In the latest instalment 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 foodservice 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 partake in a live Q&A at the end of the session to address their thoughts and ask 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 took school caterers to clean biometric readers such as fingerprint scanners and PIN pads were identified as risk factors for transmitting COVID-19.

However, 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 as a faster recognition method that helps to keep queues moving and allows pupils to get back to what matters most.


The webinar highlighted that making the school meal ordering and collection process flexible and contactless enables schools to 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 devices to access Fusion Online anytime, anywhere, increasing their engagement with the school meal process and granting additional anonymity to FSM children.

Gareth also discussed 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. For iPayimpact, we have learned from our experience and feedback from schools regarding what they do and don't like about online payment systems and found a solution that covers all of those areas.”

Q&A session

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 encountered 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 on a laptop or PC, Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome - there is a solution in place to cater for every single person.”

View a recording of the webinar.

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.