Why do schools need queue management?
Transforming the lunchtime experience post-lockdown
One thing that is seemingly unavoidable in day to day life is queuing. Be it at the supermarket, post office or dry cleaners, waiting lines happen everywhere, anywhere and to anyone. Yet one place in which queues are in surplus and yet hugely unacknowledged or addressed is in schools. Despite sometimes being as disastrous as in retail, queuing in schools is rarely discussed.
The first contact with queuing in schools happens as students are trying to enrol and stretch their time in education to queue for mealtimes, school trips, registration and more. The biggest offender by far is the day to day slog of mealtime queuing in schools. Long waiting times matched with only a short period in which to eat makes lunchtime queuing something that needs to be addressed and improved for the benefit of staff and pupils.
The age-old custom of waiting in line wastes the average person up to two years of their life, according to a study by Casumo, and although saying goes 'time is money,' time is also time, something which students can't afford to waste. A student's priority is to study, and with a solid queue management system in place that follows strict social distancing rules, pupils can use the time saved for more essential school matters.
What are the results of poor queue management in schools?
A secondary school in London found this out the hard way, as its pupils were shunning food in a school canteen and instead were favouring the option to leave school grounds and purchase their lunches rather than queue for the school meals provided. This kind of 'out-of-gate' spending can mean students are consuming unhealthy foods for lunch, which the school cannot fully control. Unhealthy lunches are one of the main contributors to childhood obesity and poor nutrition in children.
Lengthy waiting times for lunch isn't an issue confined to smaller state schools either and arguably, somewhat worse than the out-of-gate junk food purchasing seen in London. In Neath, South Wales, pupils of a £40m Baglan Bay High School have waited throughout the entire lunch break and had to go back to class on an empty stomach.
What are the solutions for better queue management in schools?
Introducing cashless catering software such as AMI's Transact meal ordering and registration for primary schools is revolutionary in cutting school lunch wait times. Allowing pupils to pre-order their lunch choices via an interactive whiteboard or the teacher's PC enables younger pupils to select their food in a fun and interactive way.
After placing the order, the pupil's lunch choice is sent to the kitchen to be prepared for when they arrive at the dining hall, reducing the need to queue whilst pupils make their lunch choices.
Other solutions to reduce school queues include AMI's ID management system and contactless cards, enabling schools to reduce contact at lunch whilst ensuring pupils abide by new social distancing measures. This software offers real-time database sync from the MIS system, meaning there is no chance of mistakenly missing students, with all applications managed through one central database.
ID management software, including AMI's Identity Management solution, identifies students through their contactless cards to make payments, gain access to areas, reset passwords and much more, saving vast amounts of time and resources during the mealtime rush. Queue management software leads to more efficient waiting times, organisation, and simplified identity management.
By using a cashless catering system and ID management software, schools can generate reports to show what food has been ordered and keep track of food wastage at the click of a button. This functionality gives schools control over the content of their pupil's meals, benefits their budgets (by avoiding unnecessary spending) and allows them to be environmentally sensitive by not contributing to food wastage.
Whilst a more efficient waiting area layout partially solves queuing controversy in schools, which will improve as more schools place ordering and collection points around the school, the core problem lies in queue management. The solution, therefore, is to invest in a queue management system for schools.
It is not enough to say that schools need queue management to ensure their students eat correctly and on time. When social distancing and minimal contact are key, cashless software is crucial to protect pupils and reduce the risk of germs spreading as lockdown measures ease, and pupils return to school.
Visit here to learn more about AMI’s full range of cashless catering and Identity Management solutions.
At ami Education, we understand that schools have unique priorities and face diverse challenges in their schools. As a leading provider of cashless catering solutions, we want to offer the best experience possible for schools.
To achieve this, we've created a short survey to gather feedback on schools' priorities for this year and to understand better how we can ensure those in the industry receive the most relevant information and support from ami Education.
By completing our survey, UK and international schools can share their feedback on what matters most to them and help us identify their most pressing challenges. This valuable feedback will allow us to tailor our solutions to meet specific school staff and pupil needs and provide the support and resources to help them achieve their goals.
The survey will take just a few minutes to complete, and the information provided will help us to deliver a better experience to all our potential and existing customers.
How can we help you?
Our mission is to help schools make a positive impact in their school communities. We have a team of experts with years of experience who can identify and address the most pressing challenges in their schools with our solutions.
Whether you're looking to reduce food waste, improve cashless catering, streamline stock control, or enhance your pre-ordering system, we're here to help. Our innovative solutions are designed to meet the unique needs of schools, making it easy for educators to make informed decisions and take control of their catering operations.
Together, we can work towards making your school a more efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable environment for all.
Popular reports downloaded from ami Education’s Infinity+ cashless system.
Catering reports offer valuable insights for schools. From using food ordering reports to improving the decision-making process when planning menus to free school meal usage insights, utilising this type of information plays a significant role in helping schools to improve processes for future investments.
There are many ways reports from cashless software, like Infinity+, can help caterers learn more about the business. Infinity+ offers fully automated reporting, with the ability to download reports into Excel. Infinity+ enables schools to gain insights faster, make informed decisions, and help increase school meal uptake.
By using the Infinity+ cashless catering system, caterers and schools can download reports such as free school meal usage and meal uptake. These reports give caterers the upper hand in knowing important information, like how many school meals to prep for each day, which meals aren’t selling well, and more. Understanding essential data like this helps caterers reduce the amount of wasted food, which trickles down to saving money and time spent ordering new stock.
There are ten popular reports from Infinity+ cashless that schools and caterers use to make informed decisions, helping them save time on banking activities and understand sales trends.
The ‘catering report’ is the most popular report used by ami Education customers. The report gives the caterers the resources to break down transactions by period, account type, and amount of supplement spent at multi-establishment sites. Caterers can get an in-depth overview of school lunch transactions, helping to predict ordering trends from pupils. An overview of school lunch transactions is vital, as it lowers the chance of food waste and knowing what stock to order for the future.
Sales Mix Report
Knowing the number of products sold can significantly increase the understanding of favoured food/drink items. The sales mix report provides caterers and schools with an overview of the number of products sold, split by product categories during a specified date or time frame. Utilising this report can save caterers and schools the manual process of working out sales at the end of the day, week or month, allowing them to compare product sales to previous months.
To see the eight other popular reports used by schools and caterers, download our top 10 Infinity+ Reports guide to learn more!
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