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4 (or is it 6?) Reasons Universities and Colleges are knocking on our door

by Willie Biggart

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Some silver linings are easier to pick out than others…the interest from catering teams in Universities and Colleges across UK, Ireland and USA is certainly one which stands out for us at the moment.

After such a torrid time over the last 18 months it's genuinely so exciting to see our Development and Implementation Teams so busy getting these catering teams ready for the new term. It’s been incredibly encouraging for us all...but what has led them to our door?

It’s Complex on Campus

Catering operations are complex across the campuses of Unis and Colleges. Drop off catering, multiple vendors across campus, events throughout the year...all part and parcel of the catering styles on offer - and all quite different in how they are offered. Spoonfed enables control of the varied catering options to managed centrally in Spoonfed’s Back office. Where there are kitchens in different campus locations these are also managed from a single back office.

What’s been really helpful has been the feedback during the Pandemic from University and Colleges. Interpreting customer needs has always been at the forefront of our thinking - this has resulted in additional features and new Business Use Cases being introduced to solve complex requirements.

Stop Wasting Everyone’s Time

This is not the time or place for a commentary on why caterers are struggling to (or not in the place to) bring teams back to the same levels as pre-Covid. However, one thing is clear, smaller teams need innovation! Tevin Tobun from GV Group, recently commended on the innovative approach to answering staffing needs: “Right now, it is incumbent on organisations to look at alternative models to help find a solution to the current challenge...through more engagement with last-mile logistics organisations. Time saving is not the only headline when it comes to the ‘Why?’ of bringing tech solutions into play for online catering ordering - but it’s rarely off the no.1 spot. And in the current climate its position is secure. Smaller teams need to avoid wasting time answering calls and emails. Tighter budgets means that employing extra staff to do ‘admin’ is, frankly, a non-starter.

Who’s Paying For What and Why?

Online ordering is about ease, straightforwardness - yes, even slickness. However, the nature of educational establishments is that transparency and accountability in spend and budget is part of everyday life. That’s not a problem when ordering some books and stationery, but when you’re ordering lunch for ten on Tuesday unnecessary delays can be more than tiresome. We introduced our Order Approval Feature to counter this. But it’s not a work around. It cuts right to the heart of what is required and makes life easier (and slicker!) for those placing orders, colleagues giving approval and for those in the kitchen. Kudos once more to our Dev Team!

No More Second Guessing

‘Group Ordering’ has been a feature for some time however, it’s now a must have for many who want to give those ordering food a user experience fit for today! Three areas are key:

  • The days of second guessing who is a card carrying vegan or a flip flopping flexitarian need to stop
  • Wasting food is just such a...well, waste! And delivering platters of delicious food but not knowing what people can eat, or want to eat doesn’t make sense
  • Covid secure - of course, the pandemic was a driving force for enhancing the Group Ordering feature

Being able to give customers a link for making their own menu selection with a built in budget answers all these issues and makes life better for all concerned.

I was going to add reason no.5...then I realised there was 6...and I’ve already said enough.

Why not ask for a demo of the system, and you may well add reason 7?

Speak to one of the team to discover why Spoonfed is for you.


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