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As technology evolves, software plays a huge part in the school lunchtime experience, with pupils, staff and parents reaping the benefits of implementing advanced technology into the dining hall.

Now that many schools across the UK are looking at a phased style of reopening delivering school dinners will change drastically. Schools are wondering how to adapt and provide the necessary measures to keep staff and pupils safe when they return to school.

How the dining hall will change

When pupils return, many measures will be put in place to ensure social distancing rules are safely adhered to in the classroom, and the dining hall is no different.

Schools across the UK are looking at placing collection points in the dining hall and classrooms to allow pupils to collect their lunches within their allotted time and eat their food at specific points around the school, instead of the traditional gathering in the dining hall.

Combined with the Grab & Go style of lunch many schools are moving toward, placing lunch collection points around the school provides a pivotal way to utilise the space within the building and offers reassurance on pupil safety during lunchtime.


What is Grab & Go?

A Grab & Go style food offering means schools can offer a reduced menu. Combined with pre-ordering software, pupils can order their lunch choices in advance to pick up their food at a designated collection point, reducing the need to queue and wait for food to be packaged and prepared during lunchtime.

Fusion Online, our pre-order app, is designed for busy secondary school pupils on the go and is an easy way to offer speed of service, ensuring strict hygiene standards are followed and reducing the need for contact with others.

This software is seamlessly connected to our cashless solution to assist schools in implementing a Grab & Go catering offering with a straightforward activation process.


Contactless lunch experience

We have seen a considerable emphasis placed on contactless card payments on the high street, whilst cash payments are discouraged where possible; schools are now following suit.

As schools across the UK implement pre-ordering software to remove the need for contact with others, many opt for a solution that eliminates cash from schools altogether and are replacing this method with online payments and pre-ordering software.

These contactless alternatives will allow pupils to order and pick up their lunch with minimal contact in the form of a pre-order app and contactless smart cards that replace cash and other physical transactions. By utilising these payment order and collection methods, schools can provide their pupils with a safe way to enjoy their lunch and take a break from classes.


Removing cash from schools

At CRB Cunninghams, we’ve talked about the benefits of removing cash from schools, ranging from increased efficiency in reporting to saving time spent on admin tasks for finance staff. Now that schools are beginning to implement plans to help pupils return safely, removing cash is more important than ever.

Online payments offer parents a simple way to top up their child’s account without using physical money. For schools opting for pre-order software such as Fusion Online, the online payment provider iPayimpact connects to Fusion, meaning that when parents top up the accounts, pupils can see their live cashless balance via the pre-ordering app, which is updated in real-time when students purchase their lunch.

By combining Fusion Online's cashless catering software with iPay online payments, schools can remove any physical transactions from the dining hall, providing a fully contactless lunch experience.

Bringing pupils back after the lockdown period will come with its challenges. Still, by implementing a Grab & Go style lunch service, allowing pupils to pre-order their food, collect their lunch from designated collection points and utilise contactless payment methods, schools can provide staff and pupils with a safe lunch service that meets everyone’s needs.

Learn more about how your school can implement Grab & Go changes to your catering operations.