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Close collaboration with the design team, who have been very receptive to our suggestions, has resulted in a system that copes well with our needs and brings many improvements to how we deal with school lunches.

Sarah Thomas, Sandiway Primary School.


Operation, Installation, Support
Less queuing, faster admin
For the school and parents
Online or cash and cheques
Keep parents informed

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Wistaston Church Lane Primary School

The school required a cashless catering system that would give a simple way to keep on top of student’s accounts; who had taken a school lunch, had they paid? A simple way to know who had paid, who hadn't, were balances up to date or overdrawn?

An outstanding Primary School based in near Crewe, with 421 pupils Wistaston is larger than the average Primary School with a relatively low number of students entitled to free Meals. The school uses the SIMS Management Information System.

The Challenge

The school required a cashless catering system that would give a simple way to keep on top of student’s accounts; who had taken a school lunch, had they paid? Were balances up to date or overdrawn? 

The Solution

The initial requirement was easily met; Lunch Hound cashless catering was installed in January 2010 following which the school was immediately able to extract the status of all student balances, view the uptake of meals and generally get a much improved overall picture of the whole financial situation. In addition, through automated emails, texts and printouts, accurate and timely information can be distributed to parents  regarding how much money is available in their child’s account and has been spent during the week, down to individual food items.Touchscreen tills in the canteen use photographs to identify students allowing for fast identication and speeding up service. The school has found the till operation to be easy to learn and use, allowing for flexible deployment of staff involved in ‘manning’ the tills.

Customer Comments 

Although we do have a relatively low number of Free School Meal students, those who do receive the entitlement are not singled out at the tills, the process for identifying them and taking payment is exactly the same as for other students. In September, with the introduction of Universal Infact Free School Meals, all Keystage 1 students will be entitled to a Free School Meal and we expect the numbers taking a school lunch to double; at this point the already smooth flow through catering will be important, as will be the ability to produce accurate reports regarding who has the entitlement and has, or hasn’t, taken it. Paying money into the system is straightforward and even though all payments are loaded manually we are able to cope easily with the usual Monday and Friday morning rush of parents bringing in cash and cheques.

Main Requirements 

  • Immediate and accurate view of student accounts
  • Record of meals taken and by whom
  • Status updates to parents by email
  • Simple cashless catering operation


"The system has allowed us to take control of our catering finances, it has proven to be fast, accurate and reliable. Support is readily on hand and staff are always very helpful."

Katharine Dolphin, Dinner Accounts, Wistaston Church Lane Primary School


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