January is upon us once again and with it comes the dreaded back-to-school preparations. We understand how hard our canteen and tuckshop staff work to provide tasty and nutritious meals for hungry Aussie kids. But running a canteen or tuckshop isn’t just about the food, is it?
When you’re busy promoting healthy food options, ensuring tasks are organised efficiently, staying on top of the latest food safety guidelines, organising staff and volunteers and maintaining the equipment and service tools for the canteen, (just to name a few!) it’s no wonder canteen staff may feel overwhelmed!
We want to reduce your back to school stress, so we’ve compiled a list of easy to use resources to provide a helping hand and make your transition from Summer Holidays to School Hustle-and-Bustle that much easier.
Marketing and Promotion Tools
When it comes to creating visually appealing menus and promotional artwork for the Tuckshop, Canva makes it easy with its free resources and downloadable, user-friendly templates.
Don't have time to spend making designs or looking for something a bit more specific? Angel Bay has you covered. You can request your artwork through our website and one of our talented marketing staff will do the work for you, free of charge. Just remember that we need a minimum 2 week's notice to create the artwork when requesting.
The WA School Canteens Association has some fantastic resources and tips on its website, with more available to WASCA members. Whether your canteen is in WA or elsewhere in the country, their website has great upsell resources, like these thankyou vouchers. There’s a version for parents to say thank you for their help, and a version for the students that can be used as rewards for good behaviour, or even competitions!
WASCA also has some great tips for marketing in secondary schools, a step-by-step guide to planning Theme Days and some wonderful ideas for themes you could use to run promotions from your tuckshop. From cultural days, to Health, Wellbeing and Sporting Events and everything in between, there is plenty here to keep your canteen in theme throughout the 2024 school year.
Canteen Management Resources
There are so many cogs that turn the wheels of a successful tuckshop, so we went hunting so you don’t need to reinvent those wheels!
ASCA has this amazing Canteen Manager’s Resource folder available as a free download to assist you in ensuring all your tuckshop’s cogs run smoothly. Incorporating government guidelines, documentation organisation, sample policies, daily operations templates, position description templates, financial documentation templates and more, this folder just might become your new canteen Bible!
If you’re looking to go digital, there are many apps and software options on the market to organise your team and assign tasks. Staff at Angel Bay have used Asana and Trello before for planning daily tasks and activities and have found their free versions to be user-friendly and efficient.
If your school has Microsoft licensing, you can also use Microsoft Teams to manage your staff and canteen tasks. Find out how in this handy article.
The Healthy Kids Association is another great source of information around Canteen Management. We found some handy tips in the Record Keeping section of their website, including an infographic about maximising profits, staff advertising and timesheet templates and financial management tips including instructions on how to conduct a stocktake.
If you’re feeling like you’ve tried everything and your canteen is still not turning a profit, WASCA has created this fact sheet to help you troubleshoot.
Finally, there is an abundance of national and state-specific information available online. We’ve compiled some of the most helpful in the list below. We hope this article helps to ease some of the stress out of planning a new year of healthy, delicious food for Australian Children.
Federal and State-Based Resources and Guidelines