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Goldbelly Raises $100 Million During Pandemic-Driven Boom

When the pandemic started last spring, Di Fara, one of New York City’s storied pizza joints, had the same question as countless restaurants nationwide: How would it make any money when customers weren’t allowed through its doors?One answer quickly emerged: Ship frozen (and slightly smaller) versions of its classic pies across the country in partnership with the eight-year-old e-commerce platform Goldbelly.Sales picked up so much that Di Fara converted its two-year-old second location, in a food hall, to essentially be a Goldbelly production line. Margaret Mieles, the daughter of Di Fara’s founder, who had already …

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A Tahini Lemon Cranberry Bar Dreams of Whole Foods

“For the next few months, me and my wife were up morning to night, packaging orders and making the dreaded trip to the post office every day to drop off the packages,” Mr. Schmerling said.Another start-up, SnackMagic, entered to help.Its roots trace back to March of last year, when a food delivery service called Stadium was on track to have its best month ever. Founded in 2018, Stadium carved out a niche for the business lunch where no one can decide among sushi, salads or burgers. Its group ordering systems allowed employees to pick whatever they wanted from a …

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How to Navigate a Hot Housing Market

In the end, the sellers accepted her offer, and she closed on the condo on May 7. She learned that the sellers liked that she had shown up promptly to an appointment, which helped seal the deal. “Be on time,” she said. And, she advised, use an experienced real estate agent. The current competitive market moves too quickly for do-it-yourself shopping.In Nashville, buyers are getting creative. Brian Copeland, the president of Greater Nashville Realtors, said he had recently learned of an offer that promised the seller a “V.I.P.” meet-and-greet with a celebrity musician as an inducement. In another …

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How a Bank of America Executive Created a Tense Work Culture

Last spring, as the pandemic raged through New York, Alexandria Taylor, who runs human resources for the banking and markets divisions, held a call with some trading floor managers and suggested they cajole their team members back to the office, said three people with knowledge of the calls. Other senior executives placed similar calls, but Ms. Taylor’s message carried weight because of her role as a representative of employee welfare and her rapport with Mr. Montag, current and recently departed employees said.Ms. Taylor does not report to Mr. Montag. But the rapport between them has been a source …

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Diet Companies See Gains as Americans Try to Drop Pandemic Pounds

Maybe it was the frozen pizza. Or the cheesy snack crackers she mindlessly nibbled on as she worked from home over the past year. Or those darn cookies.Whatever the cause, Jessica Short stepped onto the scale this spring and found she was 25 pounds heavier than before the pandemic.“I had to leave the house for several days in a row and realized then that none of my pants fit,” said Ms. Short, a 39-year-old conservation program assistant in Lansing, Mich. Determined not to buy a whole new wardrobe, Ms. Short signed up for her first weight-loss program in early …

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To Be Tracked or Not? Apple Is Now Giving Us the Choice.

If we had a choice, would any of us want to be tracked online for the sake of seeing more relevant digital ads?We are about to find out.On Monday, Apple plans to release iOS 14.5, one of its most anticipated software updates for iPhones and iPads in years. It includes a new privacy tool, called App Tracking Transparency, which could give us more control over how our data is shared.Here’s how it works: When an app wants to follow our activities to share information with third parties such as advertisers, a window will show up on our …

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Welcome to the YOLO Economy

In addition to the job-hopping you’d expect during boom times, the pandemic has created many more remote jobs, and expanded the number of companies willing to hire outside of big, coastal cities. That has given workers in remote-friendly industries, such as tech and finance, more leverage to ask for what they want.“Employees have a totally unprecedented ability to negotiate in the next 18 to 48 months,” said Johnathan Nightingale, an author and a co-founder of Raw Signal Group, a management training firm. “If I, as an individual, am dissatisfied with the current state of my employment, I have so many …

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Restaurants Fought for Covid Survival, With Some Tech Helpers

The past year has crushed independent restaurants across the country and brought a reality to their doors: Many were unprepared for a digital world.Unlike other small retailers, restaurateurs could keep the tech low, with basic websites and maybe Instagram accounts with tantalizing, well-lit photos of their food.For the past decade, Krystle Mobayeni had been trying to convince them that they needed more. Ms. Mobayeni, a first-generation Iranian-American, started her company, BentoBox, in 2013 as a side job. She wanted to use her graphic design skills to help restaurants build more robust websites with e-commerce abilities. But it was a …

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With ‘Knives Out’ Deal, Netflix Signals It’s in the Franchise Business

“The pandemic has really put the streamers head to head with theatrical distribution,” said James Moore, chief executive of Vine Alternative Investments, an asset manager focused on the entertainment industry. “Now you’re seeing the economics really accelerate towards the streamers, and they have both the wherewithal and the strategic need to retain those gains.”Today in BusinessUpdated April 16, 2021, 1:30 p.m. ET“Knives Out,” with a cast led by Daniel Craig and Chris Evans, earned $311 million at theaters, close to half of it in international markets — the biggest growth opportunity for streaming services. It was one of the few box …

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The Oscars Are a Week Away, but How Many Will Watch?

Mr. Soderbergh did acknowledge that there is only so much the producers can do.“People’s decision-making process on whether to watch or not doesn’t seem to be connected to whether or not the show is fantastic or not,” he said, pointing to the strong critical response for this year’s Grammys, which notably featured a risqué performance by Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B.The Oscars telecast, on the other hand, saw its ratings peak in 1998, when 57.2 million people tuned in to see the box office juggernaut “Titanic” sweep to best-picture victory. Since the turn of the century, …

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