The Biggest Mistakes People Make in Line at the Costco Food Court

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The Costco food court is a magical place with giant hot dogs and churros as long as your arm. It’s even a great place to take a first date. But it can be a little chaotic when it’s crowded, and nobody seems to be able to figure out the best way to form a line.

Over at the Costco forum on Reddit (yes, that exists), several employees and members have been bemoaning the state of their food court lines and trying to figure out how to get people to queue up properly. From their stories, it sounds like a lot of people are failing to observe proper line-standing etiquette.

A Reddit user going by fixxall started the discussion by describing a Costco food court with three registers. Customers were expected to form one, two, or three lines, depending on how many registers were open. That sounds logical, but as registers open and close it becomes necessary for lines to split or merge, and then the whole system devolves into chaos.

There’s also the option of a single long, winding, “snake style” line, where there’s just one line and whoever is at the front goes to the next available register. That’s a common sort of line in banks and airports, but the original poster said when they tried it at the Costco food court, a significant percentage of customers would refuse to follow the rules of the queue, and then there’d be arguments.

(Image credit: Philip Arno Photography)

Nobody seemed to have a good solution to the original poster’s problem, unfortunately. But several people joined in with their own stories. According to those customers and employees, these are the biggest mistakes people are making in the Costco food court line.

1. Not picking a line and sticking to it

One person standing in between two lines to hedge their bet about which one will be faster ends up slowing down and clogging up the whole system. Similarly, if there is one long line, nobody likes it when one person tries to skip ahead by starting a second line.

2. Knocking over the guide ropes

“We have also tried putting ropes in place to help enforce the ‘snake queue,'” the original poster wrote. “Members broke the ropes. Twice.”

3. Walking over the taped lines on the floor

Several Costco locations tape lines on the floor to show people where to line up, but multiple people reported seeing customers overlook or ignore the lines, and then the whole thing falls apart.

“I do know locations with the separate taped lines on the floor where members simply refuse to create two lines even when told to do so. Queuing the Costco Way (going to the shorter separate line) can save one 10 minutes at times,” wrote one.

4. Not listening for the next available register

“NEXT MEMBER PLEASE. NEXT! MEMBER! PLEASE! NEXT MEMBER,” one wrote. “If people would listen things would go smoothly.”

“I just get louder and louder until someone can’t stand there embarrassed any longer,” another replied.

5. Blocking traffic

“People like to form a line parallel to the food court registers to the front end blocking traffic from members exiting the front end area. I have no idea how to get people to line up properly,” said another.

6. Bringing carts into the food court line

“Please stop running your carts into the food court area and clogging everything up. You don’t need to bring your cart all the way to the soda machine, I promise,” one disgruntled person complained.

What line-standing mistakes drive you batty? Let us know in the comments.