Harris School Solutions

Cafeteria POS: Do Schools Need Point of Sale Systems?

Almost all retailers and businesses have a Point of Sale (POS) system, but do school cafeterias need a POS system? The answer is a resounding: Yes! With the right POS system, school cafeterias can achieve faster lunch lines, safer and more secure payment processes, significantly reduce errors, and so much more. 

What exactly is a POS system, and how does it work? 

A POS system takes the place of an old and out-of-date cash register. Transactions are handled and processed electronically, where information and money transfers are encrypted. Some POS systems accept credit and debit cards, while others can process transactions via an account, like PayPal® or GooglePay®. 

POS systems in the cafeteria are designed to streamline the way parents and students pay for meals. The system does this by setting up an account that is tied to each student. Through that account, parents can securely add money via a credit or debit card for school purchases such as meals, yearbooks, and more. When a transaction processes, the money is immediately deducted from the account and deposited into the school account. That’s it: Cash or cards are never touched or exchanged. 

POS systems can transform cafeteria operations in the areas of: 

  • Recording and tracking purchases 
  • Ensuring secure payments   
  • Eliminating long cafeteria lines  
  • Managing inventories 
  • Eliminating human errors that occur because of charges and changes 

What are the benefits of having a POS system in a school cafeteria? 

One of the primary benefits of a school cafeteria POS system is the elimination of cash transactions, which has tremendous benefits. 

  • Students can keep their lunch money safe and secure - Students no longer need to keep track of their cash or worry about keeping it safe in their pockets and bookbags.  
  • Parents can manage their child’s accounts without the hassle - With POS systems, parents do not have to send cash to school with their child. Instead, they can access and add money to their child’s account safely and securely, from anywhere and at any time. The account can only be used for in-school purchases, so there is no risk of the funds being used for anything other than school meals. Best of all, parents can receive notifications when the account is running low, so their child always has adequate funds available. 
  • Schools can eliminate costly errors – School administrators and staff need to be responsible stewards of all cash transactions. By removing or reducing cash from the process, schools no longer need to worry about errors in cash handling. There is also a reduced need for security when taking cash from the point of purchase to administrative offices–only to have security concerns again when taking the money to the bank.  

POS systems ensure lunch lines run significantly faster 

With a POS system, purchases are quick and straightforward through a “click-and-go” model. There is no more waiting for students and cafeteria staff to count crumpled-up dollar bills and loose change. This is also ideal for students who want to choose from a self-serve salad bar or other pre-packaged lunches in order to grab quickly, check out, and go, without having to wait in long cafeteria lines.  

With a POS system, students have more time to make healthier decisions, as well as more time to eat, while frontline cafeteria staff feel less stressed about moving children through the long lines.  

POS systems provide effective management solutions for administrators 

POS systems enable the tracking, reporting, and overall management of cafeteria purchases in a clear and concise manner. It tracks the consumption rates, inventories, waste, participation, finances, adherence to NSLP guidelines, and more. Effective and automated cafeteria management through a POS system means increased savings for schools, districts, and taxpayers.  

The best way to see how a POS system can work for and benefit your school cafeteria is to see it in action. Contact our team at Harris School Nutrition Solutions to learn more about our industry-leading cloud-based POS system, EZSchoolPayEZSchoolPay is our school payment processing software that efficiently manages how parents and students pay for lunches, how school nutrition staff collect payments, and how district administrators account for and manage money. 

Ready to learn more about streamlining your cafeteria solutions? Contact Harris School Nutrition Solutions today.