Canobolas Rural Technology High School café-style canteen

Orange is renowned for its food
industry. It’s traditionally quite a rural farming area. I’m Andrew Farley, I did
my apprenticeship and later became the sous-chef of a fine-dining restaurant
here in town. Even though Orange is renowned for its
food, we are in a predicament where canteens in particular are still selling
the traditionally unhealthy processed foods. The canteen here was a fairly
traditional school canteen; meat pies, sausage rolls. The old canteen was certainly not making money. The P&C decided to look for another
manager of the school canteen. I was looking around for a bit of a change of pace and heard about a job offering here at the school. And when we got the ideas
for the new menu from Andrew, there was no choice but to employ him. I thought it was gonna be a pretty cruisy job, I was very wrong with that assumption. Trying to cook for 400 odd students, day one with no experience in a canteen
situation was quite a challenge. I made the decision then that I wasn’t
gonna try and phase in a lot of food I was just gonna come in and completely
bring in my own menu, pushing it towards an urban cafe feel. Getting students and
teachers involved and breaking down the barrier between the two. The biggest
changes I’ve made to the menu are taking away a lot of the sausage rolls and pies
and bringing in healthier alternatives, focusing more on whole ingredients as
opposed to processed foods making a lot of fresh stuff ourselves. I really do look for local produce where I can. Fruit fresh every week from a local orchard. One of the first weeks I was here I was told that I would never sell any
fruit at all and I couldn’t even give it away and later that week I’d actually
sold over 20 kilos of fruit in the form of our fruit cups,
which was a really proud moment for me to be able to come in and prove that to
be wrong. Lunchtime rush is quite hectic. There was a little bit of resistance
because kids were seeing foods that they weren’t familiar with. One day the
student who always got a sausage roll seemed quite devastated and the fact
that he couldn’t get a sausage roll. So I suggested to him to try the pasta and he
came back the next day raving about how great this pasta was and now buys the
pasta every single day. He opens up options for them to try new foods. He not only changed the food menu but also the pricing structures, so the cheaper options are the healthiest options. Yeah it’s definitely been a change for the better like heaps more kids now buy their lunch. Financially, Andrew has made a massive profit in the first 12 months. We’ve doubled the sales of the previous canteen. While we’re seeing a huge
increase in the sale of healthy options. I know that a lot of schools are very
hesitant to make changes and I would agree that I was dubious to start with,
that the kids would embrace it but they absolutely do and they love it. You can’t underestimate the choices kids will make if presented with healthy options. I do get a great sense of satisfaction and being able to see a change that’s being
made to these kids’ lives through food and through providing a
really positive atmosphere here at the canteen

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