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We are proud to be entering our 20th year of simplifying hot lunch for schools.
Over the years, Lunch Works has become a powerful lunch ordering system for schools, but we're humble enough to know it'll never be perfect. Please don't hesitate to let us know how we can improve your experience.
It's easy to forget that back in 2000, the internet was mostly just email and a glorified encyclopedia. It wasn't very interactive and it definitely didn't fit in your pocket. Blockbuster Video made billions renting DVDs, Amazon only sold books, and Google was just celebrating its first birthday.
That Christmas, our founder was approached by his aunt about her school's lunch problem. They collected thousands of orders every month and it took a whole team of volunteers to process the piles of paper. She was savvy enough to know a web app could save them a ton of work, but there was nothing that came close to addressing the specific needs of a school lunch program. Two months later, Lunch Works was born.
At first, we spent most of our time just explaining the basic concept of online ordering to administrators who grew up with the Dewey decimals and chalkboards, not iPads and smartboards. High levels of training and support were essential as we taught entire communities to order online.
Thankfully, those days are behind us now. Even the least savvy member of your team knows that everything is just a couple taps away on their phone. Nobody wants to sit through a seminar just to learn how to create an account. Nobody wants to click around on a dozen pages trying to cancel an order. They want every action and every answer to be quick and painless on any device at any time.
It should all just work!
That's a lot to ask for, but with twenty years of experience, it's a standard we gladly embrace!
Jeff Molby was born and raised in the northern suburbs of Detroit. He is blessed with an extended family that is unusually large, unusually close, and sometimes just plain unusual. That family includes several teachers and a dozen entrepreneurs, so it wasn't much of a surprise when he founded a company to help schools. It goes without saying that Lunch Works wouldn't be what it is today without their love and support.
Jeff's love of computers began at the age of five when his parents bought a clone of the Apple II+, called the Laser 2000. This was back when PCs didn't have hard drives and the number "2000" made things sound futuristic. They only had a few very primitive games, but he was captivated by it as surely as today's kids love their tablets. He tried his hand at programming for the first time two years later when he came across an article with some source code. The resulting program would have been useless even if it had worked, but the attempt itself sparked his passion to create. He went on to take every computer class his schools offered, even taking some night classes at the local community college while he was still in high school. Along the way he discovered a love for accounting as well.
Jeff was attending Oakland University's school of business when he was offered an irresistible opportunity that combined his two passions into one: writing accounting software. The job gave him invaluable experience with real world situations of accounting and software development cycles at the same time. The icing on the cake was the relationship he developed with the owner, who became a cherished mentor, teaching Jeff how to run a business in an ethical and forthright manner.
From that firm foundation of family, education, and experience, Jeff pounced on the opportunity to start Lunch Works with the kind of singular focus that only a 20-something bachelor could have. A 40-hour work week was a relaxing vacation during those early years as Jeff worked feverishly to build a company capable of meeting the diverse needs of a Christian school in Florida, a Hebrew school in California, a caterer in New Jersey, and everybody in between.
By 2005, the team was running like a Swiss watch with a much more reasonable weekly schedule. This proved to be excellent timing when his son Oliver was born, teaching Jeff the importance of "work/life balance". His active brand of parenting soon led to a variety of new hobbies and responsibilities, from drawing and cycling to sitting on the Parks & Rec and PTO boards.
That broader perspective gave him important insights that made each work-hour more effective. In particular, his volunteer work put him face-to-face with a universal fact: every organization, especially in education, is constantly operating on razor-thin budgets with barely enough help to get by. That realization motivates him to work with a daily focus on bringing simple, affordable software to as many schools as possible.
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