Was this year unpredictable or what? As with all unexpected trials in life- we react, we adjust, and we learn from it. The challenges that faced our school nutrition industry this year opened the opportunity for new and innovative ways to serve school meals and we’ve seen changes in USDA legislation that could transform school meals for the future. Overall we’ve had some pretty cool things come out of this year. Let’s dive in and get a full 2020 recap below on all things School Nutrition and PrimeroEdge, because hindsight is 20/20 right?
January & February
Oh yes! Starting fresh, making resolutions, gearing up to crush all the goals we had in mind. We had an exciting year planned. School Districts across the country are always looking for ways to increase their revenue using their own kitchens so we launched a brand new solution: Catering!
We hosted our 4th Annual Edge Summit event and it was a huge hit! Attendees enjoyed the sneak peaks and dynamic presentations from our own PrimeroEdge staff. Get the recap here!
Things took a turn, mid-March, with COVID-19 so PrimeroEdge responded. We pivoted quickly to create and provide solutions to our customers and non-customers during this unprecedented time.
When USDA first passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, which provides Pandemic EBT assistance, PrimeroEdge launched Emergency Meal Survey, an online tool for state agencies to collect data from families who have been impacted by COVID-19. This tool has helped thousands of families in multiple states since then and we couldn’t be more proud to be a part of that.
With the new normal facing our school districts, we launched K12MealsOnline, an easy and mobile solution for districts to manage curbside pick up and delivery, communicate meal locations, and track meals provided for increased accountability and efficiency. This solution was entirely free to school districts and offered a quick and easy set-up to help school districts transition their meal operations in no time.
June & July
In June we added digital pre-ordering to Schoolcafé, for a complete Contactless Software Suite. Digital Pre-Ordering, lets parents, students, and teachers pre-order meals without ever stepping foot in the cafeteria. This contactless tool allows school districts to provide more meal choices, record transactions, and increase their efficiency in preparing meals. See it in action here.
We also began upgrading our Classic customers to our new mobile POS ExpressPoint. Our POS app ExpressPoint is not only great for student look-up and processing transactions fast, but it’s also a user-friendly mobile solution that can continue to work offline if you lose connection!
Multiple Meals was added as a new feature within PrimeroEdge’s POS which enables districts to record sales for reimbursable meals within a single process for multiple days and meal types, since many students, learning virtually or hybrid, are picking up meals for several days at a time. No need to enter each individual transaction for your bulk curbside pickups. With waivers extended through sept 30, 2020 we knew that families would continue picking up curbside and we wanted to help schools record meals with ease.
Additionally, we launched online chat support in PrimeroEdge just in time for BTS. Read more here!
Why not make something great even better? We added a Bundling feature to our schoolcafé Digital Pre-Ordering solution so that parents could consolidate their student’s meal orders for children across multiple sites. Our industry also saw the extension of free meals and other SFSP/SSO waivers until December 31, 2020 and then again through the end June 2021, making bundling an essential and effective component for parents and cafeterias to manage meals this school year.
Although we couldn’t see each other over the summer at the usual conferences, we were so glad to be able to connect with you virtually during the fall! Our PrimeroEdge team was at the TX, GA, CO, and CA SNA virtual conferences this year. We also presented our Digital Pre-Ordering tool at SNA’s Innovative Solutions Showcase. You can keep up with the latest trade show updates from PrimeroEdge here!
November & December
We’re wrapping up the end of the year doing what we do best, coming up with creative software solutions to make a difference in school nutrition. We can’t wait to show you what we have cooking up for next year! Expect more leading edge innovations to speed up your lines and free up your time.