Multiple Canteens and Kitchens in the prison


I tried making multiple cell blocks, with each trying to be relatively self-sustainable (for each cell block, a shower, canteen, yard) but even though a canteen was closer to prisoner's cells, they still went down to the first canteen, where the other cell block was eating.

In other games, when multiple blocks shared a canteen, I'd change the regime so half the population was eating while the other was in the yard, or whatever. Here I didn't do that since I figured they'd go to the closest one, but obviously I was wrong. Here are some other things I tried:

  • Restricting one canteen to Normal Security and the other to Minimum.
    Result: Max Sec had nowhere to eat, but I had so few prisoners there it wasn't worth creating a third canteen
  • Trying to restrict hallways in the same fashion (min/normal sec).
    Result: Same effect, Max Sec went hungry. Alternate paths for those prisoners were used by others just because of the layout of the prison.
  • Ensured that both canteens/kitchens were stocked with cooks in each one. Food was prepared in both (with food on the serving table).
    Result: The cooks in the 2nd kitchen went down to the first, even though they were not needed. Prisoners still ate at 1st canteen

I suspect that Logistics can solve this problem somewhat, but I didn't really want to direct each prisoner to a particular place to eat, although I could if that was solution.

The bigger question I have then is, is it even worth having multiple canteens and kitchens? I've seen some layouts in the Steam Workshop where in a centrally-located position, there is just one large canteen and kitchen area that apparently services all cell blocks, presumably at different times of the day. Is that the most efficient method? It always seems that fights break out during meal time. Metal detectors at the doors don't help if they use their spoon to disembowel an inmate over some Jello in the canteen.

If it matters, I've not yet had an issue of running out of land, I usually find that a particular layout is faulty, so I sell my prison to start another with more startup cash to test another layout. (I'm hoping I get one big enough where it does become a problem!)

Best Answer

I've used the logistics view to solve this. I tend to expand slowly so I usually end up with multiple cell block buildings and different canteens to service each one.

You don't need to assign specific prisoners to eat at specific canteens, but you can assign specific cell blocks to use specific canteens, and the prisoners staying in those blocks will comply.

Go to Logistics mode, then Food Distribution. This will bring up an overlay showing where each cell block goes to eat. Click and drag from the cell blocks to the canteen you want if you don't like the currently assigned or default canteen. Access to the food distribution screen requires micromanagement to have been first researched by your prison warden.

screenshot of logistics mode