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Every Costco Now Has These 4 Perks Again

Your next trip to the warehouse may finally feel more normal again.
FACT CHECKED BY Joseph Neese

Empty shelves and long lines at grocery stores are increasingly in the rearview mirror for shoppers as pandemic-era rules disappear. Costco, in particular, is busy making changes to its COVID-19 rules, and big announcements aren't always involved.

As a result, members may not have noticed that some popular perks are finally back. Yes, your next trip to the warehouse may finally feel more normal again—and we detailed four reasons why below. (For help with your shopping list, check out the Best Supplements To Buy at Costco, Say Experts.)

1

Samples

David Tonelson/Shutterstock

"I'm happy to report that over the coming weeks we'll begin a phased return to full sampling" by the first week of June, CFO Richard Galanti said in an earnings call on May 27.

"Most of the remaining locations" were set to get this perk back by July 4, so your local warehouse should be giving away free treats by now.

Keep in mind that certain safety measures will remain in place. Plexiglass barriers will be erected, and the samples will be prepared in smaller batches "for better safety control." They will then be distributed to customers one by one.

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2

Food court items

Costco food court
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Long a beloved food court staple, news quickly spread last fall when Costco revealed plans to test a bigger and pricier churro. In the same earnings call, Galanti said the new $1.49 churro would be available to try at every Costco food court by July 4.

There's also a new ice cream on the way, which will replace the frozen yogurt. At the moment, not much is known about this new addition. Galanti didn't specify a timeline for the rollout.

Related: 5 Healthy Costco Food Court Orders, According to Registered Dietitians

3

Food court seating

Costco food court
Shutterstock

Not only are all members able to sink their teeth into the new churros, but they can also sit and enjoy them inside the warehouse. Galanti said most locations will get food court seating back, albeit with more spacing in between tables and about half the capacity as before.

4

Self-checkout

Costco self checkout
Shutterstock

Costco took self-checkout stations out of warehouses in 2013, dropping the total to about 100. Now, they're making a comeback—and popping up at locations all across the country. Limiting the number of people who touch items was one measure that grocery stores took to protect customers and workers amid the pandemic.

While most Costco's have these perks back, they don't have these anymore:

Special Shopping Hours

Costco entrance
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Special shopping hours for those members 60 and older, those who are disabled, and those who are immunocompromised are ending on July 26. The warehouse chain officially confirmed the rumors earlier this month via an update to its Updates and Coronavirus Response page.

Social Distancing

Costco warehouse
Shutterstock

Reminders to maintain a safe distance from other shoppers won't be on display anymore—at least in Canadian warehouses. Reddit user @YYCDavid recently posted a picture of the floor at their local Costco in Canada, which noticeably lacked social distancing stickers. There's no official word yet on whether or not this change is heading south of the border.

Curbside Pickup

costco exterior
Shutterstock

An unverified letter announcing the end of Costco's curbside pickup pilot on Saturday, July 31, was posted last week by Reddit user @nubbles_7. "Member demand for curbside service has continued to decrease each month since the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic," it said.

Eat This, Not That! reached out to Costco to determine the authenticity of the letter, but the warehouse chain declined to comment. However, Galanti recently said that the test had not "set the world on fire in terms of where it's trending."

There are still multiple ways that you can get groceries from the warehouse without going inside. For example, there's same-day delivery via Instacart and free 2-day delivery on orders of $75 or more.

For more Costco news, check out:

Amanda McDonald
Amanda is a staff writer for Eat This, Not That!. Read more