CRB Cunninghams First Education Technology Company to Win a Public Sector Catering Award 22nd September 2020

On 15th September, CRB Cunninghams, providers of cashless catering, online payment and ID management software to the education sector, was named the winner of the Innovation award at this year’s Public Sector Catering awards, dedicated to recognising and celebrating excellence in the public sector catering industry. CRB Cunninghams received the award for their Fusion Online pre-order mealtime app for schools, making them the first dedicated EdTech company to ever win a Public Sector Catering Award.

Innovation award

Judges were looking for a product or service innovation that has dramatically changed an operator’s catering strategy. With the release of Fusion Online, CRB Cunninghams’ innovative pre-ordering app that encourages pupils to pre-order their school meals directly from their mobile phone, coupled with exceptional service and dedication to the education sector, confirmed CRB Cunninghams as the 2020 winner.

Public Sector Catering Awards

Finalists for awards were announced in March with the original event due to take place in April. However, due to COVID-19, the event was postponed until September and transformed into a virtual event with leaders across the industry in attendance.

The Innovation Award, announced by Mark Moloney from Youngs Foodservice, declared CRB Cunninghams as the winner for the following reasons:

Fusion Online pre-order app

Fusion Online allows secondary school pupils to pre-order their preferred meal options in advance, either in school or out of school. The app enables pupils to choose their favourite school meals on-the-go to ensure their order is ready to pick up at lunchtime.

“For us, the main thing is looking at pre-ordering and looking at the future developments that are associated. The use of a phone-based app will make a big difference in how pupils order their food. That’s a really important development and one that we are keen to test.” – Jayne Jones, Customer of CRB Cunninghams, Commercial Manager at Argyll and Bute Council, and Head of ASSIST FM.

Increase in uptake of school meals

Fusion Online is a platform that enables schools to compete against out-of-the-gate food options, such as takeaway and fast-food establishments. The pre-order app encourages pupils to stay within the school grounds during lunchtimes, resulting in an increase in revenue for caterers and schools.

Combat food wastage in schools

£250 Million per year is lost due to food waste in schools and colleges in the UK. To combat food wastage and the associated cost, Fusion Online tells school staff exactly what lunches need to be prepared in advance. The combined cashless package provides catering managers with a host of management information, including historical data and an analytical view to better predict food trends and to assist with stock ordering and long-term planning.

Customer-driven research & development

In 2011, CRB Cunninghams first introduced the ability to pre-order meals that encouraged secondary school pupils to choose school meals rather than opting for local shops and burger vans. Initially developed as an answer for customers that required a flexible solution that would allow pupils to pre-order meals 24/7, CRB Cunninghams introduced Fusion Online to schools as an enhancement to their pre-ordering service. Their in-house research and development team utilised the latest technology and Azure hosting to offer this product to schools with enhanced security.

David Paylor, Commercial director of CRB Cunninghams said:

“It is fantastic that CRB Cunninghams is being recognised for innovation. We pride ourselves on delivering innovative solutions to our customers and we see this award as a direct result of our dedication and drive to provide new solutions that benefit our customers. I’d like to say congratulations to all the worthy winners and finalists, thank you to Public Sector Catering, and all those involved in hosting the event.”

To learn more about the Fusion Online pre-order app for secondary schools, click here.