Meals Plus systems also alert cafeteria coordinators which products are selling

Schools across the nation are using a new Facebook application to streamline cafeteria processes and inform parents about the nutrition their children receive at school.

The Meals Plus cafeteria software program offers real-time analysis of a variety of information regarding meal costs, including plate costs, meals per labor hour, expense allocation costs,  sales-by-meal analysis, revenue, expenses, income, meal counts, and supplemental (a la carte) sales.

The software manages the lunchroom more like a business, generating reports on supplies and costs. It is currently in use in 2,800 cafeterias in 29 states.

With the success of the software, Meals Plus announced a new Facebook application that lets parents monitor what their children are eating and purchasing at school. Lunchprepay.com connects parents directly to their students’ lunch history. While on the site, parents can make payments directly into their child’s cafeteria account, view what products their students are buying, and observe the school district’s menu.

“The parents will be able to really analyze the history of what their students are eating,” said Brittany Benge, child nutrition director for Davidson County Schools in North Carolina. “It will cut down the spending on the junk foods or the a la carte items that are not contributing to a meal pattern.”