This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

What to Do When Employees Steal Food and Drink

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If you've ever worked in an office and used the community refrigerator, chances are you've had your food eaten by someone else, pushed to the back or thrown out before its expiration date. While this can be frustrating for employees, it can be next to impossible for companies to police. Sometimes the problem can get so bad that employees don't stop at just swiping one another's food -- they begin stealing company-provided coffee, snacks, sodas and more.

Although installing security cameras may seem like an extreme measure, the Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs in Arlington, Va., recently made headlines for threatening to install a camera in a communal kitchen to crack down on food and beverage theft. A leaked memo from BNA's vice president of human resources showed they weren't kidding around.

"Prior to the installation of the cameras and even after the cameras are installed, if you are observed taking any amount of soda, juice, milk, fruit or snacks home you may be subject to termination from BBNA for cause," the memo read. "Unfortunately, the behavior of a few individuals impacts all employees. If this type of behavior continues we will have no other option than to consider closing down the pantry."

Although the company later apologized to employees for their stern approach and decided not to install the pantry cameras after all, the incident highlights just how difficult it can be for companies to control what happens in the kitchen. If your company is struggling with pantry etiquette or looking for a way to control just how many sodas and coffee pods leave the building, we've got expert tips on how to manage.

Companies looking to combat this problem -- or head it off before it starts -- should make certain their employee handbook addresses proper kitchen behavior and expectations, says Steve Moore, director of human resource operations for HR and business consultancy Insperity.

"Unfortunately, employers cannot expect their employees to 'just know' what is expected of them," Moore says. "All policies and codes of conduct should be in a written format that is easily accessible by all employees."

An employer that does not have written guidelines is much more likely to encounter problems, Moore says, adding that kitchen rules should be posted in an area accessible to all employees, such as on the refrigerator or on a break room bulletin board.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,098.45 +18.88 0.11%
S&P 500 2,003.37 +6.63 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,580.2710 +22.5760 0.50%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs