Costco Is Enforcing a Strict Membership Rule — And People Are Not Happy

published Mar 6, 2024
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Costco, one of our favorite bulk grocers, has a loyal following of patrons due to the retailer’s stellar selection of groceries, home products, and furniture. Not to mention, with membership prices as low as Costco’s, it isn’t too challenging for the monthly fee to become worth it. However, in addition to all the grocery finds, the Costco food court is a part of the warehouse experience that members swear by.

As many people may already know, back in 2020 the brand implemented a rule in which only members were allowed to enter the food court (when before, anyone could come in to grab a slice of pizza or a hot dog). While this guideline has been in place for a while, it seems as if some warehouses were fairly lenient when it came to the regulation, so it’s no surprise that when a Reddit user shared an image of a sign posted at their local store in Orlando, Florida, members were confused.

“Effective April 8, 2024, an active Costco membership card will be required to purchase items from our food court.” The food court has been intended for members only, at least for the past few years, but it seems as if some Costco locations are beginning to crack down.

Many Reddit users shared their own experiences at their warehouses, with some saying their local Costco has already been strict with this rule, while others say they have never had to show their membership card for the food court.

“I thought all Costco’s [sic] did this? My partner and I always joke that the cashiers will give you the meanest look in the five seconds before you scan your card and then they’re all smiles when you order,” wrote one person.

“Don’t need to be a member for the food courts in Nebraska. I asked about this once a couple of years ago. I was told that in every individual store, it’s up to the general manager of that store. If [they] want it to be a membership only it is, if [they] don’t, then it isn’t,” commented another user.

So, the jury is still out on which Costcos are enforcing the rule and which are not, but as a general rule, you may want to have your card ready the next time you’re at the food court — just in case.