h a l f b a k e r y
On the one hand, true. On the other hand, bollocks.
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Many places have a "community refrigerator" in a break room where you can store your lunch in a refrigerator. Trouble is that by the time you get back to your lunch, it's usually buried underneath everyone else's lunches...meaning that you have to dig through the fridge to find your lunch bag...that
is unless the infamous "refrigerator lunch theif" swiped your lunch before you had a chance to get to it!
Invariably, some dolt will forget to retrieve their lunch from the "community refrigerator", allowing it to slowly decompose into the most putrid smell imaginable. Someone sooner-or-later will come along to clean out the refrigerator...and 9 times out of 10 your lunch that you had brought in for that day...and the bag it came in...will end up in the trash.
So I propose a "refrigerator locker". These "units" are just large enough to hold a lunch bag and are accessed by either a combination lock or by the user inserting a small amount of money ($0.25, $0.50 or $1) to "rent" the space and its lock for a set amount of time. That way, if someone "forgets" their lunch, you'll know who the offending party is (their supervisor has the master list of combinations and who "owns" them), or the timer on the rented locker expires and pops open the door for housekeeping to clean up the old lunch and throw it away.
You could stack on top of this a "food warmer locker" (heat rises...cool air sinks). Based on the same principles except using heat, these pizza-box or calzone-sized lockable units could keep food at around 100-120 degrees Fahrenheit...just hot enough to keep it warm, but not hot enough for it to "catch fire". The same locking principles could apply here, but probably a "timed" electronic lock would work better in this situation.
Deskmate Mini Fridge
Close, but no lock. [Laughs Last, Oct 05 2004]
||Without the locks and depending on the number of people in the office, you could do this easily enough with a regular fridge, by inserting one of those plastic organizer cabinets with clear pull-out compartments.
||I'm thinking assigned parking spaces within the refrigerator...
I'd be a bit concerned about the temperature of the warm side of this. Maybe you were just guesstimating anyway, but the guidelines I'm familiar with require a holding temperature of 140 F or above. Reheated food should be brought to a temperature of 165 or above before being transferred to a holding device. It has been a while since I flipped burgers for a living though.