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A complete solution for catering in schools

We understand that one of the biggest challenges in any education catering operation is maintaining compliance and food safety in an efficient and cost-effective way. We can help.

Our smart software helps schools, local authorities and catering providers reduce food waste, including CO2 impacts, alongside promoting healthy eating, digital meal ordering and the management of safe, compliant catering operations.

We design our software to suit a wide range of organisations. Whether you’re a local authority, an individual school, a multi-academy trust, contract caterer or a large university, you’ll manage your meal service and gain insights into how to keep improving.

Together, our Saffron kitchen management software, Cashless catering and parent payment options deliver peace of mind, help you be more productive and improve experience for those using your services.

Why choose Civica’s school catering software?

  • Drive efficiencies from purchase to payment
  • Manage escalating food costs and reduce food waste
  • Use digital meal pre-order to inform stock management, save money and reduce waste
  • Keep pupils with allergies safe by automatically restricting their menu choices using data from your MIS
  • Encourage healthy eating with attractive meal deals
  • Easily share nutritional information and pupil menu choices with parents
  • Ensure safe and secure payment with the latest cashless technologies and ID management
  • Simplify menu planning and recipe creation
  • Support sustainable purchasing and CO2 reduction goals
  • Accurately manage FSM delivery
  • Reduce risk, costs and administration.

Our software is making lunchtimes faster, safer and more cost-effective for more than 1,500 schools and colleges across the UK.

Key solutions for schools include: ·

Saffron catering management software

Our paperless kitchen management helps ensure safe, compliant school catering operations. Saffron brings together all the individual elements of the catering operation in one central cloud-based repository, streamlining stock control, purchasing, menu engineering and cleaning/hygiene tasks including HACCP compliance. It also offers a range of sustainability benefits, including a carbon foot printing module to support CO2 reporting and reductions, as well as measures to reduce food waste which include easier reporting of weight, value and ingredients of individual menu items.

Drive purchasing efficiency with the Saffron Purchasing module. This option automates and simplifies the buying process for catering providers and can save up to 70% of the associated costs of a paper-based system. We support EDI integration for larger suppliers and buying groups, as well as web portal access for smaller artisanal producers, helping you buy local and drive down your carbon footprint.

Support safe and healthy choices with the Saffron Wellbeing Portal, which includes a public-facing URL where users can access menu details from anywhere, including nutritional and allergen information, and even CO2 data.

Cashless Catering

Our smart software and fast modern tills streamline mealtimes, facilitate better take up of free school meals and help manage individual dietary requirements. With features like pre-ordering, menu scheduling and meal deals, students and parents can gain better visibility of their food choices. Comprehensive forecasting and stock management also helps to reduce waste and generate savings. We integrate with your MIS and payment provider, and provide digital parental payment options.

For grab ‘n’ go efficiency, choose our popular CivicaEats pre-order mobile app, shown to increase uptake of school meals by 50%. This allows secondary pupils to order meals in advance, so the kitchen only prepares the meals required - minimising waste and driving sustainability, whilst supporting accurate management and ordering of stock too.

We can help you get your queue moving quickly for less with no upfront costs and low total cost of ownership.

LACA Partner Q&A with Andrew Pond, Business Development Director – Catering

Tell us about your product/service range?

AP: We provide a complete catering management solution that helps school caterers ensure pupils are safely and nutritiously fed so they can achieve their potential. Our Saffron catering management, cashless, digital pre-order and e-payments technologies work together to meet the challenges of rising costs, sustainability and compliance head on.

Why is it so well suited to the school food sector?

AP: Our software is built on experience. Civica is a global leader in public sector software with a strong track record in education, using automation and data to deliver efficiencies. We’re helping make lunchtimes faster, safer and more cost-effective for thousands of schools and colleges across the UK, directly and via local authorities and contract caterers.

What are the biggest challenges you are facing for your businesses?

AP: With the cost-of-living crisis driving FSM expansion, we’ve worked hard to ensure our cashless payment technologies can effectively support UFSM programmes across the UK. We’re also actively working with customers to mitigate impacts of supply issues and rising costs using data and more effective menu control.

What do you do to support the school food sector beyond the supply of your products/service?

AP: ESG underpins all our bids. We add social value through activities that help pupils, and parents, understand the nutritional value of the school lunch and so make better dietary choices. These also provide an insight into the ICT sector and create links to the world of work. We also support LACA and the PSC Alliance on a national and regional basis; offering space for meetings and small events.

Why is supporting LACA and their work so important to you as a business?

AP: Being a LACA partner empowers Civica to make a difference. It not only gives us a ‘voice at the table’ but provides the insight we need to drive innovation. By better understanding members’ challenges we can deliver better solutions; ensuring our children are fed more efficiently, safely and sustainably.

What was your favourite lunch when you were at school?

AP: The 1970s was the era of spam fritters and ice cream sodas; I remember Australian Crunch (chocolate oat cake) with mint custard being a big hit!