22 July 2019

With best-of-breed POS technology, feeding kids is a high tech business at Cupertino Union School District.

Good nutrition and learning go hand in hand at the Cupertino Union School District (CUSD), the largest elementary school district in Northern California. With more than 1,700 employees serving over 18,000 students in 25 elementary and middle schools throughout the South Bay Area, the district serves a richly diverse community fueled by Silicon Valley’s steady technology growth.

Legacy System Falls Short
With 55 food and nutrition professionals district-wide, CUSD’s Nutrition Services Department operates under the National School Lunch program, a federally-assisted meal program that provides low-cost or free lunches to qualifying students. Managing eligibility, child payments and government reimbursement had become an expensive operational burden. The district’s old system had limited online functionality and often displayed outdated account information.

“AURES offers ultra-compact, sleek-looking units at a really great price point, but where they really shine is exceptional customer service” MIKE GORDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES TITAN SCHOOL SOLUTIONS

“We needed to enable parents to manage student meal accounts, review their kids’ daily transactions and make online payments,” noted Nicole MESCHI, Certified School Nutrition Specialist and Director of Student Nutrition Services. “We’re in the Silicon Valley and parents expect technology to provide the information they want when they want it,” she noted.
Meal tracking and reimbursement reporting was pain-fully labor intensive, so a new POS system that could accurately record meals based on student ID and meal plan was essential. “The government reimburses us at a varying rate for free, reduced and paid meals so it’s crucial that we accurately track and record meal activity to ensure we meet reimbursement reporting require-ments,” MESCHI added.

Bring in the Titans
Without automation, the district had to mail meal program applications for completion and return by parents—and they’d often show up incomplete or illegible. In 2016, MESCHI turned to Titan School Solutions, of Roseville, California, for help. Titan’s cloud-based software modules required virtually no support from the district’s IT department—a huge plus—and its easy-to-use portal enabled parents to view up-to-date student accounts, deposit meal funds and submit applications for free or reduced-price meals online.

“By enabling online submission of meal applications, Titan’s Free and Reduced module improves application accuracy, speeds approvals and saves the district a tremendous amount of time,” noted Mike GORDEN, Titan’s vice president of sales. “Titan software is browser-based so data is always 100% current. And, because our districts have no software to install or maintain, they don’t have to burden their already-overworked IT staff and wait for days to get application support. Our applications are 100% integrated so new modules can be added on easily,” noted GORDEN. The Titan solution also included sleek and compact YUNO POS terminals made by AURES Technologies, Inc.
Designed with an ultra-compact footprint, the YUNO terminals are equipped with a commercial-grade touchscreen designed for high-volume use. After seeing the YUNO, the district was sold on the AURES models. “AURES offers ultra-compact, sleek-looking units at a really great price point,” GORDEN commented, “but where they really shine is exceptional customer service.”

POS That Pays Off
The Titan application is now running meal programs at all 25 district schools. One AURES YUNO terminal resides in each elementary school kitchen. To accommodate longer student lines, each middle school operates four YUNO POS terminals set up in “speed lines” in the gym, where kids select food items as they move through the line to pay. The student simply enters their PIN number and the cashier touches the appropriate menu buttons on the terminal to complete the transaction.
According to MESCHI, CUSD employees love the ease-of-use of the AURES terminals. “The YUNO touchscreen is very durable and responsive, it’s smooth like an iPad. A simple touch enters each transaction, which reduces errors and keeps the kids moving.” The compact terminals also fit easily on cramped carts and counters.
The Titan application has greatly simplified CUSD’s district operations. “Instead of going out to 25 schools to do an update or change a menu board, we can now do many more functions from our central office,” said MESCHI. “And, now that parents can monitor kids’ meal accounts online, we save considerable administrative time fielding questions at the Nutrition Services office.” CUSD’s Nutrition Services Department plans to expand application functionality in the future, adding Titan’s Nutrient Analysis and Warehousing modules. With Titan and AURES streamlining student meal lines, the district is sure to take inevitable growth in stride.