We understand that chefs that use our CaterCloud system want flexibility when planning meals whilst adhering to strict nutritional targets and budgets. Our powerful menu planner tool is one of the latest features added to our CaterCloud menu management system, developed with our clients in mind to provide full visibility of their weekly menus.

The CaterCloud menu planner helps users by giving them a tool to ensure their weekly menus are balanced not just from a costing perspective but also nutritionally, so their consumers are receiving the right levels of nutrition whilst ensuring the business remains within their targets. Some of the key features include:

  • Easy to use
  • Manage menus against cost and nutritional targets
  • Quick to build
  • Drag and drop feature
  • Use daily menu templates to save time and ensure consistency

When planning in a weekly menu, users can see the average nutritional values of meals recorded across the week which is especially useful for the care and education sectors. Schools have nutritional standards to adhere to so having that full visibility ensures the children get the recommended nutrition in their meals for their age. This is also a great feature for the care industry, as many elderly residents are at risk of malnutrition if not catered for properly. Most residents will have specific nutritional targets to keep them at a healthy weight so the menu planner is a useful feature for care home caterers.

Cost is also a huge factor when creating recipes, especially for care homes and government run schools where strict budgets apply. Another great feature of the menu planner is that users can see the average cost per person, or resident, per day throughout the week. This ensures that meals are created within daily budgets, to maintain profit margin without compromising on nutritional values.

The menu planner offers a traffic light system against nutritional recommended daily allowance and daily target price to clearly outline where alternative options or improvements need to be made. This is especially useful for care homes that work towards cost per resident per day (CPRD), so they can manage daily budgets accurately.

The most recent addition to the menu planner feature is consumption reporting. Consumption reporting allows the user to record actual CPRD and nutritional averages over the week based on occupancy and physical meal consumption. This is a great tool to use pre-consumption for forecasting and post-consumption for accurate values for comparison.

A CPRD report can also be downloaded to Excel to drill into daily values and identify areas that may be bringing the weekly averages above or below cost and RDA targets. This can help to show the wider business and stakeholders how budgets are being managed within the catering operations.

Within the menu planner function, meal plan content will also feed into our new and improved allergen matrix to visually display allergens contained in the meals on the menu. We are also expanding nutrient target and analysis to include optional micronutrients, so users can define which micronutrients they would like to report against, to further make reporting targeted to the users’ needs.

CaterCloud is the leading integrated solution for allergen, nutrition, menu planning and cost management – contact support@catercloud.com for more information about our system developments.