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Restarting and scaling up after the pandemic, many catering organisations are finding it necessary to improve the efficiency of their operations, as they face staff shortages. 

So, how can you do more, with less? One key way is to automate processes, harnessing IT to help do work previously carried out manually. 

For some organisations, these manually handled tasks – which are often inherently inefficient – are simply “the way we do it here”. So taking action requires managers to take a close look at the way things are done – and spot tasks that take up staff time. 

A cloud-based software solution

At Pelican, we have spent several years developing our Pi cloud-based system for organisations and businesses that provide food & beverage services. Pi modules cover everything from pacing online ordering to stock management, deliveries to invoicing and payments, budget, reporting, menu management, and allergen issues. 

Many clients start their efficiency journey by using Cherry Pi, the online ordering module. Hear what some of them say, about their experience: 

Transforming care home food ordering

Ovidiu Cimpeanu, Catering Manager at Clarendon Lodge, part of the Greensleeves Care Home group:

“I have only recently started using online ordering, but to be honest I don’t believe there is a better way of placing orders.

In my previous role, we had to place an order with suppliers over the phone – and a lot of orders were placed through answering machine messages. Looking back, it was fairly chaotic – you never knew if your message was fully understood or if the products were in stock. And, there were missing items and lots of mistakes in deliveries. 

Comparing the two, Cherry Pi is a much better option to use. The Pi system gives us direct access to products and prices, which are managed and updated by Pelican. If we want to add new suppliers or products, this is managed for us.

The Pi system informs you automatically if one or more products are not in stock at the time of placing an order – so you can easily switch to other similar products, or to other suppliers that can supply the same product or similar. Online ordering removes the potential risk of the errors that phone messages bring, such as poor signal reception, or misunderstanding the message.

Once an order is placed via Pi, any error can be tracked and corrected (I have proof of what has been ordered so I can check it against the delivery note). It allows you to place multiple orders, choosing different delivery dates and multiple suppliers at one time. It’s clear that online ordering is much quicker too.”

Manage and Control Budget Spend

Dominique Duc, Head Chef, Canford School

“As new Head Chef at Canford and being new to the UK with a background of contract catering, having the Pi system in place has given me peace of mind and the ability to manage and control all aspects of the operation from budgetary planning to compliance of the suppliers, as well as managing recipes and dietary and allergen requirements.

In short, Pelican has been the control dashboard for me as a Head Chef. The Pi system takes care of otherwise time-consuming tasks which allows me to do what I love the most, being in the kitchen, whilst having the knowledge that there is a whole Pelican team working behind the scenes for the best of my operation.”

Free-up time and going paperless

Debbie Kelly-Greaves, Head of Food Services and Hospitality at Stowe School: 

“If I think back to what we were doing 12-months ago to what we have now, we have completely transformed our process from a manual set-up to fully online.  With Pi, we have one digital platform that provides us with a recipe system, a stock system, transparent budgeting, an ordering system that includes our approved products, and it’s given us complete control.” 

“Previously, if there was an issue with an invoice we would have spent a significant amount of time wading through paperwork. Now, we look in the Pi and can see the invoice straight away. 

“We used to have members of staff inputting information, going through multiple paper invoices, and if we needed to query anything or make any changes, it was hard work. The beauty of the Pi system is that it is enabling us to go paperless. A paper-trail isn’t needed, as everything related to our orders, costs, menus and stock is all in one place.”

Let Pi sytem to do the hard work for you

If you would like to book a demo to find out how Pi can make your organisation more efficient, free up your teams time and eliminate mundane paperwork, contact us at

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