A canteen.

The Canteen is where prisoners go for their meals during "Eat" or "Free time" in their Regime. Cooks will place cooked food and clean trays on serving tables for the prisoners. Once prisoners collect their food, they walk to the nearest table and eat their food.

If Staff Needs are active and you assign a canteen as Staff Only, you can assign a Staff Room to eat there and staff will fullfil their food needs there. The food comes premade from deliveries, so you do not need a kitchen to provide food for your staff. You may also just place a serving table in the Staff Room itself and it will work just the same.



You can also place amenities to provide other needs when your prisoners are being fed. You will satisfy their needs during mealtime, and save places on your bench for those who haven't eaten yet.


  • When building a canteen, keep in mind that there will be many prisoners in one area simultaneously and therefore it's easier for them to start fighting.
  • If you build your canteen close to your kitchen cooks won't have to travel too far with their food thus improving their efficiency.
  • Make sure that there are enough tables and benches for the amount of prisoners you want to have in the canteen, otherwise they may start fighting or start a riot if the danger level is high enough.
    • Armed guards are also useful in the canteen to keep everybody calm and suppressed to prevent any fighting.
  • Consider not putting any doors and leaving a huge gap in the wall to avoid bottlenecks and then putting metal detectors on the hallways/paths leading to the canteen (2 wide hallways/paths are optimal for financial reasons and to save on electricity).
  • Place a dog patrol in the canteen area to sniff out all the contraband. Make sure you have 1 or 2 spare dogs to sustain a continued patrol without interruptions caused by the dogs needing frequent rests.
  • Putting other amenities like shower heads, toilets and entertainment in the canteen may help satisfy the needs of already fed or/and non-hungry prisoners and limits travel distances afterwards to the shower room, the cell and the common room.
  • 2 hours of lunch time may help in making sure everybody gets something to eat and also makes sure that those who are late due to travel distances may have their meal.
    • adding an hour of free time after eating will also give late prisoners enough time to finish their meals.
  • A highly varied meal and normal portions twice a day will work well.
  • Leaving a hallway in the middle of your canteen helps relieve congestion and helps your cooks collect dirty trays faster (they slow down walking through the benches and the tables).
  • Keeping your canteen in a central position helps limit walking distances.
  • Consider putting serving tables on both sides of the canteen to help spread the prisoners. A serving table per 50 prisoners will work fine with medium meal quantity and high variety.
  • Position the yard outside the canteen and schedule yard time before each meal; this gives time for all prisoners to congregate outside the canteen before eating, reducing the time taken to get everyone in the canteen.
  • You can micromanage what cell blocks go into what canteen. it is under the micromanagement tab unlocked by the warden. And can assign what canteens (if staff only) are Staff Canteens.
  • You can serve a low quantity meal just make sure every prisoner has a meal every time, but will require more eat time to completly satisfy their Needs
  • Moving eat in regime to +- 9am and 9pm will give your cooks more time to prepare the meals.
  • don't Zone the space between the Serving Table and the Table to minimize congestion.
  • don't Zone directly in front of the Staff Door to the Kitchen.