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Fridge Wars

Employees duking it out in the kitchen? Stop the madness!

This story appears in the April 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Dirty dishes in the sink. Long lines at the microwave. If you have employees, you've seen the brutality and the madness. With less money in our wallets and trendy diets dictating our menus, people have been returning to the company lunchroom-meaning the refrigerator can get pretty crowded, not to mention confusing. Steve Winter, 48, president at PR firm Brotman Winter Fried Communications in Falls Church, , learned that the hard way.

"I've been on Atkins since June and have commandeered one of the refrigerator bins," says Winter. But the memo on that may not have reached everybody, because one day, Winter found a steak chilling in his bin. Believing it was for him-an apparent leftover from a client's party-he devoured it. That day, "lunch was wonderful," says Winter, who soon encountered a crestfallen and hungry employee. To make good, Winter gave his employee a $100 gift certificate to a .

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