Canteen managementEffective managementRole of the school councilGeneral business structure of canteensStock managementFinancial managementStaff and volunteersPromotion and marketingHealthy Canteen Kit ??“ Canteen Manual I 29Effective managementIn addition to providing the schoolcommunity with nutritious and affordablefoods, the canteen should be based on goodmanagement practices and be financiallyself-sustaining.Experience shows that, with good managementand marketing practices, a canteen can providehealthy foods and also be financially viable.
The school canteen is a small business. Like anybusiness, it requires good management practicesto be efficient and successful. Effective canteenmanagement requires that:everyone involved knows its goals andobjectives and is familiar with its policiescanteen staff and committee develop animplementation plan to achieve policy goalsday-to-day operational procedures arestructured and enforcedstaff are adequately trained and supervisedstaff carry out efficient stock management,accounting and financial proceduresstaff are familiar with and comply with relevantlegal requirements regarding food safety andoccupational health and safety standards.????¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦Role of theschool councilThe school council has, through theEducation Act 1958, the authority tooperate a school canteen.This authority can also be delegated to a clubor association that is not a subcommittee of theschool council, or it can be sub-leased to a privatecontractor under a licence. This licence is obtainedfrom the Department of Education & Training.
The school council oversees the operation of theschool canteen, including its policies, employmentof staff, the disbursement of any profits and therecoupment of losses. The day-to-day operationsof the canteen are managed either by a paidworker or a volunteer. School councils usually forma canteen committee to manage canteen issues.All profits from the canteen are transferred to theschool council. Income from the canteen mustbe adequate to meet expenses incurred includingprovision for staff superannuation, sick leave,annual leave and other benefits and depreciation.If a school canteen is sub-leased to a privatecontractor, the school council should ensurethat the contract specifies that food be soldin accordance with the ???Go for your life??™ HealthyCanteen Kit ??“ Food Planner and the DietaryGuidelines for Children and Adolescents inAustralia. It should also ensure that the operation(including stores, stocktaking, trading, profitand loss statements) of school canteens andother school food services is consistent withthe information provided in section 7.
17 of theVictorian Government Schools Reference Guide.Many school councils are now recognising that animportant aim of the canteen, in addition to beingfinancially viable, is to provide nutritious foodsand promote healthy eating. This aim should beacknowledged in the canteen policy.???30 I Healthy Canteen Kit ??“ Canteen ManualGeneral businessstructure of canteensSchool canteens may operate under a varietyof management structures, depending onthe individual characteristics and needs ofthe school. Most canteens in schools are rununder the direction of, and are accountableto, the school council.
Schools may decideto provide a food service to students inseveral ways.Scenario 1: Full-time paid canteen managerplus paid staff and/or volunteersThe canteen manager is present at all times andtheir work is supported by paid staff and possiblyvolunteers.Scenario 2: Part-time paid canteen managerplus volunteer staffThe canteen manager will attend the canteen inthe morning to allocate tasks to volunteer staff,and return in the afternoon to finish operations forthe day.Scenario 3: Fully staffed by volunteersThe canteen is staffed by a volunteer canteenmanager with volunteer staff. It may alternativelybe staffed by a group of volunteers, each of whomis rostered and responsible for the operation ofthe canteen on particular days.Scenario 4: External food services managementcompanyManagement of the canteen is contracted to anexternal food services management company,which is responsible for staffing the canteen.Scenario 5: External off-site catererSchools without their own canteens may orderfood from an off-site caterer, such as the localmilk bar, sandwich shop or canteen lunchspecialist caterer.When deciding a management structure forthe school food service, school councils shouldconsider the type and extent of the food servicethe school needs.
For example, a small schoolwanting to provide a canteen service onceor twice a week may be able to do this withvolunteer support or external catering. However,a secondary school requiring a more extensivefood service, including breakfast, may need toemploy a full-time canteen manager.??? Formal management agreementA formal management agreement detailingthe terms and conditions of the managementstructure should be drawn up and signed by therelevant management parties, which will usuallybe the school council and principal, or the schoolcouncil or principal and private contractor.Management agreementsThe management agreement between the partiesshould state clearly how any profits made fromthe canteen are to be distributed.
There are anumber of options that should be considered.The school council pays profits to the schoolfor inclusion in the annual school budget andexpenditure is in accordance with schoolpriorities established by the school communityin the school charter and plan.The school council pays profits to the schoolbut they are not included in the annual schoolbudget. The school and school councildetermine the use of profits together. Thisoption allows for some of the canteen profitsto be invested back into the canteen so thathealthy changes can continue to be made.
External catering contractors pay a set annualpayment per head of student population or payan agreed percentage of profits back to theschool council.It is important that food services that areexternally contracted or ordered from off-sitebusinesses are involved in, aware of and followthe school??™s canteen policy. It is a good idea tostipulate guidelines within the canteen policy,for example regarding nutrition and promotionof healthy foods, within contracts and tenderswith external caterers.Employing staffEmploying canteen staff is the role of the schoolcouncil with approval from the principal. Whenemploying paid and voluntary canteen staff, itis important to follow good staff managementprocedures:following the correct industrial award oragreementhaving a formal job description and interviewprocessdrawing up an official employment contractproviding a staff supervisorhaving a performance review processproviding adequate trainingestablishing a complaints resolution procedure.
For more information on employment andmanagement of staff for school canteens,including job descriptions, pay rates, employerentitlements and relevant awards, contact theAustralian School Canteens Association. Contactdetails of the Association are provided in theresources section of this manual.?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦Healthy Canteen Kit ??“ Canteen Manual I 31Stock managementThe purchase of goods is a significantcanteen expense and therefore it is criticalthat this process is organised and efficient.It is important to:buy products at the best pricebuy appropriate quantitiesensure safe, high-quality productsorder at the appropriate time.Who should be responsible forordering stockOnly one person in the canteen should beresponsible for ordering stock, which includesfoods, drinks, packaging, utensils, first aid andcleaning materials.
Ideally this will be the canteenmanager, or a person who oversees most of thecanteen and has the largest time involvement.Allocating this responsibility to only one personis important as it prevents confusion and overordering,maintains consistency and ensuresmaximum efficiency.Canteens generally return higher profits whenthey restrict the number of suppliers and rangeof stock.Restricting the number of suppliers can bebeneficial as it allows canteen staff to developmanagement rapport with a supplier. This can alsoresult in special services and treatment, such asdiscounts and better quality of service.
Minimising the range of stock assists in reducingslow turnover items, which can lead to spoilage.It will also allow you to use employees andvolunteers with less training given there are lessproducts to work with.Both of these practices will also result in moreefficient ordering with fewer orders needing tobe placed.It is important to ensure that when minimising therange of stock in a canteen the range and varietyof nutritious foods, such as fruit and vegetables,is not reduced.????¦?¦?¦?¦How do I choose a supplierThe following pointers should help you inselecting a good supplier. An ideal supplier:is located locallyhas been recommended by other school canteensdelivers frequently, and will do so at aconvenient and suitable time for the canteendelivers stock in good condition, for exampleice-cream which is always frozen and fruit andvegetables which are always freshdelivers stock with the maximum shelf lifefollows appropriate storage, handling andfood safety requirements, such as adequaterefrigeration for chilled and frozen goods andshade and cover for fresh produceuses adequate packaging and handlingprocedures to ensure products are not damagedoffers an adequate range of productscommunicates well, keeping you informed ofprice changes, specials and product availabilityoffers competitive prices, as well as specials,discounts and incentivesoffers taste-testing opportunities or freesamples to trialprovides free promotional material in line withyour healthy canteen policy, such as posterspromoting healthy food productsoffers incentives, such as equipment rewardsoffers convenient and acceptable paymentprocedures, including method of payment andsettlement terms.
HINT: Never select food or drink productsthat fail to reflect nutrition standards detailedin the canteen policy even if the supplier canoffer a lucrative deal, such as bargain pricesor equipment rewards.?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦32 I Healthy Canteen Kit ??“ Canteen ManualWhen to orderIt is important to maintain the lowest level of stockwhile at the same time having sufficient stock touse or sell. This reduces the risk of stock spoilingwhile in storage and also allows the canteento potentially be earning interest on money inthe bank instead of invested in stock sitting onshelves. It is also important to aim to have as littlestock as possible left over by the end of term toprevent spoilage over term holidays.How often your canteen needs to order stock willdepend on:how long it takes for the supplier to deliverthe orderhow regularly your supplier delivers ??“ ruralschools or canteens using infrequent suppliersmay need to order products with a longershelf lifethe shelf life of the product ??“ order lessitems more frequently to reduce wastageof perishable stock and aim to use fresh fruitand vegetables by the end of the week toprevent spoilage and decrease in quality overthe weekendstorage space ??“ this will vary according toseasons, for example refrigeration will be usedmore during warmer weather, so more regularordering of chilled items may be requiredat this time.Check the stock currently in the canteen. By usingan ordering list containing information on eachsupplier and their products, you can quickly viewcurrent stock and record what items need to bereordered. Keep a record of all orders and notewhen it was requested.
When determining how much stock to orderfor your canteen, it is important to take intoconsideration the following:whether individual products are selling wellwhether your supplier is offering discounteditems and sales on products you usually stockany changes in the canteen menupopularity of certain items due to seasonalchangesspecial days, awareness weeks or culturalevents that might affect the types of foodsbeing sold and boughtupcoming special events and functions, suchas open days and sporting days, which mayaffect the sales figures for those daysadditional catering requirements such asproviding for committee meetingsclass excursions that may result in eitheran absence of lunch orders or the need foradditional cateringclass absenteeism, especially during key timessuch as Year 12 pre-exam period, or when yearlevels are located at alternative campusesfor a term?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦public holidays and curriculum days where thecanteen is closedterm holidays.HINT: Stock orders for special events shouldbe kept separate from the stock order tally forcanteen sales. If not, the mark-up schedulefor the canteen will be incorrect, as productsordered have not actually been sold throughthe canteen.
Receiving stockCheck the delivery docket and supplier??™s invoiceagainst the order placed.Check for price increases and update thesupplier ordering list. Don??™t forget to adjust thecanteen selling prices accordingly.
Check the quantity and quality of stock, forexample whether refrigerated products areadequately chilled or frozen.Ensure that products are intact and notdamaged.Check use-by dates.Put chilled or frozen products awayimmediately.When restocking refrigerators and shelves,place the new deliveries at the back to ensurethat older stock is used first.Using stockProducts approaching their use-by dates mayneed to be used up quickly to prevent wastage,especially before weekends and term holidays.Strategies to use up stock quickly include:reducing the price of slow-selling stockintroducing a recipe of the week to use upingredientsoffering specialsincluding products or fresh fruit in meal deals.
For more ideas on turning stock over quickly, referto Promotion and marketing on page 38.Stocktaking should be done on a regular basisso that the canteen can account for all stock,including items which have been sold ordiscarded.HINT: Increase the turnover of short-shelflifeproducts by extending hours of operation(without necessarily increasing the cost ofoperation), for example afternoon tea could beoffered to students or teachers.?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦Healthy Canteen Kit ??“ Canteen Manual I 33Financial managementIn order for a canteen to be financiallyviable, income from selling food must eitherbe equal to or greater than the expensesinvolved in running the canteen.
Accurate costing of foods plays a very importantpart in determining income. A financiallysuccessful canteen also requires efficientmanagement of all canteen resources.The following section details why it is important to:account for all canteen moneyaccount for all stockdetermine the cost price of pre-packaged itemsand recipesdetermine the selling price of pre-packageditems and recipes per serve.Accounting for canteen moneyThe canteen needs to ensure that all canteenmoney can be accurately tracked at all times.Management of money involves:running off cash registers at the end of eachtrading period during the day (if applicable)counting money and balancing cash registersat the end of each daymaintaining a standard floatbanking each day and keeping minimal moneyin the canteenaccurately recording payment of all ordersand invoicesaccurately recording all chequesaccurately recording all petty cash expenses.It is recommended that all stock should be paidfor by cheque or electronic transfer, with pettycash being used only for the purchase of items ofa minor or unexpected nature. Only a small pettycash float should be kept.????¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦School Canteens and the GSTSchool-operated canteens are non-profit bodiesunder GST legislation and can choose from twoGST methods for reporting their transactions fortax purposes ??“ input taxed??™ or ???fully taxed GST??™.
The Department recommends that schools thatoperate profitable canteens use the input taxedmethod.Under this method schools code all purchases asCASES21 GST Code G13 and all sales as CASES21GST Code G04.Schools using the input taxed method do notneed to report any GST-inclusive transactionson the Business Activity Statement (BAS) to theAustralian Taxation Office.Where costs, such as electricity, cleaning,insurance, etc., are jointly used by both the schooland the canteen these costs will need to be ???split??™between the school and the canteen. For example,where a bill is for the whole school, no input taxcredits can be claimed on the portion of costs thatrelate to the canteen.
In these instances the invoice should be splitcharged with the school share charged as GSTinclusive or G11 and the canteen share charged asinput taxed or G13.More detailed information on schoolcanteens and the GST is available fromwww.sofweb.vic.edu.au/tax/gst/azgst/Accounting for stockThe canteen should be able to account for stocknumbers, so that incoming stock always balancesoutgoing stock. This ensures that an accurateincome can be recorded. Records should includegoods which are disposed of due to being pasttheir expiry date, items used in meal deals, tastetestings and freebies.
It is important to checkdeliveries to ensure that all stock ordered hasbeen supplied. Accurate monitoring of stockshould allow you to determine if stock is missing.Determining the cost price ofpre-packaged items and recipesThe cost price of a pre-packaged item is theamount it costs the canteen to purchase that item.Selling prices of items can easily be determinedusing the wholesale price of the goods, especiallyas this price generally does not change.HINT: Inform the school community of pricechanges in the school newsletter. You don??™tnecessarily need to wait until the menu isaltered to change individual prices.Changes in price can be due to:seasonal availability, particularly of fruitand vegetablesbulk purchasediscounted items and salescompetitive pricesincentivestaste-testing opportunities or trial of free samples.The cost price of recipes is the amount it coststhe canteen to make a meal, snack or drinks whichuse a variety of ingredients and packaging.
Todetermine the cost price of recipes, the cost of allingredients and packaging is taken into account.Many canteens also include overhead costs, suchas wages, electricity, gas, water and equipmentexpenses. The canteen may also wish to takeinto account specials, discounts and equipmentsubsidies that are provided by the supplier.It is important for the canteen to have standardrecipes with strict quantities of ingredients andstandard serving sizes in order to accurately pricerecipes, for example a consistent quantity of fillingeach time for sandwiches.?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦HINT: Using portion-control equipment assistsin making serves of foods and drinks accurateand consistent according to the recipe. Thiscould be as simple as using a tablespooninstead of a ???handful??™ of sultanas.
A template that you can use to determine theprice of recipes is provided on page 21. Thistemplate provides space for you to list eachindividual ingredient, serving size, cost of eachingredient per serve and recipe instructions.Please note that this manual only takes intoaccount ingredient and packaging expenses.Remember to cost out recipes accuratelyby including all ingredients, even the butteror chutney which is used in sandwiches.
Underestimating the cost of recipes ??“ even forsmall quantities of ingredients ??“ can affect profitsin the long term.The recipe template can help work out the costprice of prepared foods, and help identify whetheror not foods can be prepared more economically.Some recipes may need altering across seasonsin order to keep their cost price the same. Forexample, try varying the fresh fruit used to makesmoothies if the usual fruit ingredient becomestoo expensive.hint: Avoid unnecessary packaging andwrapping. This not only reduces the cost ofproducts but also helps the environment.34 I Healthy Canteen Kit ??“ Canteen ManualHealthy Canteen Kit ??“ Canteen Manual I 35Staff and volunteersThe school canteen manager plays a vital rolein the coordination and management of thecanteen??™s volunteers.Volunteers can be:parentspeople from the wider communitystudents.
Reasons for volunteeringContributing to, and being part of, the schoolcommunity.Giving something to the school.Learning about food and nutrition.Increasing knowledge and skills in the areasof cooking and food preparation, food hygieneand safety, nutrition, customer service andcash handling.Making new friends and enjoying opportunitiesto socialise.
What to expectAllow volunteers time to adjust to their role,gain confidence and improve their skills.Be realistic ??“ be prepared to do most of thework yourself.Be a good role model.Communicate clearly.Student volunteersStudents can help design posters and flyerspromoting healthy eating or they can help tothink of new menu ideas. Talk to teachers to seeif students can work on developing promotionalmaterials as a class activity.
Get students to writea letter to parents requesting volunteer help ??“you could use these student articles in theschool newsletter.Student volunteers need adequate supervision.It is also important to make sure that volunteeringdoes not interfere with their studies.Coordinating a volunteer programCoordinating a volunteer program involves:recruitingretainingrecognising and rewarding.????¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦Recruiting volunteersIdentify how many volunteers you will need tomake a regular commitment and how manyyou will need only to provide casual assistance.It??™s a good idea to plan for the year, keeping inmind special days or events when additionalvolunteer assistance will be required.Assume that volunteers will come and go.Develop a list of interested volunteers whowill fill casual positions and prevent anunexpected shortage of assistance.
Plan rosters so that volunteers know how muchtime is required and the length of commitmentexpected.Develop a job description for the volunteerpositions available so that volunteers knowwhat is expected of them. This should include alist of specific tasks involved, skills and trainingrequired, level of responsibility, and personalattributes which would be looked uponfavourably, such as own transport.Offer a range of tasks or jobs to choose fromso that volunteers have options. For example,a volunteer may not feel comfortable dealingwith customers but is happy to be involved withfood preparation.
Some voluntary jobs may alsoallow volunteers to assist in their own time, forexample researching new recipes or assistingwith promotion and marketing.hint: Include a canteen roster whenadvertising for volunteers that indicates whichgaps need to be filled. This enables readers tosee what the commitment involves.AdvertisingIt is important to advertise regularly and widelyto keep the community informed and aware ofvolunteer opportunities. Avenues for advertisinginclude:weekly school newslettersschool websiteschool orientation information for new parentsorientation eveningsparents??™ eveningslocal newspaper.Advertisements can be targeted at:students??™ parents and familieschurchesSenior Citizens??™ AssociationRSL clubsVolunteering Australia.
?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦36 I Healthy Canteen Kit ??“ Canteen ManualRetaining volunteersOnce volunteers have been recruited, it isimportant to provide a positive and rewardingworking environment so that they feel comfortableand appreciated. It is important that volunteers arewelcomed and introduced to canteen and schoolstaff on their first day, given a tour and have policyand procedures explained.Provide new volunteers with a volunteer??™s canteeninformation kit which should contain:an introductory letter (including contactinformation for the canteen)the rosterthe canteen policythe canteen menufood hygiene information.Volunteers should be provided with informationabout:the layout of the canteenhow to operate machinery and equipmentfood hygiene requirementsemergency drills and evaluation procedureshow to handle difficult students.how to manage customer complaintsand feedbackprocedures to follow if they are ill whenrostered onwhere the roster is locatedwhere to locate contact numbers, includingemergency contactsschool times, including lunch and recess.hint: Discuss any times when the volunteer isnot able to assist, for example during holidaysor because of medical appointments or specialoccasions so that you can plan ahead.?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦Layout of the canteenProvide schedules on the wall which outlinetime-based tasks, for example when to placepizzas in the oven.Keep instruction books near equipment foreasy reference.
Place food hygiene reminders aroundthe canteen.Provide recipe information on the wall,for example how long a sandwich shouldbe toasted for and serving sizes ofsandwich ingredients.Label drawers and cupboards with theircontents. This will cut down the amount of timea volunteer may take to search for items.Management of volunteersMaintain confidentiality of their personal details.Be sensitive to their current level of knowledgeand skills.Ensure that volunteers feel confident in allaspects of their duties, such as food hygieneregulations.
Be aware that they may bereluctant to ask for clarification, so keep acheck and be ready to ask if there is anythingthey need help with.Keep volunteers informed of changes anddevelopments in the canteen and school,such as decisions made at canteencommittee meetings.Include volunteers in decision making.Provide volunteers with the opportunity toshare their knowledge and skills.Maintaining volunteer involvementEnsure that volunteers have adequate breaks.Provide volunteers with a variety of tasks.Provide the opportunity for volunteers todevelop additional skills to increase their jobsatisfaction and prevent boredom.
Introduce a ???buddy??™ system, such as pairingvolunteers to prepare sandwiches together.Working in pairs or in a team can be rewarding,contribute to team building and preventisolation. It is also a great way for new recruitsto work with more experienced volunteers.Run a ???Bring a Friend??™ day.Organise social occasions, such as sitting downfor lunch together, or organising a larger-scalefunction such as a dinner out.?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦Healthy Canteen Kit ??“ Canteen Manual I 37Recognising and rewarding volunteersRecognising and rewarding volunteers is vitalif they are to feel valued and appreciated. It isalso important to provide incentives to keepvolunteers motivated.
These actions will result inbetter service and will encourage longer periodsof commitment. Discuss with the school principalthe idea of applying for external volunteers??™awards and funding.Strategies to reward volunteers could include:thanking volunteers for their assistance on adaily basisacknowledging volunteers in the schoolnewsletter, at assembly and at school eventsproviding formal acknowledgement of theirassistance with a certificate at the end of eachyear and perhaps a personal letter or small giftpinning up photographs of volunteers in thecanteen with their name (if they wish)providing professional development andtraining opportunities, such as attendingcanteen exposoffering a complimentary healthy lunchplanning special events during Volunteers??™ Weekensuring the canteen is a happy, pleasant placeto work.?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦38 I Healthy Canteen Kit ??“ Canteen ManualPromotion and marketingPromoting and marketing the canteen andthe healthy foods it sells is essential if thecanteen is to be a success.Using simple promotion and marketingstrategies will:assist student acceptance of these healthychangeshelp increase the numbers of studentspurchasing healthy food choiceskeep canteen sales and income healthy.Before deciding how to market the canteen andhealthy food choices, it is important to identify thekey customers and their wants and needs. Thiswill change over time, so it is important to gatherand update this information regularly.
An understanding of student interests, lifestyles,ideas and the latest ???fads??™ will help to developsuccessful marketing activities. There area number of different ways to source thisinformation.Chat with students, teachers and parents aboutfood and eating preferences.Watch TV shows, listen to radio programs andread magazines that appeal to your school??™sage group.Ask the SRC representative of your canteencommittee for ideas.Conduct a student market survey, includingquestions like ???What is your favourite fruit??™Provide a suggestion box where students canplace ideas about food choices.The different aspects of marketing healthy foodchoices in school canteens can be described bythe 4 Ps:productplacepricepromotion.
????¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦ProductWhen considering the product, consider not onlythe foods that are sold in the canteen, but theimage of the canteen as a whole ??“ the service,the canteen environment, how foods arepromoted, and how well connected the canteenis to the school community.Create an imageCreating a positive image for the canteen givesit a higher profile in the school community.For example, give the canteen a catchy name,such as the ???Snack Shack??™, the ???Kool Kids??™ Cafe??™or the ???Tuck In??™.
This gives the canteen an identityor a ???brand??™ which can be used for advertisingand marketing. The name can be printed onlunch bags and staff aprons and be linked tomeal deal specials.HINTS:??? Involve students in naming the canteenby running a naming competition.??? Design a symbol or picture to accompany thename ??“ this will help it appeal to students.??? Develop a motto for the canteen ??“ a goodway to promote the canteen??™s image andcommunicate its goals and services in acatchy way. For example, ???Healthy Foods,Healthy Learning??™, ???Foods that are healthyand taste good too!??™ or ???Serving healthyfoods for healthy children??™.Supporting your ???branding??™Carefully choose fresh fruit and vegetables.
If possible, use a small local greengrocer asthey usually provide more advice on bestquality and price based on seasonal availabilityand they may be able to deliver regularly toensure a fresh supply.Serve foods and drinks at an appropriatetemperature. Hot foods should be piping hotand cold items should be very chilled.Follow food safety and hygiene guidelines.Use standardised recipes and serve sizes forconsistency. Pin up recipes and serving-sizeguidelines in an obvious place to assist staffand volunteers preparing and serving foods.
?¦?¦?¦?¦Healthy Canteen Kit ??“ Canteen Manual I 39Food presentationUse parsley and vegetable garnishes forsandwiches and platters, and around the foodsin the cold display cabinet.Display fruit in an attractive basket or bowl bythe counter where it is easily reached.Ensure that fillings in foods such as sandwichesand wraps can be seen clearly.Clearly label and price foods, including wholefresh fruit. The absence of a price will oftendiscourage sales.Make sure that foods are packaged in such away that they can be easily eaten by studentsand that serving sizes are appropriate to theage and appetite of students.
Seasonal availabilityConsider the season when promoting foods.Usually, hot foods such as soups and toastedsandwiches are more popular in winter and coldfoods such as salads and wraps are more popularin summer. Promoting fruit may be easier to do insummer as more exotic varieties, like stone fruits,are available. Fruit is versatile and can be servedchilled or even frozen like grapes.?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦Place???Place??™ refers to the canteen environment andthe way in which foods and drinks are arrangedwithin the canteen. These are important aspectsto consider when creating a positive image fora canteen.
The canteen should be an attractive,appealing place that everyone enjoys visiting.When planning the layout and appearance ofthe canteen consider if it is easily accessibleand spacious, clean and attractive.Placing some tables and chairs and plants nearthe canteen creates a nice eating atmosphere.Design and technology students could be involvedin construction of such furniture. Many schoolsprovide a separate eating area for senior students.Some schools have created an outdoor eatingarea with chairs and tables under umbrellas ora sail. Utilise any spare ground near the canteenfor a small herb or vegetable garden, or use pots.This not only provides a nice environment foreating, but provides quick and easy access tofresh herbs when preparing foods.
Is there adequate lightingIs it colourful with bright decor and designsthat appeal to younger peopleGet the visual arts department involved. Studentscould design and paint murals on the walls andcolourful menu boards and construct and decoratesandwich boards. Alternatively, special menublackboards can be purchased that are designedto have semi-permanent writing and pictures,but can have the prices changed easily.Removable plastic lettering and numbering,makes it easy to update the menu boards as wellas providing a professional image. A clear, wellplacedmenu will make it easier for students toselect foods and will make the canteen servingprocess more efficient. Also consider playingmusic in the waiting and eating area.
Does the canteen look professionalRequiring workers to wear a uniform can helpto brighten the canteen environment and addto its image and professional appearance. Theuniform may be quite casual, for example jeanswith a brightly coloured uniform T-shirt bearingthe canteen??™s logo. Uniform aprons also providea professional image, as well as being importantfor maintaining hygiene.?¦?¦?¦40 I Healthy Canteen Kit ??“ Canteen ManualProduct positioningPlace healthy choices at students??™ eye level.For example, have fresh fruit within arm??™s reachand position several rows of bottled water ateye level. Try placing some salad tubs, fruitsalad or yoghurt in the drinks refrigerator aswell, to encourage last minute purchasesMake sure there is a well-stocked displayof pre-prepared healthy foods, for examplesalad tubs and rolls and wraps, to encourageimpulse purchases.
Rotate the position of products regularly togenerate interest. Try stocking foods in multipleplaces to encourage optimal sales.DistributionMost canteens sell directly to their main targetmarket ??“ students ??“ via one outlet: the canteencounter.
Consider whether there are other waysin which, with minimal extra effort, the servicecan be extended to a wider market and increaseyour sales.Consider selling at both the canteen and viapre-orders. Pre-ordering may make it easier forcanteen staff as it will enable easier preparationand planning for stock. Promote pre-ordering tostudents as a way of getting priority serviceat lunch.
Have a pre-ordering and delivery service forstaff as well. Take a selection of food itemsover to the staff room at meal times.Provide a catering service for morning andafternoon teas for staff meetings and otherexternal meetings or events that may be held atthe school, for example afternoon tea at $4.00per head. Market this service as robustly asother canteen services.Consider extending a catering service for otherschool events, for example school sports daysand school excursions and camps.Consider the canteen operating hours.
Couldthese be easily extended Do they enablestaff and senior students to use the canteen atany time Could a breakfast service be addedbefore school Some canteens develop a wholebreakfast menu, but it could be as simple asoffering a small selection of appropriate foodsalready on the canteen menu.?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦PriceEnsure that the canteen offers a selection oflow-cost, filling, nutritious items such as raisintoast, sultanas, dinner rolls or small corn cobsthat students can buy with their small change.Price food simply, for example $1.
50 insteadof $1.45, so that it is easier for students to payand easier for the staff to give change.Before trialling a new product, compare theprice of your product with the prices in otherlocal shops and check prices with students tosee what they think.Make sure healthier options are affordable.Offer reduced prices to promote slow-sellingitems or include these items in a meal dealwhich is priced for value.Sell cheaply towards the end of lunchtimeor at afternoon tea-time in the staff roomand increase sales as well as reduce costsfrom wastage.
Use competitive prices as the focus pointfor advertising, for example stocking 50csnack packs.Advertise products as representing good valuefor money.Design a ???What you can buy for this??™ poster forthe canteen, listing healthy items available for10c, 20c, 50c, etc. Use pictures of the moneyand food items if dealing with young students.?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦Healthy Canteen Kit ??“ Canteen Manual I 41PromotionPromotion of healthy choices is all aboutcommunicating to customers and encouragingthem to buy healthy foods. It is very important thatpromotions are simple and positive and concernedonly with healthy foods.PlanningAlways advertise new products or specials.
Advertise old favourites or slow sellers.Advertise regularly.Consider the target market, and use thatmarket??™s language level and style.Reach the right people often enough.
Seekstudents??™ input to establish key vantage pointsfor advertising.Ask students to design posters and flyerspromoting healthy foods or a specific specialday or meal deal. These can be placed in avariety of places around the school, includingnotice boards, staff rooms, reception, corridorsand classrooms.Flyers are a great way to communicateadvertising the canteen??™s catering service, newhealthy products, special meal deals or healthytheme days to the wider school community.
Fliers distributed prior to the event are the keyto generating interest and making the eventmore successful. These can be distributedwidely, for example in mail-outs to parents, innew parent orientation packs, in classrooms,in lunch bags, left at the front desk or canteencounter or in the staff room.There are also colourful posters and flyersavailable from various organisations thatpromote healthy eating and look greatin the canteen.
Newsletters and the school??™s websiteThe school website and weekly newsletter areboth great ways to let parents and the widerschool community know that the canteen offershealthy, nutritious and tasty foods that are goodvalue for money. Include the canteen menu,canteen updates, new menu items, news ofspecials or theme days, price changes, generalnutrition facts and photos and pictures of healthyfoods available. Ask for ideas and feedback.AnnouncementsNew healthy products or specials can beannounced over the school public address systemor at morning assembly. This is a good methodfor last minute promotions and is also goodreinforcement advertising, as it can be done ona regular basis. Administrative staff in charge ofPA announcements can read from a script. Thecanteen manager could also be given a regularspot at school assembly.?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦Notice boards and sandwich boardsUse notice-boards and sandwich boards topromote specials, theme days, new healthyoptions and interesting nutrition facts, or toadvertise tomorrow??™s menu.
Place the boards in a variety of areas,including outside the canteen, near wherethe students queue, at the front of the school,inside reception or in strategic areas inthe playground.Utilise existing notice boards in the schoolto pin up information and advertising aboutthe canteen. Ask school administration for adesignated section on the main school noticeboard to display regular information updatesand promotions.
Student order forms and menu boardsMake sure student order forms and menuboards are clear, bright and attractive.Position healthy choices at the top of the list.Use bold, brightly coloured fonts to make thehealthy choices stand out from other items onmenu boards.Include pictures of the healthy items.Place smiley faces beside the healthy itemsto identify healthy choices.In the canteenPlace an attractive display of a healthy foodspecial deal beside the cash register.Display colourful posters and flyers to promotehealthy choices. Ensure that only healthyoptions are promoted ??“ be wary of supportingpromotions for unhealthy choices run byfood companies.
Role modellingAsk teachers to promote healthy foods orspecial theme days in the canteen throughgeneral classroom discussion.Encourage teachers and canteen staff to actas role models by purchasing and eatinghealthy products.?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦42 I Healthy Canteen Kit ??“ Canteen ManualCreative namesDescribe healthy choices using fun, imaginativewords to excite and appeal to children, forexample ???scrumptious??™ and ???mouth-watering??™.
Give new healthy menu items catchy titles, like???Crazy Carrot Sticks??™ or ???Bananarama Smoothie??™.You could try using characters from children??™smovie and television shows. You could alsouse sport-themed items like the ???Thorpedo Roll??™named after swimmer Ian Thorpe.SpecialsSpecials may be special days, special weeks ordaily specials (an addition to the regular menu).They can:help introduce a new product at a good priceto entice buyersbe used to represent value for moneyon healthy products and encouragehealthy choicesassist in reducing wastage and maintainingincome by helping sell slow sellers, excessor leftover stock.It is important to price special days or menu itemscompetitively.
Remember that a special works onincreasing volumes of sales. Money can be savedon the cost of ingredients and labour so mark-upson each item can be kept lower. Some schoolsuse extra funds from special days to invest inimproving the canteen. The school??™s parents andfriends association or SRC might like to join thecanteen to help manage and run a special dayas a joint fundraiser.hint: When planning a special meal deal ortheme day be prepared for an overwhelmingresponse! Pre-ordering can help plan fordemand and make sure that enough stock isavailable on the day. A pre-order form could beincluded as part of the promotional flyer.
?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦Meal deals2 for 1 dealsThese provide an excellent way of reducingproduct waste at the end of the week, for example???Buy a small carton of milk and receive a freepiece of fruit??™.Lunch and snack packsA meal deal including a meal item, snack anda drink is a great opportunity to include fruit,vegetables and dairy, ensuring that the meal is inline with dietary guidelines. It is also a great wayto make healthier food choices easier for studentsas the food is sold as a package. Price the mealdeal at a slightly lower cost than the combinedcost of the individual items and advertise this costbenefit.
Give the meal deal a theme or catchyname to appeal to students and keep an eyeon food advertising for ideas. For example, if apopular fast-food restaurant is promoting chickenwraps this month promote your own lean versionof chicken wraps. An example of a snack pack isthe ???Road Runner Pack??™ which could include:a chicken drumstickmultigrain rollbanana or orangea small carton of milk.Theme daysTheme days are a great way to trial new healthyitems.
They may offer a few special menu itemsor a new special menu as an alternative to theregular menu. This can save time, as canteen staffwill only need to prepare a limited range of foods.Often parents who are keen to volunteer butunable to commit to a regular day will be willingto volunteer on special theme days, so advertisewidely for help for these days.
Theme days should be planned well in advance inorder to allow enough time for promotion. Considerwhat the promotion is to achieve. Is it to trial a newproduct, promote fruit and vegetables or dairy foods,or provide children with variety and something newFocus more on the fun aspects of such promotionaldays, and less on the healthy food message.Tie theme days in with the school??™s calendar. Usesports days and special calendar dates such asreligious and cultural events. Health awarenessweeks provide an excellent opportunity forpromotions. For example, calcium-rich smoothiescan be offered during Healthy Bones Week.
Theme days can also be linked to what studentsare being taught in the classroom, for examplehistory, the environment or international studies.Draw on current high-profile events such as theAustralian Open or the AFL Grand Final or evenrecently released movies. The possibilities areendless. The manuals and websites listed in theinformation and resources section of this manualprovide many more theme and promotion ideas.?¦?¦?¦?¦Healthy Canteen Kit ??“ Canteen Manual I 43Ideas for themes include:Commonwealth or Olympic GamesA ???Go for Green and Gold Day??™ with green- andgold-coloured foods on the menu.
A ???Green and Gold Meal Deal??™ day or an ???AussieAussie Aussie Week??™ with a green- and goldcolouredfood daily special.Ideas for healthy green- and gold-colouredfoods:??? golden corn on the cob??? popcorn??? diced pears or green apples with custard??? yellow jelly with grapes??? green and gold fruit salad, including oranges,kiwifruit, grapes and diced peaches??? green and gold mini muffins, using cheese,green capsicum and tomato.AFL Grand FinalName healthy meal deals or menu items after oneof the leading teams or players, for example theBombers??™ Burger.Nutrition WeekNutrition Week occurs in October andhas a different theme each year. Visit:www.nutritionaustralia.
org to find out what thisyear??™s theme is. Think of special food offers andmeal deal names, for example the ???Nuts aboutNutrition??™ meal deal.Fruit and Veg. WeeksPromote a different fruit or vegetable each week.Base this on seasonal availability, or work throughcolours or the alphabet. For example, have a weekeach for apples, avocadoes, bananas, berries,capsicum, cantaloupe and so on. Other ideasduring this event include:offering free taste testingoffering fruit and vegetables as a meal dealincluding a green vegetable as part of each hotfood menu item.
?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦Chinese or Vietnamese New YearThis week could be held in February to trialChinese and Vietnamese foods. Decorate thecanteen with paper lanterns and offer studentschopsticks and serve a Chinese or Vietnamesemeal deal in a cardboard noodle box, for example:vegetable stir-fryfried rice plus a rice paper roll or an oven-bakedmini spring rollNori rolls (see the Recipe section of thisresource).Summer salad sensation dayOn the first day of summer, run a salad bar withappealing salads on offer. Include, for example,chicken and mango salad, roast vegetable salad,sweet potato salad or couscous salad. Allowstudents to serve themselves, suggesting thatthey choose a few to fill their plate.(Adapted from the NSW School Canteen AssociationHigh School Meal Promotion Ideas fact sheetavailable from www.
schoolcanteens.org.au)?¦?¦?¦44 I Healthy Canteen Kit ??“ Canteen ManualCompetitions and incentivesCompetitions, incentives or reward schemescan increase student interest and participationand reward students for trying new foods andchoosing healthy options. These schemes are alsoa way of promoting the idea that healthy eating atschool can be fun. Make sure to advertise in theschool newsletter to ensure their success.Check with the school principal to ascertainif the school has a policy in place about theuse of competitions and incentives.Offer a lucky prize draw.
Students who trya particular new menu item, special of the dayor meal deal get a ticket to go in the drawfor a prize.Distribute frequent flyer customer cards.Students get one stamp each time they ordercertain healthy items.Organise a classroom smiley face competition.
Reward healthy lunch orders with a smiley facesticker in their lunch bag. The classroom withthe most stickers at the end of each week winsa prize.Run a competition which involves studentsentering their ideas for healthy menu items.For example, award prizes for the best newhealthy canteen recipes, sandwich fillings,recipes, theme days or meal deal ideas.
Theprize could be that the winning recipe idea,food name or meal deal is named after theclass and is featured on the menu for the week.Run a competition which involves studentsdesigning posters or flyers promoting healthyfoods at the canteen with a prize for the winner.Taste testing and samplingChildren are more likely to buy new food items ifthey have tried them before. Try introducing newfoods to students in the following ways.Provide a sample of a new product freewith the purchase of an existing item.Food companies will usually providesamples for free.Set up a sampling table in the canteen todetermine the most popular variety of certainfoods.
Students can line up to sample and thenmark their votes on a whiteboard.Position a taste-testing plate with smallmorsels of food on the counter. This isa good way of trialing a recipe preparedin the canteen kitchen.hint: Yarrambat Primary School has a regular???Fruitalicious Friday??™. This is a taste-testingday where the students have the opportunityto taste different types of fruit and vegetablesthat they may not have tried at home. Thishas led to new foods being introduced inthe canteen.?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦Students and teachersIt is important when promoting healthy foods atthe canteen to involve students and teachers. Thisis recommended by the Health Promoting Schoolsapproach.
For further information see page 45.Involving students, teachers and the widercommunity in promoting the canteen not onlyhelps cement the image of the canteen as ahealthy place and increases purchases, but alsohelps by providing valuable support and resourcesto strengthen the canteen??™s promotional activities.Here are some suggestions for involving theschool community in the canteen.Plan canteen promotions and menu items tocomplement any health, nutrition or food issues(or other non-nutrition themes) being taught inthe classroom.
Know when excursions are planned so you canplan for catering.If the school has a vegetable patch, find outwhat is in season and enquire whether excessproduce or herbs can be used and promoted incanteen menu items.Ask teachers to assist with student classroomactivities that support and assist the canteen??™spromotion and marketing. (See ???Go for your life??™Healthy Canteen Kit ??“ Student Learning Activitiesfor ideas.)HINT: Older students could assist withdesigning, producing and marketing a healthymeal deal as part of their curriculum activities.The ???Go for your life??™ Healthy Canteen Kit??“ Student Learning Activities that accompanythis manual can assist teachers in planning aclassroom canteen menu assessment activity.Encourage the principal and teachers to beinvolved with the canteen as much as possible.Introduce yourself to the food technologyand agriculture teachers and have an informaldiscussion about ideas for collaboration.Invite teachers to visit the canteen and meetthe staff.Schedule a regular, brief meeting with theprincipal or assistant principal each weekor fortnight to exchange information on theweek??™s activities.?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦?¦