In the latest installment of our webinar series on the 4th of May, our Corporate Account Manager Gareth Hunter gave attendees an insight into the new and existing challenges faced by multi-academy trusts within the school food service sector. The webinar session provided key points regarding CRBC’s new wave of challenges faced by multi-academy trusts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gareth also discussed:
- The future of school foodservice.
- What does good school foodservice look like?
- How CRBC solutions can provide better outcomes for schools.
Attendees were also able to take part in a live Q&A at the end of the session to address their thoughts and ask any questions.
Throughout the webinar, Gareth explained the key challenges faced within the industry. These include: queues and efficiency, availability, technology, communication, and competition, such as children leaving school at lunchtime to purchase their meals from other outlets.
When discussing how to reduce queue times and increase efficiencies in the dining hall, Gareth cited the concerns raised around the cleanliness and additional time it has taken school caterers to clean biometric readers such as fingerprint scanners and PIN pads.
These areas were highlighted as a risk for the transmission of COVID-19 but new technology such as Facial Recognition software - coming soon as an add on for Fusion customers - has been helping to make the food ordering and collection process completely contact-free! Instead of entering a code, swiping a card, or using their fingerprint, students can submit a scan of their face that can be used as a faster recognition method that helps to keep queues moving and allows pupils to get back to what really matters.
The webinar highlighted that by making the school meal ordering and collection process flexible and contactless, schools can improve pupil engagement and keep them coming back to purchase meals from the canteen time after time.
Pre-ordering, which can be enabled using our award-winning Fusion Online app, lets kitchens know ahead of time what meals they need to prepare, meaning that they are ready for a swift collection at the beginning of lunch. Pupils can also use their personal devices to access Fusion Online anytime, anywhere, increasing their engagement with the school meal process and granting additional anonymity to FSM children.
Gareth also reflected on the increase in demand for reliable online payment interfaces for schools. He bought up the capabilities of iPayimpact - our online payment software that allows seamless integration across our family of products.
“It’s placed us firmly as an A-Z solution provider for multi-academy trusts. So, one company, one contact, for not just cashless catering but online payments too. What we’ve done for iPayimpact is learned from our experience and feedback from schools of what they like about online payment systems and what they don’t and found a solution that covers all of those areas.”
At the end of the session, we hosted a Q&A, where users sent in their questions for Gareth. One of the questions included:
Have any of your schools using Fusion Online had any issues when a pupil has not had access to a mobile phone?
A: “Yes, we get this question a lot! What Fusion online has been developed to do, is if a mobile phone or tablet is inaccessible to a user, they can get access to the portal via the standard internet. Whether that’s done on a laptop or PC, Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome - there is a solution in place to cater for every single person.”
How do I sign-up for future webinars?
We are always looking to improve and expand our webinar offering. Customers will receive a direct email to sign-up for our webinars, so keep your eyes peeled! For more information, please get in touch.