Shoppers go to Costco for the low prices, the selection — and the food samples.
The box-box chain’s popular perk has been gone for the past year, due to COVID-19 precautions, but now it’s about to make a comeback.
The retailer announced it is “beginning a phased return to full sampling” in June, Costco chief financial officer Richard Galanti said Thursday on an earnings call.
“As you all know, we eliminated our popular food sampling and demo activities in our warehouses last March at the onset of the pandemic,” Galanti said on the call, reports The Kansas City Star. “I’m happy to report that over the next couple of weeks we will be beginning a phased return to full sampling.”
Food samples will return early in June at about 170 Costco locations, before spreading to the rest of the company’s 560 U.S. outlets by the end of the month.
Costco members won’t have to worry about a free-for-all. Relatively stringent safety precautions will be in place, “including the samples being prepared behind plexiglass, made in smaller batches and distributed to customers one at a time,” CNN reports.
Costco’s food court, called “beloved … upscale microwave food” by entertainment and culture news website Thrillist in 2018, also will be back more or less to pre-pandemic normal, with indoor seating returning — to about half capacity, for now. The food court, the company announced, will include “new and improved churros.”