The Ultimate Guide to ANC 2018

It’s our favorite time of year at Meals Plus! The School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference 2018 is just around the corner. From July 9-12 industry professionals from all over the country will head to the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas for four days of sharing bright ideas, learning best practices, and illuminating a bold vision for K12 school food service! Whether it’s your first time, or you’re a dedicated annual attendee, we have everything you need to know to get ready.

Getting Started

First thing’s first—the Opening Session. This year, co-anchor of CBS This Morning, Gayle King will be starting things off! She will be bringing refreshing authenticity along with her dogged persistence to her assignments. After her keynote speech, she will be signing copies of her book, Note to Self: Inspiring Words from Inspiring People. She isn’t the only star studded speaker. On Thursday Chef Jeff Henderson will be sharing his journey from the streets to the stove, along with some real-life strategies to help you achieve your dreams. After his session, he will also be signing copies of his books. Check out SNA’s website for more information on the general sessions.

Gaining Bright Ideas

Whether you’re looking to develop new skills or enhance existing knowledge, you can customize a schedule of educational sessions just for your needs! There will be a Culinary Skills Lab, sessions on promoting your program, and information on navigating the procurement puzzle. You can view all education session here as well as download a tracking tool that provides an easy way to keep up with your training hours during the conference.

Exploring the Exhibit Hall

The most exciting part of ANC for us at Meals Plus is the Exhibit Hall! This year there will be 880 booths showcasing culinary trends in food, beverage, supply, equipment, and service solutions. No matter what you’re looking for to grow your program, you can find it in the miles of aisles! While you’re there, be sure to stop to learn about how we can help turn your cafeteria into the Smartest Lunchroom. For digital menu solutions, visit School Nutrition and Fitness at book #1659. To learn more about our integrated cafeteria management solutions visit Meals Plus at booth #1065! Whether you’re a customer or not, if you are looking for new ways to improve your program, we’d love to chat with you!

Making Connections through Special Events

The fun doesn’t stop once you leave the educational sessions or the exhibit hall. There are even more events that offer a little something for everyone! If you’re a first-time attendee, you should definitely go to the First-Timers Session to guide you in the right direction before you get started. This year is all about networking, so be sure to attend the New Connections Reception on Monday. Once you’ve gained all of these new ideas and connections, celebrate at the closing event, Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil, an electrifying fusion of acrobatics and dance in honor of the King of Pop. Learn more about all of the special events offered at ANC here.

Take on ANC from your Smartphone!

ANC just went mobile! You can download SNA’s 2018 ANC mobile app to stay connected while on site. You can build your own agenda, evaluate education sessions, navigate the conference center, message other attendees and join discussion groups, and receive notifications on schedule changes and program alerts. The app can be downloaded on iTunes or Google Play.

Experiencing Las Vegas Outside of the Conference Doors

Even though our first priority at ANC is to learn and network, it’s also an exciting opportunity to experience Sin City! Check out this list for some of the Best Things to Do in Las Vegas. You may also want to check out SNA’s list of inexpensive suggestions for exploring Vegas.

We are so excited to see you in Vegas! We hope you gain valuable information to step up your lunch program. Don’t forget to stop by booth #1065 to visit Meals Plus and booth #1659 to visit School Nutrition and Fitness in the exhibit hall July 10-12. Learn more information about ANC 2018 here.

Meals Plus Voted Among the Top 100 Products of 2016

Voted by Meals Plus Customers, District Administration Magazine has named Meals Plus one of their “Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products of 2016” for helping K12 administrators achieve excellence in their district.

school-cafeteria-management-softwareThe winners were selected by District Administration’s editorial board after receiving 1,500 nominations and testimonials over a six-month span. Click here to view all of the winners, presented in random order.

One Meals Plus customer submitted this testimony with her vote to District Administration Magazine: “Meals Plus is indescribably intuitive. From the frontline employees to our accountants processing our claims, it keeps us streamlined and organized. We had our administrative review in February and passed with flying colors due to the ease the auditors had in sorting through the 6,000-plus free and reduced-price lunch applications.” — Kristin Hilleman, Director of Food and Nutrition Services, Capistrano USD (CA).

Thank you to those that voted for Meals Plus! We appreciate our partners from school districts across the country, and our part in helping them keep their lunchlines moving.

About District Administration

District Administration provides K12 leaders with critical news and information for school district management, through its monthly magazine, website, e-newsletters and the District Administration Leadership Institute Superintendent Summits. For more information, visit www.DistrictAdministration.com.

cafeteria_pos_syestem

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

“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! 

 

Meals Plus Help Desk Ranked Among 50 Best for the Second Year in a Row!

Last year, Meals Plus was ranked 23rd in the world for award-winning customer service by the HDI Customer Satisfaction Index. This year, the best technical support team in K-12 child nutrition jumped up six spots to be ranked 17th in the HDI CSAT Elite 50!

meals plus supportHDI is the world’s largest certification body and professional association for technical support professionals. The HDI CSAT Elite 50 are ranked based on their customers’ overall satisfaction ratings during the calendar year, and were officially recognized at the HDI Annual Conference and Expo this month.

“To be ranked among such an impressive group of support centers from around the world is a thrill for our team,” said Meals Plus Vice-President Jeff Flynn. “It reinforces that our hard work and dedication is exceeding our customers’ expectations and it is gratifying to be recognized by the world’s leading tech support organization.”

Congratulations to the Meals Plus Team, and thank you for helping child nutrition departments across the country “keep their lunchlines moving”!

Support_Cafeteria_technology

 

Submit Your Recipes for The 2016 Meals Plus Customer Cookbook

Wouldn’t you like to know which recipes helped other districts increase participation in their lunchrooms?

Graham and the Cook bookTo show our appreciation to our customers, last year we published the first edition of our “Meals Plus Customer Cookbook.” The free cookbook was filled with popular recipes from cafeterias across the country – the recipes that bring students back time and time again.

In order for this year’s cookbook to be a success, we need your most popular and tasty recipes! To submit your recipes, email them to recipes@mealsplus.com and we will take care of the rest.

Just like last year, every Meals Plus Customer will receive one cookbook completely free of charge, and additional copies will be available for purchase. The proceeds from the additional cookbook sales will be donated to charity, and an electronic version of the cookbook will also be available.

Thank you for being a part of the Meals Plus Family!

k-12_cafeteria_technology_services

How Account Manager Joy Miller Gave Back this Holiday Season

Meals Plus Account Manager Joy Miller’s call to volunteerism is strong. She is currently an active member of Junior League Dallas and especially enjoys projects that benefit children. Last month, she worked with Community Partners of Dallas, which works to “stop the abuse and start the healing” of abused and neglected children in Dallas County.

Through Community Partners of Dallas’ Toy Drive, Joy participated with hundreds of volunteers to help sort and grant wishes for over 5,300 children in the Dallas area! Each child received two “wishes,” filled with the help of corporate partners and individual supporters. If a child comes into Community Partners of Dallas’ care after the “wish” deadline, they even have a Last Stop Holiday Shop with undesignated toys that will be gifted to the children to ensure every single child is served. For many children, this is the first gift they have ever received, and for all, it’s a special time they will always remember.toy drive“The staff and volunteers at Community Partners of Dallas are amazing!” said Joy, “They are talented, passionate individuals who are dedicated to serving children in need. It was a real pleasure being part of this event.”

Thank you to Community Partners of Dallas, Joy and everyone that made this year’s toy drive a huge success, as well as everything you do year-round to help children in need!

9 Ways Meals Plus 9’s My Meals Plus Page Will Make Your Job Easier

Meals Plus 9 includes a new, exciting feature for Meals Plus customers: a customizable My Meals Plus page that lets you create “bookmarks” for the features and reports you use most in the system. Why did our software design team create My Meals Plus? To make your job easier!

  • Faster access and more functionality to accomplish your day-to-day tasks
  • You create Favorites (or “bookmark”) features and reports that you use the most, such as the “Account Setup” in Meals Plus Point of Sale or “Manage Application” in Meals Plus Student Eligibility
  • And you can have multiple screens open simultaneously in the My Meals Plus page! That’s right – you can access your Favorites at the same time, increasing efficiency

child_nutrition_pos[Click image to enlarge]

  • Favorites can be sorted in any order and organized into customizable Categories
    The My Meals Plus page background and Favorites button colors can be customized
  • And you can choose your own “avatar”, or profile picture, from the avatar library
  • A live news feed from the Meals Plus Blog is included, so you can easily stay up-to-date with the latest Meals Plus news
  • Quick links for remote technical support and online help files
  • A “Tips” box will appear when you first log into Meals Plus that will tell you how to customize your My Meals Plus page

Meals Plus 9 is coming soon; keep an eye on your Inbox for more information, including webinars and a software update release date.

Software_for_free_and_reduced_students

Coming Soon: Meals Plus 9!

More integration and easier navigation

school_nutrition_software_2This fall, our quarterly software update will add more functionality to the software and a deeper integration between the Meals Plus Components.

– The upgrade is completely free, and your system will be updated the same way you currently receive software updates
– New “My Meals Plus” dashboard will allow you to “bookmark” items you frequently use in the system, saving you time!
– Cleaner graphics and easier navigation menu

Keep an eye on your Inbox for more information, including webinars and a software update release date.

District_school_software_with_centralized_data