-based company, which went public late last year, now sees revenue in a range of $480 million to $500 million in its current fiscal year — a reduction of $35 million from the previous range. Sweetgreen is especially popular among white-collar office workers in economic hubs like New York City and Silicon Valley. But in both the Bay Area and the Northeast, workers have been returning to the office at a slower clip than in other parts of the country. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Samsung debuts new foldable phones

Samsung unveiled the latest generation of its foldable devices on Wednesday, keeping prices steady despite surging costs of materials and shipping. The new Galaxy Z Fold 4, which is about the size of a notepad and opens like one, and Z Flip 4, which is square when closed and opens out to regular smartphone size, come with a suite of incremental upgrades. Samsung surprised industry observers a year ago when it launched the Flip 3 at $999, positioning it as a direct competitor to Apple’s iPhone range and a successor to the Galaxy Note lineup. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


The Rhine dries up, threatening shipments

The Rhine River is set to become virtually impassable at a key waypoint in Germany, as shallow water chokes off shipments of energy products and other industrial commodities along one of Europe’s most important waterways. The marker at Kaub, west of Frankfurt, is forecast to drop to the critical depth of just under 16 inches early on Aug. 12, according to the German Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration. At that level, most barges that haul goods from diesel to coal are effectively unable to transit the river. It’s forecast to continue dropping the following day. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Russians rush to stores that are closing

Russians are snapping up Western fashion and furniture this week as H&M and IKEA sell off the last of their inventory in Russia, moving forward with their exit from the country after it sent troops into Ukraine. Sweden-based H&M and Netherlands-based IKEA had paused sales in Russia after the military operation began and are now looking to unload their stocks of clothing and furnishings as they wind down operations there, saying the future is unpredictable. IKEA’s sales are online only, while the H&M store at the Moscow shopping mall Aviapark saw a steady stream of young shoppers Tuesday. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Musk sells nearly $7 billion in Tesla stock

Elon Musk has sold nearly $7 billion worth of shares in Tesla as the billionaire gets his finances in order ahead of his court battle with Twitter. Musk disclosed in a series of regulatory filings that he unloaded about 8 million shares of his company Tesla in recent days. Musk countersued Twitter last week, accusing the company of fraud over his aborted $44 billion acquisition. He claimed that Twitter held back critical information and misled his team about the size of its user base. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Coinbase’s revenue plummets

Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, reported a 63 percent decline in revenue Tuesday, as it weathers a broader downturn in the crypto market. The company said revenue for the second quarter was $808 million, down from $2.2 billion a year earlier. Its number of monthly customers rose to 9 million from 8.8 million last year, but it was down from 9.2 million the previous quarter. Coinbase also swung to a net loss of $1.1 billion, compared with profits of $1.6 billion a year ago. It was the second quarter in a row that Coinbase has seen declines in revenue and users compared with the prior quarter. — NEW YORK TIMES


There’s no Grey Poupon to pass

If you’re in France and are looking for some traditional Dijon “moutarde” to complete your dinner recipe, then you have a problem. The country is having to adapt to a lingering shortage of the tangy mustard, which has led to empty store shelves and frustration among French consumers. The country’s grocers have been scrambling to get a hold of the much-loved condiment, which the French typically use to spice up meats such as duck confit, to create vinaigrettes for salads, or to make fresh mayonnaise. The shortage is the result of a heat wave and resulting crop damage last year in Canada, which supplies around 80 percent of the mustard seeds used in France. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also made it harder to find alternative supplies. — BLOOMBERG NEWS