Minute Menu improves the quality of child nutrition by ensuring all CACFP participants have the best software available to them.
Our company was founded in the early 1990s by Tom and Linda Clark, who saw an opportunity for automation to reduce the enormous paperwork burden on sponsors and providers in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Like so many small businesses, they worked on their idea in their spare time, while working other jobs, and poured their hearts and souls into the promise of helping good people do good work and creating a company to support their own family.
It took a while, but T&L (Tom & Linda) Computer Systems finally found a handful of customers for its Minute Menu System software. And those forward-thinking customers spread the word about the difference that automation was making in their business. After a few years, T&L Computer Systems was a nice, small family business, and the Clarks were able to quit their prior jobs to focus on refining the Minute Menu System and serving their customers.
When the welfare reform hit in the late 90s, the CACFP introduced “means testing,” a tiered approach to reimbursement, which added a level of complication to the program that required automation to get right. Suddenly the phones were ringing off the hook at T&L, and what was a small but successful business started a growth trend that hasn’t stopped.
Over the years since, we branched out from family child care homes to centers and center sponsors. We acquired a couple of smaller competitors and expanded our products to include so much more than could have been imagined when our founders started the business. We changed company names a few times and eventually became Minute Menu Systems, LLC. We went from DOS-based software and Scantron forms to cloud-based offerings with a mobile, responsive user experience. We grew from a tiny staff in a home office to more than 30 employees, including former CACFP sponsors, center owners, and family child care providers. Along the way we built a company that values the opportunity to work for such an important purpose — America’s children.
In 2017, after 26 years at the helm of the company, Tom Clark retired, and we partnered with Alpine Investors, who are committed to carrying the vision of Minute Menu Systems into the future. With our new KidKare platform, we hope to reach even more families and child care providers to enhance their childcare experience, supporting caregivers and working families in whatever ways we can dream up.
As the story of our company continues, we honor our beginnings and the people who have made this company what it is today. We continue the legacy of finding ground-breaking ways to help children receive nutritious meals while supporting quality child care for America’s working families.