Why The Compliments You Get At Trader Joe's Might Not Be Sincere

It's no secret that many Trader Joe's food items have a cult following, as does the store itself, and many people choose to shop there exclusively. The grocery chain is known for its wildly popular snacks, crave-able frozen food, and to some, the bubbly, kind staff. It's common knowledge that Trader Joe's employees are super nice, complimentary, and attentive. The Scottish Sun confirms this, reporting that Trader Joe's is known for its friendly staff. But according to Gothamist, some find Trader Joe's employees a bit too warm.

On the Trader Joe's podcast, the company's president, Bryan Palbaum, remarked that perhaps the root of the reputation of an extremely friendly staff comes from Trader Joe's hiring practices (via The Kitchn). Palbaum says the company looks for people who are "outwardly nice" since it can be challenging to train someone to be more friendly if that's not their natural demeanor. This welcoming atmosphere could lead to some insincere compliments, though, if employees feel the pressure to make small talk or, in some cases, decide to flirt.

Some Trader Joe's employees will flirt just for fun

One TikTok user posted a video that has gone viral — with over 228,000 likes so far — of himself chatting with a friend who is off-camera. The user confirms that his friend works at Trader Joe's and asks if he flirts with the customers. The alleged employee says yes, he does flirt with the customers "if they're hot." He then goes on to explain that his go-to line is to tell customers that whatever they're buying is his favorite. 

The original poster asks, "but what if it's not your favorite?" The friend quickly retorts, "they don't know that." He then gives an example saying that one time a girl came through his line with cauliflower gnocchi, and he told her it was his favorite, even though he is allergic.

Glamour addresses the rumor that Trader Joe's employees are actually trained to flirt by asking several current and former Trader Joe's employees. The resounding answer is no. While no part of the official training encourages them to do so, that doesn't stop some employees, like the one featured in this TikTok, from flirting with customers.