Caerphilly County Borough Council
The Welsh Government proposed the implementation of Universal School Meals for primary students to alleviate family financial stress. This policy aims to eliminate child hunger, promote healthy eating, and enhance behaviour and achievement.
Marcia Lewis, Principal Officer at Caerphilly County Borough Council (CCBC) shares her journey in navigating and triumphing over the challenges of implementing the policy; and the integral role Uniwares EPOS solution played in the successful roll out ahead of schedule.
Key Challenges & Surprising Solutions
Our primary hurdle was space - how to cater for potential 100% participation. Also, there was some skepticism about the necessity of cashless systems, which was originally implemented to capture who attended for school lunch, who paid for this school lunch, who was eligible for free school meals. But surprisingly, data capture emerged as a crucial factor contributing to the project's success.
Uniware already provided our cashless EPOS solutions for over 70 of the CCBC primary schools. Collaborating over 10 years, they tailored the system to our needs, ensuring efficient lunchtime operations. The Uniware team, understanding new legislation and catering processes and they engaged with all our key stakeholders.
Their meticulous approach, from school clerks to frontline cooks, positioned us well, making Uniware a valuable partner. They don't just sell you a box of move away, they’re with you for the entire journey.
The key to our successful early launch
Adapting to the Universal School Meal policy required a unique data approach, showcasing the vital role of our collaboration with Uniware. While colleagues in other authorities struggled with data integration using different providers, Uniwares Technical Director, Phil Lee-Warren, played a pivotal role.
Uniwares ownership and development of their software enabled Phil to customise a solution that can handle our complex data requirements. Thanks to Unawares expertise, we met the policy a year ahead of the government's deadline, seamlessly claiming grant funding from the Welsh government.
The Importance of EPOS Data
Our data is crucial, captured daily through an automated system seamlessly integrated with our management system, ensuring accurate reporting and funding auditability. It instils confidence in meeting traceability regulations.
In the event of a food scare or recall, prompt notification is possible, as we have essential details readily available at the push of a button. The seamless reporting on transactions, the clarity gives the authority great peace of mind.
Uniware as an Extension of the Team
Uniware it is an extension of our kitchen operation and team, we often use them as a trusted source of information and guidance on how we can continually improve and keep up with the ever-evolving technology.
What’s next for Caerphillys EPOS solution?
Phil Lee-Warren comments ‘Building on their success, CCBC plans to leverage the cashless catering system for online payments related to school trips and shops. We are also exploring how our allergy management EPOS solution can further enhancing the well-being and safety of students.’
Feel free to reach out to us if you wish to discuss any of the points mentioned above or if you would like to learn more about the advantages of our EPoS system.