Costco Confirms Date For New Membership Crackdown: Shoppers Losing Hotdog Perk For Good in Weeks

Costco is gearing up to enforce a new policy on its memberships, which will impact a well-loved feature of the store. The company, known for exclusive deals for its members, is taking steps to prevent non-members from accessing these perks. This crackdown means non-members will soon be unable to purchase the famous $1.50 hotdog, a staple since 1984.

The enforcement of this policy is set to start in the coming weeks, although it's not entirely new. Costco's food courts have historically been for members only, but not all stores have been diligent in enforcing this rule. This has been particularly true for locations with outdoor walk-up windows.

The first hint of this policy enforcement came through a Reddit post, showing a sign at a Costco in Orlando, Florida. The sign announced, "Effective April 8, 2024, an active Costco membership card will be required to purchase items from our food court."

Following this, representatives from various Costco stores confirmed the change, indicating that new signage would be put up to inform customers. It has been specified that all 18 Costco locations with outdoor food courts will require customers to show their membership before making a purchase.

There's still some uncertainty about whether non-members holding Shop Cards—a type of Costco gift card—will be allowed to buy from the food courts. This detail remains to be clarified by the company.

Customer reactions to this news have been mixed. Some are relieved, hoping it will reduce crowding at the food courts. "Good. I'm tired of the food court being so damned packed you can't eat there because every single table is full," one person commented online. Others see it as a positive step, arguing that the food courts are a service for members, not a profit center, and non-member usage doesn't support keeping prices low.

Amidst these changes, Costco's leadership is also undergoing a transformation. Ron Vachris recently took over as CEO, succeeding Craig Jelinek, who had been at the helm for 11 years and served as a mentor to Vachris. Jelinek will continue to support Vachris until April, after which he will stay on as a member of the Board of Directors.

Additionally, Costco's CFO, Richard Galanti, retired last week after forty years with the company, marking a significant shift in the retailer's upper echelons.

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