Deptford Greggs staff have reported growing frustration with higher levels of theft this year.
The recent cost of living crisis has led to a rise to extreme shoplifting, with staff claiming a minimum of two thefts per day, ranging from sandwiches, crisps and drinks.
The increase is reportedly caused by food being on display by open exit doors, making it more accessible to thieves.
Deptford Greggs team member Tracy Latham said: “They come in because they know that they can get away with it.
“It’s not right and it’s frustrating. They’re out for anything they can get.
“Pretty much they come in everyday, on a regular basis, probably three times a day.”
This surge in shoplifting loses retailers in the UK around £3.5m per day, according to the Centre for Retail Research.
When asked to speculate on reasons for theft, Latham acknowledged the effects of the recent cost of living crisis and how some resort to stealing.
She also highlighted the possibility of regulars taking a large amount of drinks in order to sell them on.
These perpetrators seem to receive little to no punishment and are able to repeat these offences almost daily, as staff are advised not to challenge thieves and customers are bystanders.
Latham said: “There’s no deterrent, by the time the police get there they’re gone anyway.”
As a way to combat the problem, staff have removed the majority of drinks from the front and stored them in the back fridges so that customers have to ask for drinks.
However, Latham argues that this method is not helpful, as staff have to travel to the back of the shop which takes more time and annoys customers.
“It’s more hassle for us, it wastes time and it’s inconvenient,” she said.
Other stores in south east London experience similar problems, yet Latham claims that Deptford is one of the worst: “This is crazy.”
The franchise does provide preventative measures to other stores.
Greggs Peckham, for example, has a security guard, which team members say is the only way to minimise the theft.
Some shops even result in using locks on fridges because of the severity of this shoplifting issue.
Greggs has been reached for comment.