There is quite a good "paperwork trail" about canteen versus mess food in the RN records.
Admiralty, and especially DNC, got lots of comments from the captains of both RN designed ships and especially lend-lease ships about the provision of food during long-term action station watches. The provision of cold food was not really acceptable, but having to take hot food to each mess with the consequential slow opening and closing of watertight/damage control doors was awkward. "Canteen" facilities were seen to be much more practical.
However, Canteen facilities took up quite large spaces which had to be high up. BUT the real problem was that sleeping spaces suffered and hence there was pressure to use bunks.
DNC sent out questionnaires (for officers and men) to a selection of ships of all sizes and particularly wanted feedback from officers and men of lend-lease ships.
The responses were very varied. At the end of the process (!) Admiralty were roughly in favour of canteen messing, but were concerned that many long-service personnel (officers and men) did not want to see the end of the open spaces of messes (during the day) which allowed free socialising. The leading rates and divisional officers tended to see the open messes as essential to the morale and traditions of the navy and helpful to establish a "family" atmosphere (the most senior man being traditionally known as the "Daddy of the mess".
DNC saw that whilst he could work canteen catering into new build ships and larger existing ships, older ships might have hybrid, or old systems. DNC also thought that destroyers and smaller would be very difficult to be built with canteens.
There were lots of discussions (not all recorded) but eventually canteen catering was adopted in new builds and where possible in existing ships - not all captains (or Admirals) were happy (!)
You will find discussions about this in the various books on the social history of the RN during this period (and after).