Phantom restaurant space, blinded by loyalty, make money while you walk around, and more


In this Saturday’s Frequent Miler week in review around the web, we have a number of fun and fascinating reads. Delivery from restaurants that don’t exist, the business of delivering all those airline meals, how to get into the blogging business, and a side hustle based on small business — all that and more in the weekly recap around the ‘net.

UberEats Now Delivers From Restaurants That Don’t Exist

In the latest indication that I need to encourage my son to someday go into data science, Gary Leff covers an uber-interesting phenomenon: UberEats delivers from restaurants that don’t exist. This makes total sense — I’m sure there is unmet demand in a number of cities and areas and restaurants could dabble without risking their current reputation or complicating their menus. Just a couple of weeks ago in Chicago, I was reading off restaurants in the Uber Eats app and was surprised that my friend hadn’t heard of most of the ones I was naming — now I wonder if it’s because they didn’t actually exist…

The Critical Points: It’s the Time of Year for Smart People to Turn Dumb

I really enjoy Richard Kerr’s “Critical Points” series at The Points Guy. His analysis is thoughtful and full and gives a good perspective on the hobby. I don’t always agree with him — I totally disagreed with him on this post for instance — but this week he writes about the poor decisions people make in the name of earning elite status. I couldn’t agree with him more. Maybe it’s because I primarily fly on miles and points (or otherwise on my own dime for the most part) and do not fly weekly, but I just don’t generally get the draw of airline status for most people who don’t naturally fly enough to earn it (I’ll give Greg a pass since he manufactures it at a reasonable cost and without time spent mileage running). For those contemplating a same-day turn to the far corners of the globe so they can have a coke and some trail mix in the lounge next year, see this post first.


Have you ever wondered whether you should start a blog? I won’t lie: I love working in this industry every day. I had kicked around starting a blog for some time before Greg posted looking to hire someone almost two years ago (Has it been that long? Man, time flies when you’re having fun). I often tell people that I hit the employment lottery back in January 2017 — I got started in this business at a blog I already loved with an audience already built and the best boss you could ask for. And what I’ve learned from Greg has given me an immense amount of respect for the work that goes into building a successful blog. And so I enjoyed reading Gilber Ott’s post at God Save the Points about what he’s learned over the years since getting started in this business. His enthusiasm for blogging is infectious — read this post and you just may find the inspiration you need to get started.

My visit to the airline catering factory at Prague airport

Appetizer from ANA business class

Head for Points has a fascinating and brief look at the complexity of an airport catering facility. I never really imagined the places that prepare the incredible range of food served aboard a vast array of airlines in one city in any given day. This looks like quite an undertaking in Prague — I can’t imagine what it all looks like in larger cities.

Job Spotter App Review: Hidden Money in Everyday Life

This post from Noah at Money Metagame gave me a chuckle — my first reaction was that this can’t possibly yield enough money to be worth the time invested. But then I continued to read through it and realized that it probably took no more time for Noah to submit three or four of these than I spent thinking about which card to use at the gas station yesterday (have I maxed out that Prestige 5x bonus I got? Is there an Amex Offer here? Am I forgetting a bonus category?) — and he is probably earning more than I did on my fill up. This app won’t make you rich, but if you spend time walking around a city or cities regularly, you’re probably better off doing this than looking at your Facebook feed.

That’s it for this week around the ‘net. Check back soon for this week’s last chance deals.

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