Everyone knows that a trip to Costco is as much about the experience as the shopping. One of the best parts has always been the assortment of delicious free samples to snack on as you shop. In the best news we've heard all week, Costco is "beginning a phased return to full sampling" early next month!
About 170 locations in the U.S. will bring back the full samples in the first week of June, while the majority of remaining stores will have them by the end of June. Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti says that they will implement "increased safety protocols" to keep customers safe, such as keeping the samples behind plexiglass, making smaller batches, and giving samples out one at a time.
Another exciting development will the return of the food courts. Indoor seating will return with "more physical separation," meaning that tables will seat fewer people to allow for social distancing. Some stores will also have outdoor food courts.
Along with this, Costco is adding churros to the menu and replacing frozen yogurt with ice cream. Get ready to eat samples to your heart's content, just like old times!
Update: May 28
Grocery shopping is slowly getting back to "normal" which means Costco is planning on bringing back its popular free samples soon! According to CFO Richard Galanti during a quarterly earnings call, Costco's free samples will start resuming in Costco stores on a slow rollout basis throughout the month. There's nothing better than free food samples while you shop!
According to Business Insider, Costco Chief Financial Officer Galanti shared that Costco members should look forward to seeing Costco's free samples resume after shutting down briefly for the coronavirus pandemic. Most employees who give out the Costco samples are not Costco employees but rather work for the independent company, Club Demonstration Services. As for other changes during Covid-19, Costco requires masks and at the beginning offered a limited menu at Costco food courts to help with social distancing measures. Menu items are slowly coming back as well in the next few months.
"We're going to start doing some things in mid-June on a slow rollout basis in sampling," he told analysts. "I can't tell you any more, but it's -- needless to say -- not going to be where you go and just pick up an open sample with your fingers."
The warehouse club didn't specify the new sample protocols but we should be learning about them soon enough. It's safe to say the free snacks will not be served on plates where customers can grab for themselves. Instead, employees will be giving out the samples to help lessen the spread of coronavirus.
Costco cut ties with CDS back in April about a month after seizing sample services in stores. San Diego based Club Demonstration Services laid off thousands of employees. There's no answer on whether the third-party service will be returning or if Costco is planning on using its own employees to give out the free samples.