Money blog: Taylor Swift makes £450 kebab shop order (2024)

Inflation news
  • Big moment in cost of living crisis as inflation falls to 2%
  • Watch:Ed Conway breaks down inflation numbers - and shows chart that tells very different story
  • Interest rate cut will be delayed - markets
  • One concerning figure in today's data could delay interest rate cut - economists
  • Analysis:Welcome news but question marks remain
Money blog essentials
  • Taylor Swift makes £450 kebab shop order
  • 'One guy wanted to rent my room for a few hours to meet a friend...' What I learnt from putting my home on Airbnb
  • Women in Business:'How I went from mum with no qualifications to owner of big law firm'
  • Holiday money - where to buy it, how to avoid fees, and one thing you must not do
  • Best of the Money blog - an archive

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Uber Eats is making big change to shopping deliveries

Couriers for delivery giant Uber Eats will now pick, pack and pay for customer orders inside supermarkets.

Co-op, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose are among the supermarkets to sign up to the scheme in the UK.

Uber global head of grocery Susan Anderson said: "It's very clear that grocery shopping trends have fundamentally changed.

"Our busy lifestyles mean we physically go to the supermarket for a big shop less frequently and prefer to rely more on apps like Uber Eats to order fresh grocery ingredients when we want them."

The couriers can engage with customers in real time as they shop - so they can ask shoppers what substitutions they want if items are out of stock.

The driver will then checkout using a pre-authorised payment method before delivering in the normal fashion.

It's not yet clear how much more this will cost customers.


Wall Street's biggest bank lifts bonus cap | McDonald's ends AI drive-thru| Mastercard's upcoming changes

Wall Street's biggest bank is lifting Brussels' bonus cap for its London-based staff, weeks after rival Goldman Sachs fired the starting gun on a post-Brexit era in industry pay.

Sky News can reveal that JP Morgan Chase was in the process of notifying staff on Wednesday that it would preserve some elements of the remuneration packages introduced after the European Union's cap on variable pay came into force in 2014.

The system prevents material risk-takers (MRTs) working in lenders' operations in the EU from earning more than twice their fixed pay in variable compensation.

Sources said that JP Morgan, which employs 22,000 people in the UK, including roughly 14,000 in London, had decided to preserve a significant proportion of the fixed pay allowances used to calculate eligible employees' maximum bonuses.

You can read more of our City editor Mark Kleinman's storyhere...

McDonald's is ending its AI drive-thru trialafter customers reported errors in their orders - including bacon being added to ice cream.

The fast food chain's AI ordering system, developed by IBM, uses voice recognition to process orders and has been rolled out at more than 100 McDonald's locations in the US since 2021.

However, the technology's reliability has been called into question in recent months, with members of the public sharing videos of order mix-ups on social media.

As well as topping a dessert with bacon, the AIdrive-thru assistant added $211 (£166) worth of chicken nuggets to another customer's order.

Mastercard has announced it will be changing the way customers make paymentsto bring them a contactless experience at online checkouts.

The card company has said it wants all online transactions to be "tokenised" by 2030.

The way it will work means you will input your card details to pay for a product once and then you'll receive a "token" - a randomly generated number.

That number can then be used to make future payments, instead of you having to type in your card details each time.

"Contactless payments have made in-person payments seamless and ubiquitous – there’s an opportunity to bring that same experience to online checkout," it said in a statement.

Mastercard said the move will reduce fraud, improve approval rates, and make it online checkouts "faster and safer".

"As physical and digital experiences continue to converge, we're pushing the boundaries of what's possible," said Jorn Lambert, chief product officer at Mastercard.

"We're focused on bringing best-in-class digital services together to deliver more value, access and safety to our customers and the end-consumer."


Cheapest energy tariffs revealed - and signs consumers beginning to trust suppliers again

It's been a really difficult few years for millions of families paying for their energy.

Many have expressed their anger and distrust in energy suppliers as a result of spiralling prices and shifting goalposts.

But there are signs that's beginning to change.

Overall customer satisfaction is up 10% since last year, a survey of 15,030 energy customers by has revealed.

The survey found that Utility Warehouse and Octopus Energy were the best and second-best at providing customer service and for value for money.

However, satisfaction with value for money from providers overall is still 17% lower than before the energy crisis, according to the poll.

Uswitch also announced its top five cheapest energy tariffs - see below...


Top chef's tips for eating on the cheap in London

Every Wednesday we ask Michelin chefs to pick their favourite Cheap Eats where they live and when they cook at home.This week we speak toSofian Msetfi, executive chef at Mayfair's one-starred Ormer restaurant.

HiSofian - what are your picks for a meal for two for less than £40 in London?

Berenjakin Soho and London Bridge offers a traditional Persian dining experience - I'd recommend ordering a charcoal grilled kebab for that tables plus a selection of the mezeh-style sharing plates to accommodate a budget of £40 for two. A brilliant dining experience with high-quality and fresh ingredients.

BAO(with locations around London) is known for its creative take on Taiwanese street food. They offer some of the best bao buns in the city which start from just £6, plus there's affordably priced small plates, allowing for a diverse tasting experience without overspending. The restaurants also have a weekday set menu with three courses for £15, which is a steal.

Secret Sandwich Shopin Notting Hillelevates the humble sandwich to new heights – the sheer size of theJapanese Wanpakusandwiches are incredible and so filling. It's a great find, hidden behind a secret door in Notting Hill, with the signature "Secret Sandwich" priced at £9, meaning you can each get a sandwich plus a generous selection of classic snacks and even some Japanese drinks for £40.

What's your go-to cheap meal at home?

A braised lemon chicken with green olives. You can use chicken thighs or legs in this recipe (which are often much cheaper). It's easy and quick, everything goes in the dish together and cooks at the same time. One of my favourite tips is to use some of the olive brine from the jar when cooking as it really enhances the flavour of the dish.

We've spoken to lots of top chefs and bloggers - check out their cheap eats from around the country here...


Taylor Swift puts in £450 kebab order

Taylor Swift has reportedly ordered 45 large kebabs for her team ahead of her Wembley Stadium show.

The singer is set to perform in front of up to 90,000 fans on Friday in the first of eight Eras Tour shows at the London venue.

But before that, her staff will be tucking into £450-worth of chicken donor kebabs made by Kentish Delight, according to The Sun.

The takeaway restaurant is thought to be a favourite of Taylor's, having featured in the music video for End Game in 2017.

"Taylor adds garlic sauce to hers, as well as heaps of salad," a source told The Sun.

The newspaper previously reported the star bought hundreds of Greggs sausage rolls, steak bakes and bakery goods for her team when performing in Edinburgh.


Cricket salads and lab-grown meat 'to be on our menus by 2054'

Cricket salads, lab-grown steaks and azolla burgers could be staples on British menus in 30 years' time, according to the Co-op.

Using AI and research from experts from FixOurFood and the University of York, the retailer predicted what mealtimes could look like in 2054.

They predict a rise in urban indoor farming across Britain, which will in turn see lab-grown meat and seafood - cultivated from animal tissues to produce steaks, burgers, tuna and lobster - become more mainstream.

Another part of the report suggested climate change would result in the likes of avocados and olives being grown in Surrey by 2054 - meaning less reliance on importing vegetables.

"By 2054, British people will have edible insects on their dinner plate, and we may see the crushing up of crickets quicker than wholegrain," project researcher Bob Doherty said.

"We may even see the introduction of 3D-printed food. As we navigate the challenges of climate change, we'll need to embrace these innovations to ensure that we can feed a growing population sustainably."


We're returning to regular Money blog now

After spending the morning reacting to the positive news on inflation (and less positive news on interest rates), we're going to start posting other personal finance and consumer news again now.

We'll still have any reaction coming in on the economy.


Watch: Ed Conway breaks down inflation numbers - and shows chart that tells very different story

Oureconomics and data editor Ed Conwayhas been poring over this morning's data drop from the Office for National Statistics.

"In one sense this is a watershed moment," he says, inflation having dropped to the target 2%.

But looking at the data another way - at overall inflation over the last three years rather than annual figures - the numbers tell a different story.

By doing so, you can see there's closer to a 20% increase in prices since the start of the cost of living crisis - rather than the 2% increase we've recorded in the 12 months from May last year to May 2024.

And this figure - basically, prices - is still going up, just slower than it was before.

Watch Ed's full analysis here...


Wages going up way higher than inflation

We have one more chart to show you in response to inflation having fallen to the target of 2% in May.

Like much of today's data, it is primarily good news - wages are going up significantly more than inflation.

For workers to whom this applies, it's rightly a cause for some cheer after a period of falling living standards and skyrocketing prices.

But for the economy, there's a flipside - high wage growth is inflationary, as businesses either have to absorb wage increases or put up prices. It also means people have more money to spend - again, when this happens prices tend to go up faster.

This chart illustrates how wage growth - after lagging behind price rises for some time - is now ahead...


Fall in inflation doesn't hide 'worst living standards in modern times'

May's fall in inflation cannot disguise "the worst period for living standards in modern times", Trades Union Congress (TUC) general secretary Paul Nowak has said.

Reacting to today's data, he said: "Over the last three years UK families have suffered the highest price rises in the G7 - with inflation going up more over that period than it usually does over an entire decade.

"Ministers can try to rewrite history all they like. But the Conservatives have presided over the worst period for living standards in modern times.

"Food and energy bills have surged. Rents and mortgages have skyrocketed. And real wages are still worth less than in 2008."

There are nearly 50 affiliated unions under the TUC banner with a total of about 5.5 million members.

Money blog: Taylor Swift makes £450 kebab shop order (2024)


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