23/03/2017 - 07:03
In Cost Sector Catering’s series of Q&As with suppliers, we talk to Lawayne Jefferson, communications manager at Cypad.

Cost Sector Catering: What have been the challenges for your business?
Lawayne Jefferson: Our challenges are managing the requests we get from customers in relation to our software and integrating with different businesses across the sector. It’s managing this and growing the business. It’s a fine balance.

Our modules come with many capabilities and are configurable for different businesses. We work across schools but our software can be used in hospitals, care homes and restaurants. Other sectors using our product are on the rise.

Currently, we’re in more than 3,000 school kitchens. While it gives schools a management information system, the information is calculated in the same way across the industry so can be adopted in other sectors.

How user-friendly are your products?
School caterers focus on running kitchens, managing staff, getting meals out, and health and safety, but linking our software with their business is moving into a new era of food management that’s not just about cooking food and putting it on a plate. They can share information with school leaders to drive good food learning in classrooms and link it into the curriculum.

It fits because primary schools offer the best time to establish healthy eating habits, and children learn in a visual, hands-on way. It instils healthy food choices and eating, designed for the transition from primary into secondary schools when they make such choices independently.

It’s easy to use as it’s all tap and glide – and everyone uses smartphones or tablets; it’s popular with all levels of workers whether they are a cook or area manager.

There used to be 26 lots of forms and books to fill out, plus paper-based control tasks to complete. Tablets do away with this, and everything is now instantly stored and shared, such as photos of equipment breakdowns, special menu displays and examples of good versus bad practice. Tablets also enable electronic ordering for easy traceability. We also offer all the data protection and Mobile Device Management security needed.

What is unique about our product is it supports key aspects of school catering and feeds two-way information between the caterer, cook and school seamlessly.

What is your bestseller?
The kitchen manager suite is our bestseller; it covers stocktaking, ordering, staff attendance, forms on health and safety, and management reporting – collecting data and uptake by group or sector. You understand how efficiently kitchens are working when you see the meals produced each hour.

What is the business currently focusing on?
We are focusing on our meal selection and take-up recording app; this is taking off because it combines catering with a strong food culture in primary schools. It produces reports to show how catering and education teams work together on embedding healthy food habits and choices into children. This is in line with new DfE regulations issued last summer, for school governors to receive reports on this.

The apps are designed to engage children, who can pre-order and choose meals on the classroom whiteboard or any touchscreen. The meal selection screens are colourful and come with food facts – for example, ‘pasta gives you energy to play football or run faster on sports day’. Choosing that meal in the morning links a child with so much information and a willingness to learn about food.

What advice are you offering customers?
Our support team provides information on customer queries. We have general information to send out including leaflets and photographs, plus dedicated sales, development and project teams for school catering. We are also on a procurement framework that ensures suppliers are credible and price-competitive, as schools need this assurance when sourcing services.

Any groundbreaking NPD lined up?
Groundbreaking is our wider move into the market with meal selection. We are now pushing ahead with new food education apps.

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Dewberry Redpoint Limited is a company Registered in England and Wales No : 03129594 Registered Office:
Riverbridge House, Anchor Boulevard, Crossways Business Park, Dartford, DA2 6SL VAT registered, number 305 8752 95.

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