Costco free samples are coming back

Business

NOVATO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 12: A view of a Costco store on December 12, 2019 in Novato, California. Costco will report first quarter earnings today after the market close and is expected to beat analyst expectations. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Free samples are coming back to Costco.

Over the past year during the pandemic, the retailer was great for bulk-buying toilet paper and non-perishable foods for lockdown – but it was missing one of its best assets: The free samples.

If you missed popping into various aisles to greet a Costco employee with a stainless steel cart full of little treats, Costco’s executive vice president has some good news.

Samples will come back to stores starting in June, Richard Galanti said this week during an earnings call. It’s going to be a phased return, beginning with 170 U.S. locations.

“The first wave will actually determine how fast we roll out and what and when restrictions are lifted. I’m sure there will be a few states with unique restrictions as well,” Galanti said.

However, some safety changes could have you waiting a while for the bite-size piece of apple pie or a tablespoon of hummus and a chip.

The Costco exec said there will be a plexiglass barrier where the samples are prepared, and they’ll also be made in smaller batches. Employees will distribute samples one at a time, rather than members being able to swoop one up between other members reaching for samples.

Galanti expects most locations to have free samples again towards the end of June.

If the samples didn’t satiate your hunger, you’ll also be able to head to the Costco food court this summer.

Most locations should have seating and tables again within the next two weeks, Galanti said. But it’s going to be limited with about half the seating capacity and tables that seat fewer people.

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