The school lunch process has come a long way from the days of sending kids to school with a few dollars and some change for dessert.
Today’s school systems must have the right technology in place in order to maximize efficiency and stay on target for budgets and that simply can’t be done without a cloud-based option. The benefits of a cloud-based system to manage the school lunch process can no longer be ignored.
One of the biggest burdens schools have to deal with on a yearly basis—whether they are public, private, charter or religious—is keeping budgets under control, while providing students and parents with the best possible experience.
During lunches and breakfasts, always a hectic time, students need to be able to get through lines quickly. A thorough Point of Sale (POS) solution that deducts money from student accounts, facilitates easy payments, and offers reporting for free/reduced lunch tracking is no longer just nice to have, it is a necessity.
If you’re in the process of evaluating how you’re doing your school lunches and/or looking to implement a new POS, the cloud is the only way to go.
Below we break down 10 reasons to bring your school lunch process to the cloud:
- Use existing hardware and/or choose your own hardware
Every school administrator knows that buying new hardware equipment is always a huge drain on the school budget. The biggest benefit a cloud-based option is able to offer is there is no need to purchase new hardware; you can use existing systems to run your programs. If you are looking to buy new hardware, a cloud-based solution gives you the flexibility to choose whatever hardware you prefer. All you need is a device with an Internet connection.
- Ability to migrate schools individually or all at once based on your timeline
Anytime a new software solution is put in place, there can be some hesitancy in moving multiple schools over to everything at once. A cloud-based option enables you to move each individual schools over onto the system at your discretion and when you are ready. You choose your migration patterns and timelines.
- No tech support needed
Whatever solution you choose, it should be intuitive and require no tech support. Our software, in particular, was built using best practices from school directors, lunch administrators, and more to be available and easy to use within minutes of implementation.
- Centralized collection of data
The school lunch process is about more than deciding what to make and collecting payments in a lunch line. Schools spend a significant amount of time ensuring they have the right reporting structures in place in order to comply with government regulations and secure reimbursements. The cloud enables you to have all of your data stored in one central location that should also be your go-to for running the reports you need.
- No syncing required between credit card payments and school lunch software
With some school lunch software options, when a parent is using their credit card to input money into their student’s bank account through the school, the school has to manually sync into their solution to ensure the money has been moved over. Look for a solution that does not require synching or additional work on behalf of the school because everything is stored in one centralized database.
- Updates are available automatically
A cloud-based school lunch option handles any software upgrades automatically for you. These are done off school hours and in a seamless way so that your systems are never affected, and there is no work to be done on your behalf.
- Make as minimal an impact as possible on your software budget
A cloud-based option will always benefit your overall software and hardware budget because it shouldn’t require you to purchase any additional hardware. Any option that you investigate should also be priced low enough that it makes minimal impact on the overall budget.
- Access to software anytime/anywhere
Parents, teachers, even administrators should be able to access solutions that track school lunches from any device and via an Internet connection. The cloud stores all data and provides easy access via a simple log-in and password process similar to any solution you use on a daily basis. Admins can do work from the school or from home.
- Eliminates paper and manual process making the school ordering process faster and more efficient
Another benefit of a cloud-based solution is that it should be efficient. Gone are the days of teachers collecting lunch counts each morning by hand, having a student run them to the administration office, having a secretary type them in and provide them to the cafeteria manager, all simply to determine how much food should be made that day. Cloud software lets each of the parties involved log-in anytime, anywhere and visibility and decisions can be made in real-time, eliminating the paper and manual process, reducing errors, and making the entire process work faster and better for everyone.
- Online parent pre-orders capabilities available
Parents want to have control over what their kids are eating. A cloud-based solution enables a parent to log-in from home and pre-order what their child will be having for breakfast or lunch from the ease of their home computer, smart phone, or tablet device all via a simple log-in and password.
Your budgets are limited, and you should be spending your money where it should matter most: providing nutritious, well-prepared meals for students at the lowest cost possible.
This article is courtesy of EZ School Apps, a school-based technology and software development company that has more than 25 years of experience in creating software for the education field, www.ezschoolapps.com.