The Costco food court is a spectacular place to get hot dogs and pizza. Some people even like the Costco food court as a place to take a date. The Costco food court would probably be perfect, if only it weren't for those darn lines. For some reason, a lot of people appear to have trouble standing in line at the Costco food court without getting out of order and slowing things down for everybody else. But now Costco food court lines may be on the verge of extinction, because Costco is reportedly testing self-service ordering kiosks at multiple food court locations.
OC Food Fiend first spotted the kiosks at a Costco in Tustin, California, and Foodbeast located a few more at stores in Los Angeles; Tucson, Arizona; and Covington, Washington. Both report that the kiosks are user-friendly and much faster than waiting in line to place an order with a person.
It sounds like Costco's new food court system works a lot like the self check-in kiosks at airports. Right by the food court there's a stand with multiple ordering terminals. If you want to place an order, you just use the touch-screen monitor to order anything on the menu. You can even use the kiosk to alter your order and make special requests. Then you just pay with a card and get a receipt with your order number on it. (People who want to pay with cash will have to go to the regular ordering windows, because the kiosks reportedly do not accept cash.)
When the order is ready, it is delivered at a special window for picking up kiosk orders.
A few people on the Costco Reddit say they've seen these kiosks in person, and several report that the self-ordering terminals have cut down lines significantly, and that transaction times are much faster than ordering in person.
"Soooo much faster. Yesterday I walked right up to one, used it to buy a berry sundae, and had it in my toddler's hands all within two minutes," a Reddit user going by somanyunicorns wrote.
The actual process of getting food and filling orders is very quick. It's the time of taking orders and processing payments that is a big source of delays at the food court. So it sounds like Costco's new food court terminals could go a long way to shortening lines and getting food into people's hands faster, which is always a welcome development. If the test goes well, we might be seeing these in more Costco food courts soon.
What do you think of self-ordering kiosks?