Thanks to a new federal program, nearly 30 schools in North Carolina will offer free breakfast to their students. According to a recent article from The News & Observer, less than half of student that qualify for free or reduced lunch take advantage of a free breakfast. The new “No Kid Hungry” program allows students to eat breakfast either in the classroom or in to-go bags. This is important – because studies have shown that schools that implement a breakfast in the classroom program produce better-behaved students with higher grades and attendance rates.
One of the participating schools is Lakewood Elementary of Durham Public Schools. As a Meals Plus customer, Lakewood Elementary is able to manage student eligibility with our Free & Reduced software. Meals Plus makes it easy to process reports, import data, manage handwritten and online applications, generate letters and so much more. And because Meals Plus runs on a central database, the data at your individual school computers always match the data at the central office – in real time.
Meals Plus knows what it takes to not only run a trouble-free lunchroom, but also how to streamline your administrative duties. With a centralized database, student and serving reports accessible with just the click of a mouse, and easily accessible features like our “Reprocessed Transactions”, we minimize paperwork as well. “Reprocessing Transactions” allows you to change the status of a student that you have already served under a different status. The process is extremely simple; you just need to be aware of how it will affect your reporting. Click on the video below to watch a quick tutorial on how to reprocess a transaction in Meals Plus’ Point of Sale system for school cafeterias!
Case Study: Charleston County School District
“Very simply, it works. Tech issues at the cafeteria level have dropped by 95%. The system is comprehensive, easy to use, requires very little maintenance and puts minimal demand on the district technology staff. Meals Plus has truly designed a system that works for our cafeteria staff. And as good as the school cafeteria software is, their support is even better!”
Food Services Director
Charleston County School District is South Carolina’s second largest school district. CCSD has an enrollment of more than 42,000 students in 86 schools spread over an area of nearly 1,000 square miles. Each day CCSD Food Services’ 400 employees serve 30,000 meals to an economically diverse student population.
CCSD Food Services staff was spending an inordinate amount of time trouble shooting its software system. System processes were complicated and cumbersome. Data was unreliable and difficult to access leaving management without information critical to sound decision making. For new staff the system was hard to learn and support from the existing vendor was slow.
Finding the Answer
Charleston County needed a system that would increase uptime, ensure data accuracy, be easy to learn and use and wouldn’t require a high level of technical expertise and attention to maintain. CCSD wanted cafeteria technology that was more reliable and compatible with other district business software systems. After evaluating systems from several major national K12 cafeteria technology vendors, CCSD selected Meals Plus’ enterprise management package.
After a limited roll-out , supervisors were impressed and eagerly adopted an aggressive “train the trainer” approach for deployment district wide. In fewer than 60 days all 86 sites were smoothly transitioned from the old system to the Meals Plus school cafeteria POS system. Since then, software related technical issues at the cafeterias have been reduced by more than 95%. Reports at the district office match reports at the schools and can be generated in minutes rather than hours. Information can be shared easily with other departments in a timely fashion and whenever help is needed it’s available. Most importantly, CCSD’s cafeteria software system is now an asset to the department.
We take our customer service very seriously at Meals Plus, and are always looking for ways to enhance our service to customers. That is why earlier this year Meals Plus partnered with Help Desk International . HDI is the world’s largest IT service and technical support membership association and the industry’s premier certification and training body. Guided by an international panel of industry experts and practitioners, HDI is the leading resource for help desk/support center emerging trends and best practices. Our parent company, Education Management Systems, is a Platinum member.
Membership with HDI enables Meals Plus to attend conferences to stay up-to-date on the latest best practices for support centers. Being informed of the latest trends helps Meals Plus make educated decisions about changes that may benefit the way we provide support for you, our customers. We compare metrics that we track on a monthly and annual basis to other companies that are comparable, helping Meals Plus to measure success and target areas for improvement.
How do we know our membership makes a difference? We closely monitor our customer satisfaction levels with bi-annual surveys and 94.2% of customers say they are either satisfied or extremely satisfied. See the complete results of our latest cafeteria software support survey here!
Having trouble with your school cafeteria software? Let Sid Solve It!
Meals Plus Vice President Jeff Flynn and Sidney Busch at the 2011 Annual National Conference.
We are excited to announce that our Senior Account Manager, Sidney Busch, has launched her own blog in order to bring you on the road with her! Sidney works hands-on with school district staff in food service, IT and the business office to learn what they need from their cafeteria management software. Because most of her time is spent in school districts and at School Nutrition Association Conferences, she hears your everyday woes and shows you how Meals Plus is prepared to help. She has been with Meals Plus for nearly ten years and has seen both the school nutrition industry and our company grow. We encourage you to visit her blog and see how Sidney and the entire Meals Plus Team can easily ensure you are running both an efficient and productive lunchroom.