After Experiencing Meals Plus Cafeteria Software, Sullivan Co. Schools is Eager to Add More to their System

You know it’s time to get a new system in place when your old system is so antiquated that even the tech support is impatient with your frequent phone calls, outdated problems and requirements for troubleshooting. So when that time came for Lisa Holt of Sullivan County Schools (TN), she was happy to find Meals Plus.

Her district’s IT director did the initial research, determining which system best matched the district’s requirements and recommended Meals Plus. He was a good judge given that he devoted nearly his entire day to servicing the child nutrition system. The benefits he saw in Meals Plus were its organization around a single centralized database, its real time reporting capability, its compatibility with the district’s existing SIS (student information system), and its capacity to be expanded overtime as the district’s budget and needs suggested.

For Lisa, its the information now at hand that has made her job so much easier. “If a cafeteria manager needs help, I can provide remote support right from my desk,” she says enthusiastically. She goes on to explain that her previous system required physical data transfer and a long lead time before information entered in the central office would make it to individual school cafeterias. Now its immediate. “And I’m discovering new things all the time,” she says. For example, if she wants to see what lunch or breakfast items are the most popular from week to week, or school to school, she can. Whether an individual child is getting breakfast every morning? She can.

And her managers agree. Every day, they quickly produce transaction history reports, meal summary and deposit reports and summaries to support the production line with ease. “These reports were laborious, tedious and time consuming with our previous system,” Lisa says. “Meals Plus is great at capturing data and making it easily accessible.”

Since the transition to Meals Plus has gone so smoothly, Sullivan County Schools is now adding the menu planning, inventory management and nutritional analysis programs to her list of “Meals Plus Discoveries.” Though early in her learning curve, she’s confident these elements will be just as reliable and easy-to-use as she meets the demands of the new Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act.