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Costco dishes have a cult feel. Now they are making a comeback



Costco closed seats in food as the pandemic spread through the United States in March last year. It paired back the menu for hot dogs and pizza only for takeout.

Signs of life began to appear in the summer when the chicken bag returned. Now returns to the normal to. Costco (COST) recently began adding ice cream and smoothies to the menu, bringing tables and chairs back to stores that have outdoor seating. The company is also bringing churros back to the menu and plans to resume indoor seating as more states loosen Covid-19 safety restrictions.

Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti expects full return to the food courts: “God willing. But it will take some time,”

; he said in an interview Wednesday.

The company does not break sales on the dishes, but they are one of the benefits that help persuade shoppers to hand out $ 60 or $ 120 to a Costco membership each year.

The food courts have had a cult-like run over the years and have become entrenched in pop culture. They are referred to in TV shows like “Curve” and “Modern Family”. Bloggers track the menu carefully, rank their top picks, and notice any changes.

“The dishes work. They are one of the things we are known for,” Galanti said. “We’re happy they’re coming back.”

‘Known for the hot dog’

Food courts, anchored in the $ 1.50 hot dog soda combo, are no gimmick at Costco.

The company sold 151 million hot dogs last year and has not raised the price for more than three decades.

“I know it sounds crazy to make a big deal about a hot dog, but we spend a lot of time on it,” Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal told The Seattle Times in 2009. “We are known for that hot dog. It’s something you do not mess with. “
Costco Connection is America's fourth largest magazine

Costco places the dishes in stores near the entrances. In warmer areas like Arizona or Southern California, they are outside, close to the front.

“We want to catch you either on the way in or out of your Costco shopping experience. You leave the dish satisfied,” Galanti told CNN Business in a 2018 interview.

Stopping at the food court makes shoppers hang around. This extra time increases the chance that they will make an unplanned purchase when they are done with their food.

And for Costco members who do not want to spend money on food, there is hope: Costco is also slowly bringing back food samples – another benefit for members – to stores. It adds plexiglass stations in some stores, where workers hand out ready-made items like sandwiches, chips, cakes and biscuits to customers one at a time.

Next, Costco will bring cooked items back for samples like breakfast sandwiches, noodle dishes and meatballs, Galanti said.


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