Costco is cracking down on its food court

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Screw those free loaders.

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I saw that in action a few weeks ago while I was waiting for my pie. Not me, I’m a card carrying member, but a dude trying to order a hot dog

The problem is (a) having outside food courts; and (b) there’s still crowding with inside service.

Why is this different than requiring a Costco card to buy gasolene?


Our local Costco is inundated by the high school lunch crowd M-F. The students come in the exit door en masse (food court is indoors, next to the tire center), buy their pizzas, dogs and sandwiches, pay with cash, eat their food quickly and leave. The school is less than 1/5th of a mile away. I make a practice of avoiding Costco between 11:30am and 1:00pm on weekdays.


Then your location’s simply been tolerating this. At mine, card-flashing members get the 3rd degree going In the Out door for anything.

Also at mine, there is no cash accepted–ordering and paying is all automated. It would be very simple to program these food terminals to require the membership card along with the payment card, just as the gas terminals do.

Of course, one student with the card could order 50 hotdogs and 10 pizxas and feed everyone.


As an aside, Costco will let you order (theoretically) an unlimited amount of hot dogs from the food court.

So, in theory, if they started to “card check” non-members, an enterprising Costco member could theoretically buy a boatload of hot dogs (I once bought 500 hot dogs at once for a fundraiser) and then setup shop right next to the food court and maybe sell them for $2, which would still be a screaming bargain.

And for those Costcos that have food courts located outside the warehouse (i.e., outside of those card checkers) those non-members paying those $2 for pirated hot dogs would still have use and access to the condiment and (refillable) soda station.

Win. Win. Win!

We had a similar thing here at the Northern border, where a guy would buy up truckloads of Trader Joe’s product to resell in Vancouver. It did not end well for the reseller.

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It may be a function of the layout. The Costcos near us are set up so you go in the exit door if you have a return.

Yeah, mine is that layout, too. Recently the door checkout people have been telling EVERYONE to go in the entrance door (requiring showing the card). It’s not working, because Membership and Tires are right inside the exit.

My local Costco has the same layout. I don’t see a lot of people going in the exit, fortunately.

That’s different.

The Trader Joe’s issue was a trademark and import/export issue.

It’s the same in the sense that the reseller had the right to buy what he bought.

No, it isn’t.

Yes, it is.

IIRC, the trademark dimension only entered into it because the reseller chose and used a business name deceptively similar to TJ’s.

Same things would ultimately happen to resellers who resold Costco hotdogs as Closeco. They’d be 86’d and sued.

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I’m not a card carrying member(used to be), but my sisters are, so I just tag along for the dogs and bargains. So far so good.


By the way, apparently Costco cannot limit access to its pharmacy to members, so non-members need to be let in for that.

I did not know that.

Same is true for alcohol in CA and NY.


“I’m just here for the booze and drugs.”