Check Various Ways to Use Canteen Management System

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By Ikram Ullah

Schools, colleges, hostels, offices and factories generally have their own canteens for their students and employees. However, managing a canteen is quite a challenging task. It includes complex operations such as managing canteen menu, attendance, consumption and many more. Manual handling of accounts, menu and attendance are error-prone processes leading to inaccuracies and wastage of time. Moreover, managing staff in canteen becomes an immense responsibility in a busy working environment.
Canteen management system is essential to manage all these functions or processes. It can track item wise food consumption for individuals and groups. Using the system, you can plan different kinds of menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The system enables you to make the canteen payment process completely cashless by offering post paid and pre paid accounting options. With this system, post-paid users can use credentials such as fingerprint, smart card or proximity card to order food. Then again, pre-paid users can recharge their smart cards or proximity cards in advance before ordering. In both cases, the amount will be debited from the customer’s account without any monetary transaction.
Next, the system can introduce automation into various important tasks such as planning, confirming order, delivery, payments and the like. With automation, you can track menu items, perform speedy transactions and prevent accounting errors. Moreover, it facilitates customers to order from a dedicated mobile based application which can prevent lengthy queues and reduce transaction time.
What Features Can We Expect from Canteen Management System?
Canteen management offers a wide range of features to canteen owners. Following are the key features offered by such a system:
• It allows users to recharge their smartcard. They can easily view and verify recharged amount.
• It can display consumption details in real time.
• It helps you to keep track of food expenses
• It allows request correction for any erroneous entry.
• It can help you generate reports in different formats such as excel, word, PDF, text, RTP and CSV.
• You can block customers if the consumption exceeds pre fixed limits.
• It allows user to reinstate by depositing either full or half payment.
• You can have proper food planning on the basis of attendance data.
• It can significantly reduce wastage of food.
• You can schedule menu.
• It offers post-paid and prepaid accounting and payment options.
• It facilitates your cafeteria to go completely cashless.
• You can directly connect the system with any standard printer and print receipts with transaction details.
• You can perform corrections if the item is out of stock.
• It allows you to refund the amount to the customers.
• You can also integrate with any third party payroll.
• You can check user-wise consumption details.
In How Many Ways Can We Use this System?
You can use this system in the following ways:
1) Manage multiple canteens at a time. Regardless of the location, you can operate them with a central database. You can give controlled access to visitors, guests and contract users. You can also define menu items with price and subsidy.

To avoid any manipulations that prove disastrous in canteen operation, you can utilize the system to limit the food quantity and restrict canteen usage only during shift hours. Simply speaking, you can systematize the operation of your canteen with this system.

2) Master different food items for the menu for each time zone. Different meals can be added on the basis of the canteen roaster. You can also offer quantity selection to employees or guests. Refund requests can be initiated for pre-paid customers at the time of separation of user. Canteen management system allows correction in order if the food item is out of stock. It facilitates you to offer a flexible menu options.

3) Link the employee’s contribution to the consumption which otherwise becomes difficult tasks for large organizations. You can get the employee utilisation summary report that can help you better plan supplies and services from the vendor thereby ensuring neither shortage of food nor avoidable wastage.

A related advantage is that you can guard your employees against subtle manipulation by vendors via the cashless transaction facility. This way, there are no hassles of change. Even if the employee or the vendor forgets to bring his or her wallet, the transaction proceeds. Like they say, the show must go on.

4) Design reports as per your requirements and export it to excel, word or PDF format. With such a system, you get to create following types of reports:
+ Amount reports: Item wise, Vendor wise, Employee wise and Guest wise.
+ Item wise utilization reports: daily, weekly, monthly etc. reports.
+ Employee transaction reports: All, grade wise, employee wise, category wise, designation wise, and department wise reports.
+ Vendor Reports: Amount report, employee transaction, item transactions, vendor transactions, guest transactions, and event log etc.

5) Integrate contract compliance solution to manage contract visitors in the canteen. The system allows you to integrate payroll management software that helps you to accurately calculate the payout amounts to employees.
Clearly, the system can digitalise or automate the canteen management functions and bring down the burden of responsibilities on your employees and staff to a bare minimum. Following are some benefits of harnessing this system:
• Advance planning
• Track canteen usage reports
• Saves time
• Improves efficiency
• Automate or digitalise the system
• Reduces wastage
• Fast and efficient service
• Improves customer satisfaction
Canteen management system is an essential tool for managing day to day operations in your canteen. The system saves hours and hours of your time while also taking the overall efficiency of the canteen to a whole new level.
And by freeing you from the hassles associated with manual management and record keeping, the system unlocks your creative and innovative potential. This is because now you have the time to think about all those small details of various facets of the canteen operation, which, when added up, make a huge difference.
Moreover, you have the time to focus on the quality and hygiene part of running the canteen. After all, you are dealing with food here – something that customers ingest. The need for a sanitised premise therefore can never be overstated. It is as necessary as the food itself!

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