Go cashless smoothly and painlessly to bring benefits all round

Going cashless at a school brings all kinds of benefits to staff, parents and the students themselves. You can speed-up and improve operations as well as increase safety on the school site by effectively removing cash from the premises – even from the school canteen and vending machines.

But those benefits are undermined if the switch to a cashless system becomes a major hassle, or if the operation requires constant maintenance.

BioStore understands that its FasTrak Cashless Catering solution has to be more than simply a product a school acquires– it has to be a service. When schools choose a cashless system, they should be choosing a supplier that’s in it for the long run. It’s important not only to help schools quickly set-up their new cashless systems, but also to help them operate the new system smoothly.

Creating unique solutions for unique situations

No two schools are exactly the same - they all have their different peculiarities, schedules and requirements. So, when a school chooses to go cashless, it will have slightly different, specific requirements compared to neighbouring schools. One out-of-the-box solution is not going to work for every school.

That’s why the first thing we do as a supplier of cashless solutions, is listen. It is important to take the time to really understand the school’s issues, operations and desired outcomes for switching to a cashless catering solution. From that starting point, our experts can advise on the best approach and collaborate with the school to deliver the most ideal solution.

James Ramsden at the Ruth Gorse Academy, put it like this:

“After approaching several different companies about the school’s desired solution, BioStore was the only one flexible enough, able enough, and willing enough, to collaborate on and deliver our idea.”

Putting in the hours

Once the right approach is agreed with a school, there’s no time to waste. Schools need solutions that can be implemented with as little disruption to their timetable as possible. It is important that a cashless catering system is flexible enough to easily integrate with a wide range of school Management Information Systems and with popular online payment systems.
After the system has been integrated, it’s then important to be on hand to help the smooth operation, whether by training staff to use new technology, quickly troubleshooting an issue, or even providing a hosted and managed cloud network for the system.

At the Marlborough school, Suzanne Berry said she found it very easy to work with BioStore:

“You get a service completely catered to your needs. You get the support you need through every stage of the process and you get top of the range technological solutions.”
Cutting admin and increasing uptake

Cashless systems really drive speed and efficiency in school catering solutions. With cashless solutions, you get faster throughput, meaning you can serve more students and increase sales. The Ruth Gorse academy for example managed to get 90 per cent of students signed up for cashless catering – and the Marlborough school increased its uptake of catering by more than 25 per cent.
Removing cash-based payments also cuts admin time and reduces risk for the school’s finance team. With everything on a digital system that is tracked, kitchen managers and financial staff can work together to improve budgeting.

Piece of mind for parents

In addition, going cashless is a lot easier for parents. It makes paying for school meals much more efficient and convenient through easy-to-use online payment systems.

By creating a cashless solution, schools also offer parents some peace of mind. When parents simply give children school lunch money, they can’t guarantee it will actually be spent in the school canteen. Too often, that money goes to the local fast-food outlet on the way home. 

With a cashless solution, parents don’t need to give their children money every day. Parents can also login online anytime to see how their money is being spent on the school’s hopefully healthy catering.
Get students eating a healthy meal daily

Like everything in education though, the real reason to go cashless, is because it’s what’s best for the students. Good healthy daily meals from school catering services are ultimately there to help students grow physically and academically.

A healthy hot meal gives students the energy to concentrate throughout the school day – and the fuel they need to grow healthily. Lunchtime should also be a time to interact and develop socially with their friends while sharing a meal.

When catering is seen as slow, inefficient, and uses money that can be spent elsewhere, then students will skip it – because nobody wants to waste their lunch break standing in a long queue. Going cashless is the best way to banish the queues and deliver fast, value-for-money catering.