The Canteen is where prisoners go for their meals during "Eat" 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.



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


  • When Building a Canteen keep in mind that there is going to be a lot of prisoners in one area 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.
  • Prisoners take a lot of spoons out of the canteen make sure you have a metal detector to prevent that. As of Alpha 24, the Canteen is no longer a source of contraband, though the use of a metal detector is still advised.
  • 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.
  • Armed guards are also useful in the canteen to keep everybody calm and suppressed.
  • 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.
  • A highly varied meal and normal portions twice a day seems to work best in my experience.
  • 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 seems to 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.