A current Costco food court employee recently shared some insights about the members-only warehouse club with a cult-like following. In an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit, the employee spilled details about the food court's most popular menu item, the excessive use of pizza oil, and how to get the freshest churro. (Hint: all you have to do is ask!) Ahead, read all of the employee's most interesting tidbits and learnings.
No surprises here: the hot dogs are really popular.
There's a reason the berry smoothie was replaced.
When the berry smoothie was recently replaced by a different fruit smoothie, customers had questions. According to the employee, the fruit smoothie replaced the berry smoothie after it performed well in various locations. "Corporate thought the benefits outweighed the negatives in this situation. The new smoothie has a lot of better benefits in it — less sugar, less calories, nothing but real fruit and fruit juice, and four servings of fruit in each smoothie," the employee explained. That being said, the berry smoothie was preferred by many customers and employees.
The chocolate-dipped ice cream bar might never come back.
Surprisingly, the employee said Costco frequently receives questions about the discontinued chocolate-dipped ice cream bar with almonds. Unfortunately, it might never come back. The employee said, "I think it might have been too expensive for the amount we give. That's what happened with gelato anyway."
Management does not want employees to skimp on pizza oil.
Though this employee personally enjoys the food court's many menu items, what he or she does find concerning is the amount of oil used in making the pizza. How much oil? "Too much," the employee said. Additionally, upper management monitors employees to make sure they are following the oil requirements. "When you don't use the corporate requested amount because you think it's too much and corporate notices? You use more oil to avoid being in trouble. Some managers overcompensate and use a quarter cup of oil+ when making them."
The chicken bake recipe is delicious but pretty damn simple.
The secret to the coveted chicken bake is really just a lot of pizza dough. In addition to flattening out a good amount of pizza dough, employees must then mix together chicken breast strips, mozzarella cheese, bacon, and caesar dressing. Lastly, the savory ingredients are rolled up into the pizza dough.
You can order the chicken bake without bacon — but there's a catch.
If you'd like to order a Costco chicken bake without bacon, you might need to plan ahead. Employees begin making the chicken bake earlier in the day when they're less busy. Therefore, you'd have to catch them early. The employee explained, "Sometimes the employees are running little bit late and they'll make them during the day, but you'd have to catch them before they mix the cheese and bacon. Which is hard to do," adding, "You could always call ahead a day and ask. I'm sure they'd oblige."
Employees don't get a discount.
Sadly, employees are not treated to a discount at the Costco food court. They do, however, receive a free executive membership, priced at $120 per year. We'd say that's a pretty great perk.
When in doubt, ask for a new churro.
Though the churros are supposed to always be hot and freshly made, customers can ask for a new churro if they want to make sure they're getting the best quality. The employee said, "I learn to check when we're running low on churros and wait for a new pan to come out," adding, "I recommend checking on them right before you shop and seeing the changes when you come back. My favorite is when they run out of churros and you wait for five minutes or so, then when they pull them off the pan, it is a hundred percent brand new."
The cheese pizza is made with love . . . and these two cheeses.
When asked what makes the cheese pizza taste so good, the employee said, "It's made with love." Another Reddit user who claims to be a former employee also shared some additional details: "I don't know what's in the sauce, it came to us prepared, as did the cheese mix . . . I know it was like 85 percent mozzarella and 15 percent provolone when I worked there."