Canteen Support

Council helps P&C-managed school canteens with resources, advice, and referrals to other helpful organisations.

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
Your staff/volunteers
The menu
Promoting your canteen and foods
Food safety
Learning from other ACT canteens - network, sharing expertise.

Running your canteen

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
  • Sample Terms of Reference for your canteen sub-committee
  • 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.

Alternatives to running your canteen - If your school would like to have a food service but the P&C does not wish to run it, there are a number of options. These include using an external canteen provider, an onsite business, a hub service from another school or a local food business. ACT Health’s Fresh Tastes team can provide your school with more information to help decide. Contact them to talk through the options on 02 5124 9516 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Your staff/volunteers

The menu

Menu ideas and advice
  • Nutrition Australia's Nutrition Support Service offers a menu review and advice service to help you comply with the Policy. You can contact one of their dietitians for answers to your food and menu questions on 6162 2583 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also follow them on Twitter (@ACTNSS) and Facebook for tips and useful information.
  • ACT Health have a fabulous Go For Green guide and now a short interactive online course which explains the Traffic Light System. The guide and course step you through the process of working out if your recipes are Green or Amber and how to improve them, and includes an extensive list of ingredients and their classification.
  • Make your menu look more professional with the menu template and matching promtional items below.
Suppliers of foods meeting Healthy Food and Drink Guidelines

Promoting your canteen

NEW! Professional stickers to jazz-up your healthy options.
  • Available with three different messages ("Good Fuel Food", "Boost your Brainpower", "Good Fuel = Play Longer")
  • Each message available in purple, green or black & white
  • Already set-up at the printer, ready for you to order at approx $140 per 1000. (Unfortunately, our free stocks have all gone!)
  • For printer details, simply email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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.

New! Posters!

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:


Food safety

Learning from others