Deerwalk was established with a handful of employees in 2009 and it currently has more than 150 employees in its Kathmandu office. For the benefit of staff, a subsidized canteen was started in October 2011. During the initial days, employees would line up at the canteen, go through the menu displayed on a board, write their orders down in a register and wait for food to be served. At the end of each month, accounting was done manually for each employee. During the times when the number of employees was not many, there were no issues with this process. But, as the number of employees increased, it gradually became difficult for both the employees and the canteen staff; mainly due to issues like long queues, misplaced orders, and miscalculated amounts.
So, we at Deerwalk, being a software company, built our own Canteen Management System (DCMS) which is a centralized web application developed using ASP.NET 4.0, C#, and MSSQL. With this system, employees can view the menu of the day and place orders from the comfort of their own workstations. They can also view their daily/monthly expenses and the subsidies provided by the company. There is also a Feedback system, whereby employees can readily provide feedback on canteen food or service. Also, the Canteen administration has a better record of food items in demand and can plan accordingly.
For the convenience of employees, an iPad has been placed in the canteen so that they can order using it (when ordering from their workstations is not feasible).
When Ekta Shrestha, one of the newest members of the company, was asked about DCMS, this is what she had to say: “One can get all information like menu, orders and expenditures at a glance and it is convenient to use. All in all, it is very user-friendly.”
Sangita Maharjan, another employee, has this to say: “The system has a lot of good features and what I like the most is the prompt feedback that we get from the Canteen Manager. Also, I like the feature of displaying the picture of the person who has ordered. This adds an extra layer of security while delivering food. I am not aware of any other food station in the country that offers this kind of facility.”
Deerwalk Canteen is currently serving more than 200 people (including 50+ people from Deerwalk Institute of Technology) and the Canteen Management System is enabling the canteen to ensure smooth operations − resulting in satisfied customers.