U.S. Costco stores to enforce members-only rule at food courts
TORONTO -- If you’re the type of person who only visits Costco to enjoy the infamous food-court deals, you’ll soon need a membership to get your cheap hotdog fix.
Costco stores in the U.S. are set to enforce a members-only ban at its food courts starting in March, a rule that millions have seemingly ignored for years.
A Costco spokesperson told CNN that buying items from the food court has always required a membership, but not all stores have enforced the policy.
CTVNews.ca contacted several Costco stores in the Greater Toronto Area regarding the membership requirements for accessing the food court. Each store noted that while a membership is technically required to enter the store, non-members are able to access the food court without issue.
Store representatives noted they had not heard of any non-members ban coming to Canadian locations.
CTVNews.ca has contacted Costco’s corporate division for comment regarding the non-members ban in Canada.They did not respond by publication time.
But outrage over the company’s decision to bar non-members from its U.S. food courts has sparked heated debate on social media.
While some members argue that it's unfair non-members have taken advantage of a membership perk by using the food court, non-members argue everyone should be welcome.
"I have ALWAYS said why do non-members get to wiggle their way through the exit to go get cheap food? As paying members we’re the reason the price of the food court is low," wrote one Instagram user.
"Do not agree with this. Not everyone can afford the membership fee, but knowing there is a meal available for $1.50 can be a 'lifesaver' for someone," commented another.
Instagram account “Costco Deals,” which has over 601,000 followers, recently shared a picture of a sign announcing the new policy at a U.S. location. The sign reads, “Effective March 16, 2020, an active Costco membership card will be required to purchase items from the food court.”
Several purported Costco employees have commented on the thread confirming the new policy and many have commented noting the membership rule has always been enforced at their local stores. Users in Mexico also reported seeing a similar announcement in their local stores.