Why pre-ordering meals is important for schools
What are the benefits of pre-ordered school meals?
Reports have found that food wastage costs schools over £250 million each year. Pre-ordering school meals reduces food wastage drastically and associated costs. This innovative software aims to reduce food wastage by providing school meal service providers with exact numbers of meal portions to prepare that day, eliminating the need for over-catering and ensuring children receive the meal they want.
Although school caterers generally have information on the number of pupils they are cooking for, they have no information about the specific numbers for each meal option in most schools. Although they are skilled at estimating how many children will choose each meal, they have no way of knowing the exact numbers, and this lack of information can result in food wastage.
What are the benefits of pre-ordered school meals to students and parents?
With a system that allows pre-ordered school meals, children and parents can choose their preferred meal option meaning not only reduced wastage but better food education, encouragement of healthy food options and increased parental engagement.
According to BUPA, the UK has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in Europe, with 1 in 10 children aged 4 to 5 classified as obese and around 1 in 5 children aged 10 to 11. Pre-ordering meal software allows pupils to be actively involved in planning their meal choice and to take ownership of their diets.
Recent research has focused on how environmental changes and behavioural economics can guide children to make healthier choices to encourage students to select more nutritious foods. Pre-ordering school meals could pre-empt hunger-based, random selections and eliminate the sensory cues—evocative smells and sights—that lead to less healthy choices.
For a student, getting their meal choice, feeling comfortable with the process, not being rushed, and not having to wait in long queues are critical elements for schools adopting a pre-ordered approach to school meals.
There is also the benefit for children with food allergies and intolerances, as pupils can select a pre-ordered meal according to the necessary specifications.
Pre-ordering school meals also benefit students by reducing queueing at mealtimes. The lunchtime rush becomes a smoother experience with meals already ordered and paid for, as children simply have to collect their chosen meal from the cafeteria.
Reducing student meal queuing times further means a reduced percentage of pupils favouring out-of-the-gate spending, lowering the likelihood of excessive junk food consumption, leading to childhood obesity.
Pre-ordering is essentially pre-empting, and in today's society, using technology to plan ahead is the most efficient way to control an entity such as a school. Technology enables schools to pre-plan, taking the opportunity for human error and unnecessary time spent away and allowing better use of school resources.
The Schools & Academies Show is an exciting event that brings together education professionals, school leaders, and decision-makers across the UK. The show serves as a platform for showcasing innovative solutions, such as cashless catering, and sharing best practices in the education sector.
Amidst the buzz and enthusiasm, ami Education had the pleasure of exhibiting at the event alongside Tucasi, payment and administration software providers.
Infinity+ Cashless and Chip & Pin live demonstrations
At the Schools & Academies Show, ami Education proudly showcased the Infinity+ Cashless catering system, revolutionising cashless processes in UK and international schools.
The live demonstrations highlighted the seamless and efficient point-of-sale experience, impressing attendees. This smart system manages student accounts and processes orders at the point of sale effortlessly, providing a convenient and secure dining experience. Visitors learned about the extensive reporting suite, offering insights from free school meal usage to catering reports and discovered how to harness this data to streamline operations and reduce administrative tasks.
Furthermore, ami Education debuted their highly anticipated Chip & Pin technology, which received a positive response at the event. Popular amongst sixth forms and secondary schools, attendees experienced the contactless solution and appreciated the availability of multiple payment methods. Attendees saw first-hand how ami Education’s Chip & Pin terminals optimise the dining experience and empower educational institutions to streamline operations and provide a seamless payment experience.
“Our POS software is evolving with features such as Chip & Pin and additional features. But the next big thing we’ve got to do now is go cloud-based.”
- Tony Reeves, General Manager.
Infinity+ Order receives positive engagement with attendees
Alongside the Infinity+ Cashless & Chip & Pin demonstrations, ami Education was excited to showcase its cutting-edge Infinity+ Order pre-order school meal app at the Schools & Academies Show. The demonstrations highlighted how students could seamlessly check balances, browse menus, and conveniently pre-order their meals from their mobile phones.
This revolutionary app transforms how students order their meals, ensuring efficiency and convenience. With Infinity+ Order, pupils have easy access to a wide range of menu options, the ability to pre-order meals in advance, and the flexibility to customise their choices based on dietary requirements or allergies.
The Infinity+ Order app empowers staff to efficiently manage meal preparation and reduce food waste by accurately anticipating meal demand. This topic was very relevant at the show due to the current challenges schools and academies face. The app lets pupils control their dining experience, ensuring they receive their desired meals quickly and conveniently.
“Schools are starting to like the pre-order solution, as they can allow pupils to pre-order up to three weeks in advance. Pupils only have to go to the till point and collect their meal.”
- Tony Reeves, General Manager.
ami Education’s participation in the Schools & Academies Show at the London Excel was met with excitement and enthusiasm.
The Schools & Academies Show served as an excellent platform to showcase our solutions, and we are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to positive change in school catering. ami Education remains dedicated to driving innovation, fostering positive experiences, and propelling the education sector forward.
|To gain further insights into the exciting world of ami Education, watch our exclusive interview with Tony Reeves, our General Manager. In the interview, Tony delves into groundbreaking innovations, transformative approaches, and the future of cashless solutions in education. This interview provides a deeper understanding of our commitment to advancing education institutions.|
If you couldn’t attend the event but still want a demonstration, don’t worry! Book a demo with our team today to learn about implementing cashless catering, pre-ordering or Chip & Pin software in your school. Our team are here to provide all the information and support you need.
We are delighted to announce that ami Education will be showcasing our Infinity+ cashless catering product suite at the upcoming Schools and Academies Show in Excel, London, on May 17th.
Explore Our Infinity+ Cashless Catering Product Suite
We are excited to join forces with school admin and online payment provider Tucasi at stand G16 to demonstrate our integrated cashless and online payment solutions for schools and academies.
During the event, we will showcase our Infinity + cashless catering product suite, including brand-new Chip & Pin payments and pre-order meal app, designed specifically for secondary school and sixth-form students. Attendees will benefit from a first-hand demonstration of our cashless software.
“We can’t wait to team up with Tucasi to bring our integrated cashless solutions to the Schools and Academies Show. As one of the key events in the education calendar, the show will offer an excellent chance to provide real-time demonstrations of exciting new developments from ami Education and, importantly, connect with professionals and find out more about their school needs and discover how we can support their development plans.”
-Tony Reeves, General Manager at ami Education.
Discover the Latest Cashless and Online Payment Solutions
The Schools and Academies Show is a great opportunity for schools and academies to discover the latest technology and products for the education sector. At ami Education, we are excited to showcase our unique product offering which combines our Infinity+ cashless system with a comprehensive reporting suite, pre-order and payment options, and fast speed of service, all fully integrated with Tucasi’s SCOPAY online payment app.
Whether you want to streamline your cashless payments, improve your catering service, or simply want a faster, more efficient payment system, our solutions are tailored to meet the needs of schools and academies of all sizes.
Book Your Ticket
You can book your free event ticket for the Schools and Academies Show here. If you are attending the Schools and Academies Show, visit our team at stand G16 to learn more about our unique cashless and online payment solutions.
For those who cannot attend the show but would like to learn more about our cashless solutions, please book a demonstration with our team.