Lefree Market

Forget mediocre food

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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

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Olo, which makes online ordering software for restaurants, saw shares soar 39% in its public market debut on Wednesday.

The company priced shares at $25 per share, raising about $450 million at a valuation of $3.6 billion. The stock closed on Wednesday at $34.75 per share. Olo had initially said that its target price was $16 to $18 per share, before raising it to $20 to $22 per share on Monday. The stock is trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “OLO.”

“For us, we are so well known within the restaurant industry but so unknown outside

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