How to Deter Coworkers from Stealing Your Lunch

A lot of people prefer taking lunch to work for the mid-day break. Ordering in can be expensive and going out to eat everyday is inconvenient – having your lunch at your workplace is a good alternative but for mischievous co-workers. Getting up after a tiring half-day only to find your lunch missing can be exceedingly frustrating to say the least. While you should always allow for mistakes, regularly missing lunch means someone is stealing it. There are several measures you can take to prevent your lunch from being stolen.


  • 1

    Label your box

    Placing a label on your box can deter some of your coworkers from stealing it. The label should clearly state your name and the fact that the lunch box belongs to you. This will also rule out the possibility of someone mistakenly eating your food.

  • 2

    Add a warning to the label

    If the name label does not work, you should add a warning to it, stating that anyone stealing this lunch box will be reported. To make it clear that you are serious, put the warning in red color and bold font.

  • 3

    Spike your lunch with laxatives

    To deter the more persistent lunch thieves, you may have to resort to more drastic measures. Spike your own lunch with laxatives one day and let it be stolen. Hopefully the thieves will learn their lesson and will think twice before stealing your lunch again.

  • 4

    Lock away your lunch box

    If your work place has a separate kitchen with cabinets, find one which can be locked and use it to secure your lunch box.

  • 5

    Use camera recordings to find culprits

    Some offices have cameras installed which record daily proceedings. Apply for a footage review to find out who steals your lunch. Report these people to human resources.

  • 6

    Stop bringing good food

    If all the methods above don’t work, you should stop bringing delicious food. You may have to start bringing ordinary bland tasting lunch for some time to deter the thieves.

  • 7

    Place your lunch box on your desk

    If you have space on your work desk, you can put your lunch box on it and cover it up with paper. Don’t leave your desk for prolonged periods, and if possible, ask a trusted co-worker to keep an eye on your lunch while you are gone.

  • 8

    Quit the job

    If nothing else works, you must quit the job. Being unable to deter the thieves, this may be your last resort. Look for another more secure work place and move.

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