Don’t Fall for a Foot in the Door

Are you as important as you might think? You are with us.

Meal Magic Corporation have been providing food service management software for over 30 years. That’s more than half the life of each of our founders, so there’s no lack of long-term commitment to our products.

During our three-plus decades, we have seen competitors come and go. In the early years, it seemed that companies faded away because they failed to change with the times, placing too much confidence in their aging creations and little to no effort towards newer, better ways of solving problems.

The trend today is different. Companies are not disappearing but instead are being absorbed by large corporations. Sadly, though, they are not being purchased because of their wondrous software but because of their customer base. To these industry giants, it’s not about owning one more food service packages—it’s about online deposits. For these companies, school food service is little more than the proverbial foot in the door.

Think about it. Acme Mega Corporation has purchased six or more school food service software companies. When a school seeks bids, Acme doesn’t care which product the school buys, because, no matter which it is, Acme still gets what it wants the most: the online deposit customers. Why? Because all the software packages offered by Acme only interface with Acme’s online payment system.

Suppose Acme Mega Corporation charges $3,000 in annual fees for the software package. For a huge conglomerate like Acme, that’s not a lot. Now, suppose the school district has 7,000 students. If only 10 percent of those generate a weekly deposit and Acme charges $2.00 per transaction, Acme takes in another $50,400 over the school year. That’s nearly 17 times as much as it got for the software fees based on a conservative estimate of participation.

Where do you think Acme is putting its resources: bettering its software or upping its credit card income? Follow the money. Why would they need six or more similar school food service software packages? Because it’s not about the software to them. If you drop the software, there are five or more other software packages that can keep you tied to them. Those packages are simply different styles of shoes that give Acme access to your credit card fees.

Of course, a company doesn’t have to be a giant mega corporation. A small company or even a startup can bring in lots of money by tapping your credit card business. What they need is a foot in the door, and, sadly, the foot often comes disguised as food service software. Ask them who their credit card processors are, and they are likely to say it’s them. Imagine that!

Beta Software Company boasts that they raised $5 million in venture capital. We’re pretty sure those investors are much more interested in the massive amounts of credit cards fees than getting tiny returns on software subscriptions. We know a famous TV shark that is familiar with Meal Magic Corporation. He immediately assumed that our success was tied to credit card fees. Boy, was he surprised to discover otherwise! Our success is from having great software and service.

For thirty-plus years, Meal Magic Corporation have been a school food service software company. Why? Because improving the lives of our customers and the families they serve makes us happy. Money is nice, but it isn’t everything. Helping others is more enriching to the soul.

Call us crazy (we are), but we’re sticking with what we do best: food service software. As for online payments, we will continue to partner with third-party merchant banking professionals that don’t pretend to be school food service experts. Together, we can ensure that schools are getting top-quality food service software enhanced by online depositing that benefits both districts and parents. You get two sets of experts working for you instead of one that treats food service as a part-time job.

Choose your software wisely. Don’t be a foot in the door, and don’t let a foothold walk all over you.