Friday, August 31, 2007

Supply theft can take a bite out of business

Back in college, we used to frequent a famous German bar on campus that served boots of beer. You heard me...massive, heavy glasses shaped like boots that just overflowed with ale. We would go in large groups, gather around a long beer hall table, listen to the polka band and pass around the boots. I can't tell you how many students tried to steal those things for bragging rights purposes. Fortunately for the bar owners, the boots were so large that there was no way people could stick it in a bag - or hide it under their shirts - without management noticing. I thought of that when I saw a few articles about people stealing from restaurants and coffee shops. According to a New York Times article, diners have ripped off everything from $3 water glasses to $1,200 silver ice buckets. In the world of caffeine, it seems one of the most popular targets of theft is Splenda packets. At coffee shops, sucralose thievery has often depleted supply - leading some angry customers to storm out without coffee.
I can't say I've never snagged a few packets here and there. And once, in my poor just-out-of-college years, I stole a few rolls of toilet paper from a local bar.
But I think stealing candles, wall paintings and expensive things of that nature from restaurants is wrong, y'all! And word of advice: don't yell at the barista if there's no Splenda. It could have been your friends stealing the shop's last few packets.


Anonymous said...

I would say that stealing is always stealing, and it's wrong. But... I must climb off my moral high horse when I think of the time I was in a luxury hotel that provided in-room coffee service with splenda and little containers of real half-and-half instead of the usual coffee condiment pack with powdered creamer and pink packs. I was impressed with this touch of luxury and enjoyed 2 good cups of coffee. The next morning I realized housekeeping had refilled the coffee service but failed to include any splenda.
Coming back from an early morning walk, I saw a dirty room service tray that had been put out in the hall for removal by housekeeping. There were unopened splenda packs left on the tray so I helped myself to 4 packs to get me through the next 2 days. (You can Ignore the ick factor if you're picky about your coffee.) Just as I grabbed them I spotted a maid who watched me take them and go in my room. I drank one cup and left for the morning. When I returned the room was clean and the coffee service was replenished, but the offended housekeeper had confiscated my 3 remaining packs of stolen splenda and left only pink packs, as some sort of vengeance, I suppose. (She wasn't offended enough to leave behind the tip I left for her.)

Katie said...

I'm surprised housekeeping was so snippy about you snagging the leftover Splenda...particularly since you obviously plunked down some big bucks to stay at a luxury hotel. Thanks for the comment!