Costco Is Bringing Back Free Samples This Summer

The wholesale club announced they would bring back sampling as well as food court seating at half capacity during a recent call with investors

Costco samples
Photo: Tim Boyle/Getty

This is not a drill! Costco's free samples are coming back.

According to USA Today, Costco's chief financial officer and executive vice president Richard Galanti announced during a call to investors that free sampling would be returning next month.

While they have plans to bring back free sampling at all of their stores, the process will happen in phases, with 170 stores carrying free samples during the first week of June while the rest of the 550 estimated locations will be complete by the end of the month.

"Increased safety protocols are and will be in place, including all samples prepared behind plexiglass, prepared in smaller batches for better safety control and distribute it to members one at a time," Galanti reportedly said during the call.

Costco store
Justin Sullivan/Getty

Costco first suspended its sampling program in March 2020, following suit with many other companies taking precautions due to COVID-19.

Prior to the decision to suspend the sampling process, the superstore's legendary free sample program was known for its "annoyingly strict hygiene policies," according to a Reddit user who claimed to be a sample worker. They said, "All the equipment is sanitized before we use it, we change our gloves every five minutes, and any time a member touches something they [aren't] supposed to, we throw it away or change it for something clean."

According to USA Today, in June 2020, the wholesale club brought back free samples in some stores, but they were "limited to prepackaged items kept behind plexiglass shields."

During the earnings call, Galanti also announced that Costco would be bringing back food court seating at half capacity in June. Tables will be spaced for social distancing and each table will allow a maximum of four people.

Costco first reopened their food courts in May 2020 with a limited menu, and only provided take-out options.

Masks are no longer required for fully vaccinated shoppers at Costco, as announced earlier this month following updated CDC guidelines that fully vaccinated individuals did not have to wear masks indoors. Many grocery stores and clubs are also adopting a no-mask-required policy following the CDC's recommendations, including Trader Joe's, Harris Teeter and Target.

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