Costco to crack down on non-members eating at food courts

Costco will get stricter about who can use its food courts.

The retailer will enforce a requirement that food court patrons have a Costco membership card starting in a couple of weeks, according to reports.

The food courts are home to Costco’s $1.50 hot dog-soda combo, chicken bake and pizza, all of which are extremely popular among customers.

A user uploaded a photo to r/Costco subreddit in early March that they claimed depicted signage at an Orlando, Florida, area location saying the membership card requirement for food court purchases would become "effective April 8, 2024."

FOX Business reached out to Costco for comment on the matter.

Richard Galanti, who retired from serving as Costco’s longtime CFO in mid-March, recently told Axios the move would affect locations featuring exterior food courts.

"One of the challenges is that some of the food courts have gotten so busy, particularly if it’s near some office buildings or construction sites. We were getting member complaints," Galanti told the outlet about the crackdown.

An aerial photo is showing the Costco Wholesale store in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, on March 6, 2024.

The retailer makes customers show their membership card to get into its warehouses, something that already curbs non-member usage of inside food courts.

Its website says generally "only Costco members may purchase items" at Costco. Globally, around 132 million people had membership cards as of the end of the second quarter.

Other recent membership-related crackdowns include Costco starting to ask shoppers to present their membership cards while using self-checkout and testing the use of membership card scanners at entrances, as previously reported by FOX Business.

For the former, Galanti said on a recent earnings call it was "more fair and the right thing to do" for Costco members.


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The retailer’s food courts, gas stations and other ancillary businesses encourage members to visit its 875 warehouses more often, the company has said.

Its ancillary businesses "were up in the low-single-digits" in the second quarter, Galanti told analysts and investors on Costco’s latest earnings call. He identified the "top performers" in that category" as its food court, pharmacy and optical services.