In the world of school nutrition, efficiency and accuracy are crucial. For Springfield Public Schools in Massachusetts, delivering nutritious meals to over 28,000 students across 66 public schools and 12 charter/parochial schools is no small feat. We recently had the opportunity to visit Springfield Public Schools, where we saw firsthand how they utilize MCS to manage their operations from Back of House to Front of House.
In summer 2022 universal free meal waivers expired and, due to this change, many school nutrition programs are again faced with the challenge of managing student meal debt. In a November 2022 survey of school nutrition directors conducted by the School Nutrition Association, districts reported meal debt as low as $15 and as high as $1.7 million with an accumulated debt totaling over 19 million dollars nationwide.
Choosing the right Point of Sale software for your school district can be a daunting task. With so many factors to consider, from data security to user experience, it's easy to get lost in the weeds. However, one crucial factor that often goes overlooked is how your POS software can help you deal with staff shortages.
In fact, according to the School Nutrition Association's 2023 School Nutrition Trends Report, over 90% of schools report staff shortages as a challenge. Hear from our Nutrition experts, Mike Walker and Katy Munna, as they discuss how your POS software can help alleviate the hardship of staff shortages.
Connect 2023 is almost here! Join us in Nashville March 21-22 or virtually March 27-30 for our largest training conference of the year. This is your chance to learn more about your Heartland products, connect with peers, meet with product experts, and so much more. Here are a few things to look forward to:
Now more than ever, making sure every surface in your cafeteria remains clean and disinfected when students return is critically important. The same holds true for all of your serving line hardware, including POS terminal/tablets, pin pads, cash drawers, keyboards, and mice.
We have worked closely with our vendors to develop the guidelines outlined below showing how to properly clean and disinfect your point of sale hardware. If you’re not a Heartland customer and you purchased equipment elsewhere, please refer to the manufacturer for specific instructions.
Lunchtime is often considered crunch time for school food service staff - for more reasons than one! Serving meals quickly and efficiently, while also making sure students have time to eat, can be a challenge for many schools. That's why any feature or method that can help speed up your serving lines, even by a few seconds, can be monumental.
One school district in Northern California found that simply using audio messages at their Point of Sale stations helped to increase their line speed and satisfaction among the students.
In the '90s, the school nutrition industry started to embrace computerized Point of Sale (POS) systems as a way to better track what was being sold and make it easier to manage student accounts. Today, many school nutrition professionals believe the biggest value of their POS system is at the serving line. While this is true (after all, that is where the transaction is created), the real power of a POS system is in the reporting.
Reports are often underutilized and can provide more information than many folks realize. Beyond the basics of how many meals have been served or the total sales for a given period, reports can help you identify opportunities for operational improvement or areas for increased participation.
Making sure your serving lines are properly configured to reflect the way your schools serve meals and à la carte items will ensure you get the most from your POS reports.
Implementing a new point of sale system in your cafeterias may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right plan in place, you can keep your implementation on track to ensure a smooth rollout.
Your point of sale is the center of your nutrition operation during serving periods. With an average lunch period lasting only 25 minutes, students want to get through the line quickly so they have time to eat and chat with friends.
While there are many adjustments you can make to speed up your serving lines, optimizing your menu boards can also help shave a few precious seconds off the time it takes to enter a transaction.
Here are 8 tips for building menu boards that help make your cashier's job easier and your lines move faster:
Having been a part of the K-12 industry for decades, we know that your student information system is like the central control room for your school district. It’s how schools keep track of all student data, from grading and test scores, tracking student attendance, building class schedules, and everything in between. So when data can flow easily – and securely – between your SIS and other programs in your district, it can really save time and bring added efficiencies for school administrators, parents, and students.