”Wil, independent restaurants understand that large fifty million dollar companies like mine get better pricing.”
That’s what the director of operations of a large restaurant group told me this week. He was pressing me to give his restaurants a better multi-unit discount than the standard 10% discount we give all customers with more than one account. I politely declined to give him a better deal, letting him know we learned early on after trying this path that we have to be consistent. He didn’t care about consistency and was trying to tell me his smaller competitors won’t care because they expect him to get better pricing. I told him they shouldn’t expect him to get a better deal from us, and he shouldn’t expect a larger organization than his to get a better deal than he does.
Unsatisfied, he pressed again.
“Half of our restaurants use your software. Half don’t. Maybe you have the best software for the second half, but why else would I direct them to switch to you if you won’t give us a volume discount?” I told him I am not sure if he should tell them to switch and said that if volume pricing is the top issue then we may not be the best solution and that he should do what’s best for his organization.
He went on, “Well I expect you’ll run this up the flag pole before telling me what our price will be.” I nicely let him know I am the flagpole, and all five of us our on the same page on this issue.
(more awkward silence)
Well, I want you to know I adamently disagree with how you do things and I highly recommend you reconsider. At this point I decided to just say “Ok, I understand. What else do you want to talk about today?”
What I refrained from saying is, “Look dude, I’m not telling you how to run your business, don’t tell me how we should run ours. The problem here is you like to bow up and bully small vendors into caving on pricing, but we’re not scared of losing your business so your weapon of choice, fear, won’t work on us. Feel free to look for another provider.” I should have said that, but it was implied with my above response.
We built Schedulefly to serve independent restaurants, which means we aren’t used to anybody trying to push us around. We’ve had it happen a few times, but we’ve always put the bullies in their place. Larger organizations might get better deals from all of the other vendors they deal with, but not this one.