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Activities in 2019-2020

People and Culture

Development of our team members is critical to successfully offering exceptional service to our Defence personal.

Our ‘People Strategy’ is underpinned by the key attributes of mutual trust, transparency, accountability, collaboration, inclusion and participation.

AAFCANS understands the importance of focusing on our teams’ health and wellbeing. A systemic approach, using evidence-based processes and tools, increases the effectiveness of individual wellbeing and results in high performing teams.

AAFCANS continues to build a diverse and inclusive workplace and we are committed to fostering a supportive workplace culture where our team members are encouraged and assisted to balance work, family and other aspects of personal life.

In the last financial year AAFCANS undertook an Employee Engagement Survey. This survey was well received by our team with over 70% responses. We heard that our team takes pride in AAFCANS and understands their role within our business. They are committed to strong customer service and are confident in the leadership and the environment in which they work. Like all businesses they also identified opportunities including reward and recognition, clarity on long term direction and stronger communication around the changes within the business. The Board and senior leadership have embraced our teams responses and will continue to listen.

Communications and Marketing

AAFCANS featured in six Defence media articles capturing welfare disbursements, exercise support and recycling bottle tops for kids initiative. In addition to the pictorial articles AAFCANS featured in Army and Air Force Peacekeeper Magazines.

Cozy props were added to AAFCANS refurbishment décor projects to convey a welcoming, homely store ambience and highlight AAFCANS fresh food concepts. A new style café theme was developed for Holsworthy Barracks to deliver an on-trend industrial style vibe.

The new AAFCANS loyalty app platform was developed to provide greater functionality. Bespoke app branding, graphic components exclusive app-only promotions and point of sale were created to support the launch.

The branding for AAFCANS On-Demand online ordering portal was designed, extending to the trial delivery vehicle. In tandem, a web menu and web store functionality were developed in readiness for trial at Gallipoli Barracks.

Other marketing activities included:

  • Development of in-app channel to extend customer feedback touch points;
  • A comparative pricing survey was conducted capturing 74 competitor menus, helping to benchmark AAFCANS offer and pricing with comparable offers outside the base;
  • Development of PowerPoint induction presentations promoting AAFCANS facilities by base;
  • Procurement of a new signage package, sponsored by our supply chain, to help promote AAFCANS fresh offer and key menu promotions;
  • Development of AAFCANS new corporate DPN webpage. The webpage provides customers and stakeholders with quick access to key information about AAFCANS governance, reporting, history, improvements, and facilities and services by base, including our current promotions and RTF’s response form;
  • Tindal quantitative digital and web-based customer survey to obtain customer insights and feedback on our current and future offer;
  • AAFCANS partnered with RAAF Williamtown for their War on Waste initiative; AAFCANS implemented a suite of in-store and direct marketing messages to support the campaign.


Operations focused on enhancing the in-store customer experience to align with the contemporary style refurbishments completed throughout 2019-20. AAFCANS focused on ensuring the food offer continued to evolve by implementing a “core range offer”. The core range facilitates a rotation of menu products with a strategy of offering national menu compliance.

AAFCANS elevated its healthy products offer within our retail range and quick service menu. We expanded the healthy range on key bases with the inclusion of fresh cold-press juices (made daily in-store from fresh fruit and vegetables) along with Acai bowls and portion-controlled healthy meals as a convenient heat and eat option sold in our grab and go retail.

Utilising market data AAFCANS balanced its retail range to keep our offer aligned with customer demand. We expanded the healthy snacking options, protein impulse retail and elevated the visual in-store merchandising to encourage consumer uptake.

A bistro evening meal option was trialled at Gallipoli Barracks, with the aim to support ADF members living on base with an alternate amenity offer. The trial will continue in 2020-21 with the delivery of the Gallipoli Barracks lounge extension post-COVID-19. Following consumer feedback, AAFCANS also implemented a range of evening and family-focused meals at RAAF Tindal. Weekend and evening trading hours along with core retail, convenience products and driveway services were fine-tuned to meet the local community needs.

Operations implemented a cloud-based 'Retail, Electronic, Food Safety, System' (REFSS). This platform enables real-time reporting. The dashboard is monitored and managed by the operations team to ensure support for our base management team and national compliance. Additionally, in support of AAFCANS key strategies, Operational Excellence Program (OEP) audits were implemented, supported by regular national Base Manager teleconference meetings.

AAFCANS continues to use its supply chain network to strengthen the support offered to RTF's around the country.

Our mobile food van concept is under continual review. Development is in its final stages for a 2020-21 trial.

IT & Security

With a key focus on network security, scalability, speed, and customer experience AAFCANS implemented significant changes to facilitate its strategic activities.

IT managed the scope and project design for the new Loyalty app and On-Demand ordering facility. The development included procurement, design, functionality and stringent testing of the platform and server resources. A key focus was to insulate AAFCANS from future security issues whilst maintaining a high level of integrity for users' personal data. A bespoke helpdesk and feedback channel links directly to AAFCANS ticketing support system ensuring all
communication is actioned.

New access points were installed at all outlets to provide ADF with an improved guest WiFi
experience. The new hardware provides concise network monitoring and significantly strengthens our security and compliance with the Australian Signals Directorate.

The implementation of network security software and internal server upgrades have strengthened AAFCANS already robust cloud environment. Ongoing improvements and cybersecurity training will flow on into 2020-21.

IT designed and implemented the AAFCANS Virtual Assistant (AVA) support helpdesk which streamlines internal communications and touch-point tasking across our base network. Tickets raised within the centralised system are automatically allocated and actioned by exception.


This year AAFCANS supported Defence on the following exercises:

  • EX Hamel, Townsville QLD
  • AASAM, Greenbank QLD
  • Gallipoli Barracks Open Day, Enoggera QLD

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions, other major exercises were not held within the year in review.


In recognition of the unique environment in which AAFCANS operates, the Commonwealth has provided a $400,000 per annum special amenity payment which has been used exclusively to improve the general appearance and atmosphere of AAFCANS’ canteens for its Service patrons.

In 2019-20, AAFCANS undertook outlet/facility upgrade projects on the following bases:

  • Completion of Gallipoli Barracks canteen refurbishment
  • Investment the loyalty platform, app, online ordering portal and supporting equipment
  • Holsworthy canteen upgrade and installation of the new coffee lounge
  • Fit-out of the new RAAF Williamtown canteen
  • RAAF Wagga new temporary facility
  • Equipment for RAAF Amberley Heritage Centre kiosk
  • Equipment to the fit-out of new RAAF Edinburgh Sea Lion café

This funding has now ceased.