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CRB Cunninghams are the leading provider of cashless catering, online payments, identity management and electronic registration solutions across the UK.

This Scottish born-and-bred company started life in the retail and hospitality market by Tom Swanston in the 1960’s. The company was approached by West Lothian Council in the mid-90’s to help anonymise free school meals, whilst speeding up service by removing cash from the point of sale. The first system was installed in 1995 and by 1999, eight Councils had signed up to implement the Impact Cashless Catering solution.

Since the creation of Impact over 2 decades ago, CRB Cunninghams has been the preferred supplier of cashless catering solutions to councils and schools in Scotland. There are over 90% of councils using Impact, and many more beginning to adopt the online payment provision, iPayimpact.



In 2002 the Scottish Executive introduced national nutrition standards for school lunches in a bid to tackle the highest levels of child obesity in Europe. With this in mind, CRB Cunninghams provided Councils with a means to implement technology that would be capable of monitoring compliance with the new food standards.

By 2005 a user group was created to provide a platform for customers to help shape the future development of both hardware and software. Close relationships with customers helped improve the cashless catering solution, while gaining a much wider insight on how food operations work across Local Authority schools. This user forum made great strides improving the pressures that catering services face, and the continual requirements to produce uptake figures, along with compliance of nutritional food standards.

“Very approachable company. I have always found them to be helpful and able to fix issues sooner rather than later. Forward thinking and great business partners to be onboard with.”
Wendy Thomas, Area FM Service Manager, West Lothian Council

By working closely with councils, CRB Cunninghams introduced technology that would support a ‘grab and go’ lunch service. School lunch hours were reduced from 1 hour to 40 minutes and the challenge to ensure pupils remained in school during lunch time to eat a healthy meal was paramount. This also assisted with a decrease of children going to local shops and burger vans for unhealthy options.

The introduction of outside kiosks in 2011 provided another service point for pupils to pick up pre-ordered food or purchase items that they could eat in the playground. Primary schools introduced the concept of pre-ordering meals in the morning to try and reduce wastage and decrease the time pupils spent queuing in the dining room.

“Provision of accurate management information on a service wide and school by school basis identifying areas for improvement and best performers.”
Service Manager, East Renfrewshire Council

Studies conducted by the Children’s Food Trust show that students who are eating a healthy, nutritious lunch each day are more inclined to be better behaved and have a higher level of concentration in the classroom after lunch.

Benefits of Cashless Catering in Schools

Discourages the misuse of school dinner money through spending in shops outside of the school grounds.

Alleviates many of the associated problems with the use of cash in schools.  i.e. loss, theft and bullying.

Through sales analysis, schools can provide wholesome, healthy school meals while reducing food wastage.

Specific food allergy ingredients can be barred automatically.

Automatic free school meal anonymity.

“It is much more time efficient, I like that children have ownership and do it themselves.”
Mrs Allan P4/P5 Teacher, St Bernadette’s Primary School, Falkirk


“It’s better we can clearly see what the lunch options are.”
Ennah P7 Pupil, St Bernadette’s Primary School, Falkirk

CRB Cunninghams are proud to be supporting the Inch by Inch Campaign, throughout the years they have supported councils and schools to strive towards improving health and wellbeing which is a core outcome of the Curriculum for Excellence.

For more information on the solutions CRB Cunninghams offer please visit their website or call sales on 0131 440 6100.
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©Inch By Inch 2017

Privacy Policy
Cookie Policy
Terms & Conditions

Sponsored by
Assist Facilities Management     Muller Milk Ingredients .