The New Costco Food Court Ordering System That Shoppers Find Irritating

costco food court
costco food court - Andy.LIU/Shutterstock

Businesses are always experimenting with new ways to improve on their business model and Costco is no different. But the new approach to the Costco food court system doesn't look too promising if online chatter is anything to go by. Don't worry, nothing is changing about your favorite Costco food court items. The new approach has to do with how customers order the food and in what order they get served.

The new system has customers ordering from digital kiosks and then waiting in a single file line while their orders were completed one by one. This isn't all that different from how most Costco food courts operate, but if you're a regular you might notice that the number system is missing. Typically, the employees behind the counter will finish an order and call out the number associated with it while patient patrons wait. Likely as an attempt to keep the employees from working on food out of order, this system of putting people in a single file line makes it so food is delivered in the exact same order as it was ordered.

That doesn't sound like all that big of a deal, but some customers were unhappy because that meant small orders of one or two items were required to wait for large orders ahead of them to be completed before employees would start working on theirs.

Read more: 14 Popular Chain Grocery Stores For Meat, Ranked Worst To Best

An Order System With Preferences

costco food court
costco food court - ZikG/Shutterstock

There are plenty of Costco food court hacks people use to make the most of their experience, but if this system were put into place nationwide there wouldn't be much you could do to mitigate it. It's clear that the new system gives preference to customers making larger orders since food court employees are no longer pausing to quickly complete the small orders in between. In the number order system, food court employees will apparently keep the momentum going by making the orders with a single slice of pizza, for example, before the 15 or 20 item order is complete.

There's pros and cons to each and you're likely to get different responses depending on who you ask. The chatter online about the new system was from customers who ordered one or two items who didn't appreciate having to wait so long. But the person who submitted the larger order was probably happy with how quickly their food came out, and therefore didn't feel the need to go online to complain about it.

At face value, it seems like either system is perfectly fine since one way or the other you're giving preference to either small or large orders. If we ran Costco, we'd look at how often customers are making smaller versus larger orders and we'd pick the one that benefitted whichever was more popular. All we know is that we can't leave Costco without stopping for the chicken bake.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.