7 benefits of cashless catering for colleges & universities


The rise of cashless catering has been a breath of fresh air for the education sector, providing on-site caterers with a way to streamline their processes, automate operations and improve the buying experience for students and staff alike.


If your college or university is yet to embrace a cashless catering system, this article will help you better understand some key benefits it can bring to improve your customer experience and loyalty, as well as increase revenue from your on-site catering.


Speeding up food service

Food service can be stressful – especially during the busy lunchtime rush where many cafeterias and restaurants only have 30-60 minutes to feed hundreds of hungry students and staff. Switching to cashless catering will ensure:

  • Faster transaction times

  • Reduced queue times

  • Higher revenues (as more students can be served)

For Uniware clients, students and staff can also pre-order food and drink from the comfort of their study space or office via Upay Order Ahead. Not only does this further support the reduction of queues, but it also enables catering staff to effectively monitor and manage orders as they come in.


Streamlining administration

With a cashless system, there is no need to manage or manually count cash on-site. A bespoke system will also allow your college or university to easily distribute and control bursaries, manage free college meals and offer different virtual purses that allow for different types of spending.


Better control and visibility of student and/or staff spending


A comprehensive cashless catering solution will give you full visibility of your operations. Delivering full EPoS management from a central source, you will also have access to real-time reporting that gives you insight into purchasing behaviours; which can facilitate decision making on everything from staffing levels to the products you have on offer.


When drilling further into detailed user-level information, you will also be able to deliver targeted promotions to encourage spending. Promotions can be run via email, smartphone notifications or through the Upay app for Uniware clients.


Increasing revenues

Implementing a closed-loop payment system (e.g. student/staff cards or Upay app) means students and staff can easily top up a dedicated balance for use in your on-site restaurants or shops. This will help them to manage their own funds and reduce the chance of spending off-site. What’s more, your college or university can monitor these funds over time to enable more accurate forecasting and planning.


To encourage further spending, Uniware’s cashless system will also allow you to:

  • Customise promotions to incentivise students and staff

  • Issue tailored vouchers that can represent a monetary value, discount percentage, discount value etc.

  • Configure a loyalty scheme to reward students and staff for spending on-site

Reducing cash on-site

Cash can be a problem, regardless of the quantity. For colleges and universities, it is expensive and time-consuming to manage – from storage through to counting. For students, it’s easily lost or stolen.


A cashless catering system ticks all the boxes in this respect – removing the need for cash completely.


Effectively manage and display allergens


Food laws are becoming increasingly more stringent with the way allergen and ingredient information is made available to consumers. That’s why our Upay app has been designed to give students and staff what they need to know at the touch of a button.


Users can set their own personal allergens to be notified of, which are displayed via both product information buttons and pop-up alerts. This is key to improving buying experiences and giving students and staff more confidence in the food and drink they are buying.


Cashless catering and inclusivity


Despite the continual fall in cash payment over the years, caterers at colleges and universities may still want to allow for some cash payment on-site for more inclusivity. Uniware’s comprehensive system caters for our clients’ varied needs and allows for all payment methods, including mobile payment, EFT, site cards, biometrics, and cash. Whatever payment method your customer chooses to use, all data about your sales and revenue can be seamlessly synced for easy, accurate reporting and analysis.


To find out more about how Uniware Systems can support you with the transition to cashless catering, email us at info@uniware.co.uk.

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