Administrator - CNCentral Best Practices

Updated as of 10/2021

CNCentral is an integrated software suite connecting back of the house and front of the house operations through a USDA approved menu planning/production records, forecasting, and inventory tool. Through CNCentral’s integration into the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) the process of planning and forecasting menus is greatly simplified. Integration with GDSN means that you can search new products and items you’d like to have on menus, similar to a google search, review all of the product specifications such as nutrition information, creditable components, purchase unit information, and more in one single place and simply click to add that item into your database for use in recipes and on menus. 

Items already on your awarded bids are automatically imported into your item database with all associated attributes also for use in recipes and on menus. No longer is there a need to compile CN labels, product formulation statements, and nutrition facts labels for all of your products for data entry into your menu planning tool (keep in mind, though, you may need these documents for an AR). That information is accessed automatically through the GDSN integration and its stored electronically with that item in your item database which saves you hours of time and gets you up and running with ease.

CNCentral supports whatever style of service you offer students in your district including traditional meal service, meal kits with multiple sessions and/or days worth of meals, and Grab N Go meals pre-ordered through an app for easy pickup or delivery. While multiple styles of service are supported in CNCentral, the basics of using the software are the same: 

  1. Configure all Vendors you purchase from
  2. Import all awarded items into the item database including all purchase unit information by Vendor using item GTINs
    1. Items with multiple purchase units supported
    2. Purchased items that don't have a GTIN may be matched to a generic equivalent
  3. Review the Item Setup Summary to ensure correct inventory and procurement setup (optional for menu planning/production/forecasting customers but mandatory for customers who purchase inventory)
  4. Review all items in Item Database to ensure all attributes (meal components, names, allergens, etc.) are correct and display as desired
  5. Use items in your item database to create recipes, configure Choosi combos or configure meal kits
  6. Create Base Menus for each week in your cycle for each grade group and meal session
  7. Copy Base Menus into buildings with pre-populated ADP (average daily participation) numbers
  8. Run forecasts to determine how much product is needed to produce the menu as planned
  9. Execute production and enter post production record information into the Daily Wrap Up app
  10. Use post production record data and reports to inform future menu creation

The attached best practices guide describes different contactless service scenarios and models as well guidance for how to efficiently operate under each type of scenario. Download for specific guidance on how to use CNCentral with all of it's robust functionality tailored to each type of non-traditional operation model.  

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