Costco Fans Are Conflicted On Its Reopened Food Court

Remember how we longed for "normal" 15 months ago? What we wouldn't have given to enjoy one of life's little pleasures, like sitting ourselves down in the Costco food court for a $1.50 hot dog combo or a slice of pizza — with no worries about catching a horrible virus.

Like most non-essential foodservice, Costco closed its food courts at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. According to Today, they began to reopen in May of 2020, but with a limited takeout only menu including hotdogs, pizza, soda, and smoothies, per Yahoo! Finance, and no inside seating. In September of last year, they made one more slight development, bringing back the popular, Hot Pocket-esque chicken bakes.

Now, with errands like grocery shopping returning to normal thanks to greater vaccine rollouts, Costco is slowly beefing up its food court offerings and allowing limited seating. In late May 2021, Yahoo! Finance reports that Costco CFO Richard Galanti shared with business analysts, "Our food courts are also coming back over the next few weeks in a bigger way ... We began several weeks ago adding back tables and seating — at a handful of outdoor food courts in a few states."

Customers miss some favorites and bemoan long lines

While most Costco fans are enjoying their post-shopping churros and the post-pandemic life they symbolize, others have some complaints, including the long lines to get food now.

While Redditor Bussebailey recently celebrated the return of the food court with a photo of a classic slice of pizza, a strawberry sundae, and a churro, some commenters immediately got into the spirit. "Worse (sic) mistake of my life was reading the calorie count on Costco pizza. I miss it." Another cheekily chimed in: "I miss the churros. Hearty meal."

And yet others lamented the limited selection and the elimination of a favorite menu item: "I just can't pizza at Costco until they bring the combo back," they wrote. "Charge an extra dollar. Charge an extra two dollars. I don't care, I just want it back!" Others noticed price hikes: "Churros went up $.50." While another Redditor expressed missing the hand-dipped ice cream: "If they brought back the chocolate-dipped ice cream bar, it would be perfection."

At least one commenter acknowledged the simple joy of the return of the Costco food court. "Eating in my car kind of sucks, but now the tables are back out again and that makes me happy," they wrote. Us, too. And another gave a reminder of basic public noshing etiquette in case we forgot during the pandemic: "Just make sure to THROW AWAY YOUR TRASH PLEASE. Like civilized people. Food court tables are a privilege."