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 safetyManualCoverLearning from other ACT canteens - network, sharing expertise.

Running your canteen

NEW ! The ACT Canteen Business Essentials manual is now available! 
This much anticipated guide will step your P&C through running an effective canteen, from regulations you need to comply with, to information on finances, staffing, purchasing and putting together a healthy menu! Has loads of useful templates and sample documents, spreadsheets, surveys and more.

Running a canteen is a major undertaking. Luckily there is help available with the business and administative side of things:

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.
  • See also this article about Boosting the flavour in Green items.
Suppliers of foods meeting Healthy Food and Drink Guidelines

Promoting your canteen

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.



Menu and specials board Banners to match stickers.
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:


Food safety

Learning from others