University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


University staff steal from canteen

Employees pay for less than they eat in the staff canteen, says catering company

Employees and guests at the University of Copenhagen are a hungry bunch. But they are not honest.

Not only do canteen users at the Nørregade 10 city campus staff canteen overfill their plates, they take snacks back to the office and, in some cases, take their food and drink without paying.

This is according to catering firm, Eurest, which provides daily meals for the university administration and Faculty of Law on Nørregade.

Stolen soft-drinks

The canteen, Le Cannibale, operates on a trust-based system where employees swipe their university ID card or Dankort to pay the DKK 32 it costs for the full buffet. This system is, of course, open to abuse.

The soft drink fridge often stands half-empty after the lunch time rush, even though only three or four bottles have been registered at the till.

Light fingers = less choice

»On a day like today with a lot of outside guests, there will be 8-10 who do not pay for everything they take: either the buffet, or a soft drink,« says canteen chef Camilla Angel Christensen.

The consequence of light-fingered lunch guests is a decrease in the range of food items on offer, she explains. And if the books don’t balance in Le Cannibale, it is the catering firm Eurest who pays the price.

»We are a business within a business« says Camilla Angel Christensen.

Like taking office stationary

»I think people see the canteen as part of the university,« says deputy manager Jesper Holm.

»If they take a bit of extra food or a bottle of drink from the canteen, if is as though they are just taking some printer paper or a biro home.«

HR and Organisation’s Niels Balslev Wendelboe agrees that staff shouldn’t steal from the canteen, but warns against using the word ’theft’ as a staff generalisation.

He urges the personnel to contact the canteen committee at the university to solve the problem.

Lunch police

Le Cannibale has previously asked a university representative to speak to staff members who repeatedly fail to pay for food.

According to Camilla Angel Christensen og Jesper Holm, the university is unwilling to get involved unless someone reports the food thieves to the police. But they do not wish to take such dramatic action.

»This is too much,« says Le Cannibales canteen chef Camilla Angel Christensen. »Couldn’t we just talk about it instead?«