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Brisbane tuckshop paves way for success

The Queensland Tuckshop Snapshot Survey conducted in 2018 highlighted a lack of financial knowledge in tuckshop convenors. In fact, it showed that many convenors are unaware of the amount of profit being made by the tuckshop.

In response to this, and to support and empower tuckshops to become more financially viable, in 2019 QAST began working closely with 21 schools across Queensland in the Tuckshop Turnaround Project, which was funded by the Department of Education.

The project proved to be a great success, with many school tuckshops going on to report triumphs, such as profit increases, healthier menus and greater sales.

In 2022 we touched base with one of the project’s success stories, Craigslea State High School, to see how they were performing two years later.

They reported back that the tuckshop had made a profit for the third year in a row, all thanks to the foundations laid down from QAST’s Tuckshop Financial Turnaround Project in 2019.

So, how did they do it?

When QAST first started working with Craigslea State High School in 2019, the tuckshop was running at a loss.

QAST identified several key actions that would help it turn a corner:

  1. Careful management of the casual staff roster
  2. Undertaking QAST training, including the Pathway to Profit and Convenor Course
  3. Offer more tuckshop-made options and display these in prominent areas of the tuckshop
  4. Promote these tuckshop-made items on Facebook to increase sales.

The Principal, P&C and Tuckshop Convenor took all these suggestions on board and collaboratively put in the hard yards to turn their financial position around.

The new convenor, Yolande, who started in May 2019, brought with her a deep passion for food, great people skills and proved to be an extremely quick learner. With little tuckshop experience under her belt, she promptly enrolled in the QAST Convenor Course and has actively been putting her learnings into practice. Yolande has also described hands-on experience as being a key factor in achieving further success.

Craigslea State High School

In 2021, the tuckshop increased their tuckshop-made menu items by 5%, which varies depending on summer/winter food. They manage this workload with three staff each day, and an extra set of hands on the days where the food is prepared in-house in advance.

The students love the variety of options, with the kebabs, butter chicken, lasagne, fried rice, pulled pork and coleslaw rolls, and fruit salad bowls, firm favourites. In fact, the items made in-house are always the first to sell out!

Since 2019, the team has worked heavily on the following three key areas:


Having a clear picture of how much items will cost and how much wages will be on a daily/weekly basis has given the tuckshop convenor a clearer understanding of expenses and what needs to be sold to make a profit.


Working as a team was key to turning the tuckshop around. Clear and open communication between the Principal, P&C and tuckshop convenor and staff mean issues are identified and resolved quickly and easily.

Great food and service

The tuckshop convenor and the staff have completely rebuilt the tuckshop brand over the past few years. They ensure the food on offer is of high quality and that it appeals to both students, and staff. This has seen a large increase in school staff purchasing meals from the tuckshop since 2018.

Want to see improved results in your tuckshop?

QAST members can access a free Financial Consultation, which includes a phone discussion, Profit & Loss analysis, menu review and detailed report with suggestions for key areas for improvement.

Get in touch to get started.

Not a member? Join now to benefit from QAST expertise in all areas of running a tuckshop.

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