Meals Plus Help Desk Eases “Back to School” Stress with Excellent Customer Support: See the Proof!

school-lunch-software

The Back to School season is always a busy one for the Meals Plus Help Desk. We understand the month of August can be a stressful time for our customers, so we aim to keep the quality of our customers’ technical support high – because technical issues should be the last thing you have to deal with when students come back to school.

Customer satisfaction surveys are randomly generated after service calls, and the results are carefully analyzed to ensure the best customer experience possible.

Some highlights from this August include:

  • The average time to answer was 01:50, 5 seconds shorter than August 2015, and 26 seconds shorter than August 2014!
  • The percentage of calls increased 6.5% from last August
  • And the results of our post-call survey reflected that our technicians are not only helpful, but friendly.

Thank you to all of our Meals Plus Support Team for their hard work and providing the best customer support in K-12 cafeteria management software!

Free Online Payment Center Marketing Kit

The K12PaymentCenter.com Promotional Kit helps you notify parents that you’re accepting online payments!

school_meal_paymentsThe kit includes:

  • Customizable flyer
  • Logos for your district website
  • Phone message template for parent notification system
  • Email template
  • Videos and more!

To download the complete kit, log in to our Support Site and click on the “Online Payments Tool Kit” tab. There, you will also find a webinar that cover all of the administrative tasks associated with managing meal payments with K12PaymentCeter.com. Questions? Contact us today!

Cafeteria_k12_school_management

Sneak Peek of K12Foodies – Full Episode Coming September 2016!

Here’s a sneak peek of K12Foodies podcast, presented by Meals Plus. The full episode will be released next month!

Episodes of K12Foodies will be released every Friday, with special guests from the child nutrition community sharing their ideas, resources and success stories.

Share your knowledge with the entire child nutrition community on K12Foodies! If you’d like to be a guest on K12Foodies, it’s as easy as having a phone conversation. Email us at k12foodies@mealsplus.com.

School_food_sevice_software

Meet the Meals Plus Support Team – Jared

Get to know the Meals Plus Team! Jared is a Level Two Technician for the Meals Plus Help Desk and enjoys assisting our Meals Plus customers. He recently received his HDI Technical Support Professional Certification in order to continue to provide top-notch customer service. Meals Plus isn’t just “superior cafeteria technology” – it’s also supported by a “superior technical support team!”

school point of sale systemThe Dish: How long have you been at Meals Plus?
Jared: I joined the Meals Plus Team in 2012.

TD: What duties and responsibilities does your position entail?
J: Technical support, training and installations.

TD: What aspects of your position do you enjoy the most?
J: I love getting that call from a customer one that requires some digging around. To be able to find an answer or solution for a customer – that is a good feeling.

TD: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
J: I love spending time outside playing basketball, golf and hanging out with family.

TD: What was your favorite lunch when you were in school?
J: My favorite lunch in school was the rectangle pizza, those were so good. We used to have tater tots with it.

Reduced_lunch_services

K12Foodies: Child Nutrition Tips Served A la Carte

Introducing K12Foodies, a child nutrition-centered podcast, hosted by Liz Roesel with special guests sharing their ideas, resources, and successes for K-12 child nutrition. Because of the variety of guests, it will cover almost every aspect of K-12 child nutrition. We are all K12Foodies!

k12_Cafeteria_nutritionChild nutrition professionals’ hard work to serve our nation’s youth is not lost on Meals Plus. That’s why it’s so important to us to be a resource for you, and give child nutrition professionals an outlet to share their ideas and successes. So we created a fresh, new outlet that allows child nutrition professionals to share ideas. A resource for professionals to tap in to.

K12Foodies is a podcast that’s less than ten minutes long. You will be able to listen to them from the Meals Plus website or even download them to your smart phone and listen to them on the go. Episodes of K12Foodies will be the first Friday of every month, beginning this winter.

Anything that you’d like to share with your colleagues, your state, and the nation of child nutrition professionals, we want to hear about because we are all K12Foodies! No idea is too big or too small.

Being a guest on K12Foodies is as easy as having a phone conversation. Let’s get your success stories out there, shine a spotlight on your department, and share it with the entire child nutrition industry quickly. Email us at k12foodies@mealsplus.com for more information.

And Meals Plus Customers, we will have bonus Customer Episodes of K12Foodies, with the latest software news, features, “did you know” information, coming straight from our award-winning Meals Plus Help Desk. We are so thankful for our Meals Plus Family and look forward to having Customer Episodes of K12Foodies just for you!

Special LIVE Announcement from ANC San Antonio

Join us at ANC Booth #1513 or on Facebook LIVE to hear about a new way to share ideas within the child nutrition industry!

At Meals Plus, we strive to be a resource for not only our customers, but the entire child nutrition industry. We plan to continue to meet our goal…but we aren’t going to tell you how yet!

If you’re going to be at the SNA Annual National Conference, stop by Booth #1513 on Tuesday, July 12th at 1:30 p.m. CDT to hear our big announcement! If you’re not going to be there, no problem – Join us on the Meals Plus Facebook page to hear the announcement LIVE from San Antonio!

RSVP on Facebook here. We look forward to sharing this new resource with the entire child nutrition industry!

K12_school_and_nutrition

5 Things You Don’t Want to Miss at ANC ’16

It’s that time of year again – the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference! This year’s conference is in San Antonio and the Meals Plus Team has compiled their list of must-see items at the biggest annual event for child nutrition professionals.

  • Sharon Schaefer, Speaker Spotlight. This “trained chef turned proud lunch lady” will be touching on some exciting topics, including harnessing the “power of flavor,” cooking for teenagers and you won’t want to miss her cooking demos during exhibit hall hours.
  • Shannon Miller, Opening General Session Panelist. Meals Plus Account Manager Joy Miller is especially excited about this event. As a former gymnast herself, Joy is eagerly anticipating hearing Shannon detail how she transitioned her career as the most decorated gymnast in history to being a health and wellness advocate.
  • sna_anc_san_antonioPick up your limited edition ANC 2016 Graham Lapel Pin. Graham’s embracing all things Texas in this year’s Meals Plus ANC pin design. Quantities are limited, so be sure to stop by Booth 1513 to pick up your pin before they are all gone!
  • Special announcement from Meals Plus Marketing Manager, Liz Roesel, at the Meals Plus Booth. Right now, she is keeping the details top secret, so you’ll have to stop by Booth 1513 at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 to find out what’s in store!
  • Of course we’ll never forget The Alamo! This historical monument is a must-see for anyone visiting San Antonio.

We can’t wait to see you all in San Antonio, and thank you to everyone at the School Nutrition Association for planning this event, which we know will be a huge success!

Cafeteria_Software_system

[WATCH] Staying Organized with the My Meals Plus Dashboard

The My Meals Plus Dashboard helps you stay on top of your to-do list by allowing you to bookmark the features you use most in the Meals Plus school cafeteria software system. See how you can make the most out of your software system with My Meals Plus!

For more information on the Meals Plus software system, contact us today online or at 1-800-541-8999!

Cafeteria_k12_System_Software

Why You Should Consider Using Cycle Menus and More Menu Planning Tips

Menu planning can become tedious for you and your students if it is repeated monthly.  And now that the menus have stricter nutrition standards, planning becomes even more of a challenge. Child Nutrition Operations Consultant Cynthia Sevier, SNS, has compiled these tips to ease the pain of district menu planning.

Control-centralized cycle menus are more likely to control the number of menu items than those developed by individual school site managers. A centralized cycle menu creates a pattern which:

  • Students are familiar with and expect to see
  • Staff members are more likely to be familiar with preparation requirements resulting in less waste
  • Managers are able to forecast the menus items that students will choose

Menu PlanningStudent acceptability. Consider utilizing only the most popular items and dropping those that are not selected by at least 25 students per day. Keeping unpopular items on the menu increases inventory cost because turnover is slow. Menus should be developed to utilize commodities and produce while-in-season to control plate costs.  Streamlining certain products that can be utilized in more than one recipe is a cost controlling measure.

Appealing, appetizing choices. Students have so many choices now. Those choices are not limited to those served in the school cafeteria. Children dine out with parents and are becoming more sophisticated in their food selections. Are the school menus offering fresh foods that are prepared correctly and served in an appealing manner? Is there a variety of colors, tastes and textures within each menu?

Ease of preparation and serving. Menus should be developed with consideration of amount of preparation that will be required and the type of equipment to be used for optimizing the product. Are there too many items that will need oven preparation on a given menu, creating competition for oven space? Consider the number of items that will be on the serving line and the ease of serving. Are the lines too crowded? Students should be able to move through the line quickly and not be slowed by waiting on servers. Menus full of items that have to be “dipped” can slow the line.

Plan the menu using the above tips early so that wise food and equipment purchases can be made. For more tips from Cynthia and other child nutrition professionals, check out the Meals Plus White Paper Library for free downloads.

K12_Lunchroom_technology

“The 5 P’s of Promoting Your School Meal Program” LIVE at the NC-SNA Conference

Nowadays, it takes more than the occasional promotion to market your school meal program. Join this Educational Mini Session at the SNA of North Carolina Annual Conference to learn how your marketing strategies can be more effective within the following areas: Product, Placement, Promotion, Price, and People. Audience: Directors, Supervisors, Managers.

nc sna conference 2016

The session is hosted by Cynthia Sevier, SNS, who has over 30 years of experience in school food service. She retired from Guilford County Schools in North Carolina, a district with 122 schools, and offers consulting services.

Are you interested in Cynthia presenting at your conference or district? Contact her today for more information!