Editorial note: continuing with our Blackbaud K–12 partner series, the following post is from EZ School Apps.
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.
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 and a Point of Sale (POS) solution that deducts money from student accounts and facilitates easy payments makes it happen. Reporting for free/reduced lunch tracking is also no longer simply nice to have—it's 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:
1. You can 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 of a cloud-based option is that there's 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. For example, all you need to access EZ School Lunch POS is a device with an Internet connection.
2. 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 hesitancy in moving multiple schools over at once. A cloud-based option like EZ School Lunch POS enables you to move each individual school onto the system at your discretion and when you are ready. You choose the migration patterns and timelines.
3. No tech support needed.
Whatever solution you choose, it should be intuitive and require no tech support. EZ School Lunch POS was built using best practices from school directors, lunch administrators, and more to be available and easy to use within minutes of implementation.
4. 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.
5. No syncing required between credit card payments and school lunch software.
With other 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. EZ School Lunch POS does not require synching or additional work on behalf of the school because everything is stored in one centralized database.
6. Updates are available automatically.
A cloud-based school lunch option like EZ School Lunch POS 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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 where a secretary types them in and provides them to the cafeteria manager, all to simply determine how much food should be made that day. EZ School Lunch POS 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.
10. 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, phone, or tablet.
Having the right partner in place is also paramount. EZ School Apps is proud to partner with Blackbaud and offer school lunch, substitute management, and after school care software solutions to the market. Our EZ School Lunch POS is one of the only cloud-based options and also the lowest-cost solution available to schools. We recognize that your budgets are limited and want you to be spending your money where it should matter most: providing nutritious, well-prepared meals for students at the lowest cost possible.
Interested in learning more? Contact EZ School Apps for a free demo of our solution and get started with a free 30-day trial to see what schools of all sizes around the country have discovered. There’s simply no better cloud-based school lunch solution that is both easy to use and easy on the budget.