Why Reddit Is Worried About Costco's Food Court

Buying in bulk really makes you hungry, doesn't it? After you've spent a day stocking up on everything from Cheetos to dog food, you'll probably want to grab a bite to eat. And what better place to satisfy both your hunger and shopping needs than at the Costco food court? With the legendary $1.50 hot dog and soda combo — a classic so enduring that Costco's founder supposedly told the CEO that the price could never increase (via Business Insider) — you could fill both your cart and stomach while saving big. 

But some Redditors have shown concern for the quality. On the subreddit r/Costco, a user started a thread titled, "Is the Quality of the Costco Food Court Going Downhill?" Their reasoning for this stemmed from small but noticeable changes to the food court's menu items. The chicken bakes were frozen instead of fresh, the pizza used cubed cheese instead of shredded, and certain condiments like sauerkraut and onions were no longer available for hot dogs. The user even said they would prefer their membership cost more than sacrifice the quality of the food court. But are these just minor, unsubstantial changes to save costs in a time of supply chain shortages and economic inflation? Some fans are worried that the food court is beginning a slow decline.

Redditors are up in the air about the Costco food court

Many Redditors couldn't seem to give a straight answer as to if the food courts were in danger of decline. Some agreed that certain products were not as they used to be, while others claimed that the reasons for the changes were nothing to worry about. According to one user, the changes the original poster noted were done to ensure quality: The cheese on the pizza was changed to prevent clumping, the chicken bakes were too inconsistent when made in-store so they were sent to a vendor to prepare them, and the onions and sauerkraut were removed following early COVID regulations, though the user assumes they will be brought back soon.

"The chicken bakes got tiny for a while, but have since returned mostly to their original size." said one user. "I'm honestly not super inclined to complain, they are still really cheap and taste good." "Chicken bakes changed during Covid. The new frozen ones are horrible," was the complaint of another commenter. "They said that it was a lot of contact mixing the dough and all that." Clearly, the chicken bake at Costco is a beloved menu item and fans would be massively disappointed if they changed. Fortunately, churros made their return to the menu in 2021, so perhaps things aren't all bad (via Eat This, Not That).