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