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Eater’s Biggest News Stories of 2016

The top headlines of the year

LeontiosTheron/Reddit via Imgur

There’s no denying that 2016 had its ups and downs. From cafes offering up coffee with a side of something extra, to our president-elect in canned meat form, here’s a look back at the top food-focused news headlines of the year.

1. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016: The Full List of Winners

A deep dive into the somewhat controversial annual list ranking the world’s best restaurants around the globe. Italy’s Osteria Francescana came out on top, with El Celler de Can Roca, last year’s number one restaurant, dropping to second place.

2. Millionaire Football Player Stiffs Server, Server Gets Fired

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Deangelo Williams — who has made $46.2 million since his NFL debut — tipped just 74 cents on a $128.26 bill. The waiter, who was not amused, took to Facebook to vent her frustrations and, adding insult to injury, quickly got the boot from her employer.

3. The New Dos Equis Pitchman Is a Sword-Swinging, Football-Kicking Heartthrob

The most interesting man in the world got a refresh this year, and now looks more like your cool uncle than your grandpa.

4. You Can’t Unsee Donald Trump in Spam Form

Your nightmare comes to life in meat form. Warning: these images are NSFL (not suitable for life).

5. Pepsi Doubles Down on Craft Soda With 1893 Cola Concept

Pepsi is revisiting its roots with its new craft soda, 1893, which pays homage to its founding year and features ingredients like kola nut extract, certified fair trade sugar, and sparkling water.

6. Read Restaurateur Danny Meyer’s Post-Election Letter to Employees

The no-tipping pioneer Danny Meyer writes a grief-filled note to his employees following the 2016 presidential election, “I’m not going to sugar coat it: this is tough.”

7. Danny Meyer Just Single-Handedly Made the Apple Watch Relevant to the Hospitality Industry

The Shake Shack pioneer teamed up with reservation system start-up Resy to single-handedly make the Apple Watch — a very expensive trophy gadget at best — relevant in the restaurant industry.

8. Black Waitress Sent Home for Violating Restaurant’s Hair Policy

A waitress in Toronto calls foul when the restaurant she works at allegedly sends her home for wearing her natural hair in a bun.

9. Swiss Cafe to Serve Lattes and Blowjobs

In a country where prostitution is legal, one Swiss coffee shop is getting into the act, literally, by offering up blow jobs ordered via iPad.

10. Customers Leave Waitress Anti-Immigrant Note Instead of Tip

A waitress in Virginia gets an unwelcome tip from one customer. “We only tip citizens,” the note on the receipt reads.

11. Report: Poultry Workers Forced to Wear Diapers to Increase Efficiency

A report was released stating that workers at some poultry plants across the country face abysmal working conditions. In some cases they are denied bathroom breaks and often soil themselves while working so as not to lose their jobs.

12. That Shredded Parmesan in Your Fridge Might Actually Be Wood, Says FDA

A Food and Drug Administration investigation determined that you may have unknowingly been sprinkling wood shavings onto your food. Oh, and that’s not the only thing that might not be living up to its label.

13. How Restaurants Are Dealing With Pokémon Go Mania

Pokémon Go swept the nation — and restaurant world — this summer; plenty of places cashed in.

14. 5 Things to Know About Chipotle's New Rewards Program

All about the chain’s short-lived rewards program, Chiptopia.

15. Mark Wahlberg's Wahlburgers Sued for Stiffing Its Employees

Wahlburgers, the reality-show-famous burger chain run by actor Mark Wahlberg and his family, was accused of stiffing its employees in a class action lawsuit filed in New York. What’s worse, the suit claims Marky Mark and his family knew what was going on the whole time.

All End of Year Coverage [E]

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