The 2018 Queensland Tuckshop Survey found that the majority of tuckshops (70%) reported that they were making a profit. However most participants were not able to provide specific figures. Of those who were aware of net profit/loss, this ranged significantly from $86,000 profit to $31,000 loss.

QAST conducted the Tuckshop Turnaround Project in 2019/2020 with funds from the Queensland Department of Education. Twenty-one school tuckshops took part in the project from across the seven Education Regions. During the project, QAST assisted them with financial issues. Face to face consultations were held with seventeen schools and phone consultations with four. The schools’ Profit and Loss Statements and their menus were analysed to calculate the important financial markers detailed in the table below. These consultations were held with the Principal, P&C representatives and the tuckshop staff to determine the goals and vision for the tuckshop. Learnings from this project have been used to create the Tuckshop Turnaround Checklist.

QAST has developed this checklist to assist tuckshop management to improve the financial viability of their business. Working through the checklist will highlight areas for improvement and allow schools to develop an action plan to turn the tuckshop around.

The Tuckshop Turnaround Checklist  is an excellent place to start working with your team – and follow the steps below.

Discuss the tuckshop goals with the tuckshop convenor, parent body and the Principal. The goal could be to improve the healthiness of the menu, make more profit to upgrade equipment or to increase the number of volunteers and community engagement. It can be different for each school. There is no right or wrong goal, it just needs to reflect your school community.

Step 1. Review your Profit and Loss Statement.

Generate statements by term rather than by month, this will limit the impact of school holidays or stock on hand.

Make sure you only include the tuckshop income and expenses. For example, only tuckshop wages even though the staff may work in the uniform shop as well. Don’t include fundraising income or expenses. It is a requirement of the P&C Accounting Manual to prepare separate financial statements for each business.

What is a P and L? click here to see a sample.

Step 2. Calculate these important financial markers from the Profit and Loss Statement.

The formulas are provided in the table below along with an example from the Profit and Loss statement provided above.

Step 3. Interpret these markers for your school and use the checklist to create an action plan.

What could these markers mean?  Click on the + to read more.

Low sales per student per day

  • Lack of marketing
  • Open too many days per week
  • Students don’t want what you are offering.
  • Sales focused on snacks rather than meals

High % wages

  • May be distorted by low sales – address sales first if practical
  • Is the tuckshop open too many days per week
  • Lack of volunteers
  • Lack of control of staff hours use the Staffing Calculator to manage.

Low average % markup

  • The sales are coming from heat and serve items with low markup
  • Not cooking many items on site.
  • Sample Menus on eMenu and Markup Schedule available to QAST members

QAST has worked with many school tuckshops to turn them around.

Read our case studies to get inspiration and ideas.

Metro High School – case study 1

Regional Primary School – case study 2

Metro Primary School – case study 3

Regional High School – case study 4

Regional Primary School – case study 5

Need more help?

QAST can do a free Financial Consultation for your school as part of membership. This includes a phone consultation, P&L analysis, menu review and report with key areas for improvement. Complete the attached form and we will get in touch.

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