If you have a question about running your canteen which isn't covered below, please contact us.
Topics on this page:
Running your canteen - getting the admin and business-side organised
Promoting your canteen and foods
Learning from other ACT canteens - network, sharing expertise.
Note that an extensive canteen business manual with advice on every aspect of running your canteen and complying with government regulations will be available SOON! We can access pre-release chapters at your request, so contact us!
Running a canteen is a major undertaking. Luckily there is help available with the business and administative side of things:
- Council's Canteen Information Sheet
- Information on Canteen Deeds between P&Cs running canteens and the Education Directorate - our FAQ and the Directorate's Factsheet
- The Healthy Kids Association (HKA) provides extensive, authoritative support and advice for canteens. Council has paid the fees so that all P&C run canteens in the ACT are members of this organisation until July 2019 (after this time, Council will continue to assist any P&C canteens in need of support for membership - simply contact us). As members, P&Cs can access:
- phone assistance on school canteens (1300 724 850; Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 4:30pm)
- one Business Advisory Service consultation – their CEO will travel to your school to review your canteen operations, pricing and financial records and give advice to improve your canteen (phone 1300 724 850 to arrange this)
- 4 recipe assessments each year
- online information on running a canteen including a dedicated section for ACT school canteens
See also our article on reducing waste from your canteen.
- Council Information Sheet on employing staff
- Sample Canteen Manager contract with notes and explanations (word document which you can modify for your canteen)
- Fair Work Ombudsman's calculator where you can check pay rates for employees using the relevant modern award (Fast Foods Award 2010)
- HKA also have information on employing staff including contracts and duty statements
- Council Information Sheet about Working with Vulnerable People (WWVP) check - essential for all employees and most volunteers
- HKA information on recruiting canteen volunteers
Menu ideas and advice
- Food provided by canteens must comply with the Education Directorate's Food and Drink Policy. The Directorate have Factsheets on this.
- ACT Health have a fabulous Go For Green guide which explains the Traffic Light System, has an extensive list of ingredients and their classification, and steps you through the process of working out if your recipes are Green or Amber and how to improve them.
- Healthy recipes from Nutrition Australia
- More recipes from HKA. See also these fabulous healthy recipes with matching professional food pictures (for your newsletter or menu) and videos on how to make them look great.
- FOCis have information on Allergies and Anaphylaxis.
- Make your menu look more professional with the menu template and matching promtional items below.
Suppliers of foods meeting Healthy Food and Drink Guidelines
- Nutrition Australia's Nutrition Support Service now sell healthier burger patties and sausage rolls under their Betterbites brand.
- YMCA's Nutri-Ys food services are providing tasty Green home-style frozen meals for you to sell in your canteen - home style canteen food without the cooking!
NEW! Professional stickers to jazz-up your healthy options.
NEW! Menu and specials board Banners to match stickers.
New! Marketing guide!
All the information and tips canteen managers need to promote the canteen's food and drink (and boost sales!) is in a this guide - Marketing food at school: use the 5Ps.
Fabulous posters to print and display at your canteen. Each healthy message and image has been tested with students so we know they are understood and have a real impact on students choices! They come from a project with ACT Health and others in response to canteen feedback that many students were still prefering less-healthy options. Six dfifferent posters:
- Nutrition Australia run training courses a couple of times a year, qualifying canteen managers as nationally recognised Food Safety Supervisors
- ACT Health Protection Service have this useful Factsheet on food safety for schools.
- Benefit from the expertise of other P&Cs through our Canteens Working Group.
- Be inspired by what other canteens are doing:
- Connect to others with a new Facebook Group called Canteen Connect ACT for school canteen managers, support staff, P&C committee members and volunteers. It's a great place to ask your canteen-related questions!