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10 Secrets You Didn’t Know About Costco’s Food Court

Solution to world famine? The Costco food court is a strong candidate. Photo from


10 Secrets You Didn’t Know About Costco’s Food Court

At 759 outlets and growing, the whole world already knows that Costco is all about buying in bulk and saving big. Everyone on the know takes advantage by getting his or her Costco card. And just like Ikea, the wholesale retail chain likewise maintains an in-store or next-to-store  fast food court that offers the cheapest food preparations in order to hold their customers hostage. And where is the herd going to go after walking five miles on the shopping aisles, hungry, spent, and exhausted? Behold are the ten top secrets of a wholesale-retail giant whose innovative concept has been keeping it successful and profitable since 1976, thanks to founder Sol Price and his son, Robert.

10. Limited Edition Food Court Access for Non-Costco Members

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, there’s a way to get inside the Costco fast food court for non members. But then it’s limited edition, so read on closely. Only Costco stores with fast food courts situated on the outside are open to outsiders. And more often than not, these are the Costco outlets that are located in warmer countries. There’s no need to be a Costco member.  AKA: You don’t have to pay $60 for a one-year membership to get inside the fast food court. Just go in and enjoy. Costco is found in the United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Iceland, and Spain. Find the warm countries from this list and spin a win. Else, you may want to talk the Costco security guard into letting you in and that definitely requires a lot of convincing power.  Celebrity power might work, too. If you’re a Hollywood A-lister however, you can probably afford to pay for a Costco membership card.

9. Nobody Sells $5 Whole Cooked Chicken Anymore Except Costco

That’s right! Not even Wal-Mart, whose whole priced chickens are sold at $6 each. And the going rate for the same item at the big chain grocery stores: almost $8. So you would be crazy not to jump on a three-pounder-or-over Costco  rotisserie chicken at $4.99, which has been a deep price freeze for decades. And you guessed right! Costco is actually losing money to the tune of  $40 million per year for selling on average 157,000 big birds for the same period.  So why the great sacrifice? The answer is the customer patronage that Costco is getting from all its loyal customers. For definitely at every end of walking all those long aisles, it feels like home to bring home one fat, already cooked chicken with you. Are you a bachelor who can finish one whole fried chicken before the end of a Star Trek TV episode on your beat-up couch? Or are you a soccer mom with three or more other hungry mouths to feed? It’s all good. You can buy two Costco rotisserie chicken without hurting your bachelor or family budget.  Listen: don’t make the mistake of buying whole fried chickens from the nearest grocery store near you. This is the easiest way to max up your credit card debt!

8. Pssst: Costco Has the Healthiest Processed Food According to Dr. Oz

The great Costco, that bulk retail store that Price Club built in 1976 will never be beat, not even when it comes to your health. In one episode of the Dr. Oz Show,  the great doctor decided to train his investigative journalism guns on the Costco rotisserie chicken. And guess what, the fried big bird emerges as the winner. The verdict: It’s simply the healthiest processed food out there, despite all its imperfections. Food journalist Mark Schatzker tried to drill holes in the great Oprah doctor’s testimony–or was it the other way around? At the end of the Costco fried chicken TV segment, however,  even Mark has this to say.  The cooked chicken is still fairly healthy. In fact, Mark suggests that you eat your Costco fried chicken with the skin on. My mom and Dr. Oz would love to frown upon this practice. But the truth is, in the light of recent research, the fats found on fried chicken skin are actually mono and poly unsaturated fats. Now if my gym instructor is right, these are the healthy fats we should be keeping in our bodies. Mark and recent research’s theory is probably right. I’ve been eating fried chicken with the skin on for at least five decades now and still haven’t had a heart attack.

In fact, I hated my mom for always de-skinning all fried chickens in the kitchen, prior to consumption. Could be one of the reasons why I moved out of the old family house.  Still, the fact remains that Costco rotisserie chicken is classified as processed food. For one, it’s definitely not organic. Here’s what the $5 wonder has that makes it definitely processed, according to Mark:  MSG, yeast extract, sodium tripolyphospate, brown sugar and natural flavorings. In order to understand the concept of processed food, a comparison is in order. Butter, folks, is unprocessed food. Margarine is the processed one.  So which one is healthier to consume? I’ll leave that to you to answer. Nevertheless, if you’re a fried chicken lover, you can’t go wrong with Costco roti chicken. It’s simply the best as well as the cheapest out there. Forgive me for calling the company’s roti chicken  fried chicken many times. But can you blame, all ye who have tasted what I’m talking about. It tastes just like fried chicken to me. Think about it this way. Why would you buy a KFC 16-piece fried chicken bundle for $24.99 when you can get a Costco whole fried chicken for just $5. Are you crazy or what? Just saying. 

7. Costco Food Court Food Is Actually Delicious According to a Business Insider

Let’s admit it,  those drab, enlarged pictures with the price tag that are plastered on the walls of the average Costco food court item can easily steal your appetite. But bear in mind, the prices of all those food items are simply out of this world. And come to think of it, they haven’t changed for years! Take it from Joe Avella, a Business Insider straight out of Brooklyn. Brooklyn definitely has a lot of well-hidden fast food gems according to the late Anthony Burdain of  CNN’s Parts Unknown. But even in this day of blatant bulk buying among Costco aficionados, the saving secrets have remained secrets all these decades. Consider, for instance, that you can still manage to buy a lot of food for a measly $12.05 and that’s tax-included as of 2016.  At this price tab, you get the following: A soft drink, hot dog,  barbecue beef brisket sandwich, and a churro for dessert. This package of freshly cooked goodies are certainly so much more than the average Big Mac meal. With the sheer size of the sandwich and the hot dog, you’re getting two Big Macs. The taste of the the sandwich alone is to die for with all its juicy goodness unknown in the McDonald’s dehydrated fast food cuisine.

6. Costco’s Fast Food Court Doesn’t Have  Any Deep Fryer Around: True or False?

This being the case, expect no French fries in these parts. So if you’re a hater for fries, this news is great news for you. If not–consider yourself warned. At any rate, you must know by now that deep frying only adds more unhealthy fats to the average fast food diet. And if you don’t believe this, just consider how a company like McDonald’s got rid of deep-frying its apple pies. So with this in mind, Costco’s fast food trajectory is certainly going in the right direction. And now it’s time for some calorie counting.  A slice of Costco food court pizza has 700 calories while the company’s famed chicken bakes average 770 a piece on the calorie Richter scale. 

The slice of Costco pizza will only cost you $2, while the chicken bake is $3. So if you’re really strapped for cash and need to survive on a shoestring budget, the Costco fast food court is definitely the way to go. Nobody gives out such ridiculously low prices fast food prices anymore, not even with the McPick 2 for $5 menu. The  Costo chicken bake alone would be enough to surpass the satiety level of the McPick, so that means you’ve already saved yourself $2 right there. For a family of three or four, the full Costco 16-inch pizza will only cost you $10.  Still hungry? Well you can pull out the Costco roti chicken from the fridge. And that one only cost you a measly $5, and that’s a really big chicken. 

5. Save Even More with Costco’s $1.50 Hot Dog and Pop Drink Combo: What Say You, Mickey D’s?

As you can see, there’s still a way to beat the cash registers when you got your hunger pangs going, or the whole family for that matter. This makes Costco’s fast food court the solution to world hunger. So here’s wishing that there would be more Costco outlets opening soon. The last time I checked, there’s an even better alternative to the big time bulk retailer’s $60 membership offer. It’s called an executive membership and at $120 per member, you get 2% reward on your purchases, among other perks. If you can afford to shell out $120 per year from your meager salary, you should be good to go, survival wise.  For best results, ask your wifey or hubby to split the cost with you. After all, everybody in the house benefits from all the benefits that Costco brings. When you can bring down the cost of food, you’ll have more funds for rent, utilities or the average mortgage. And by the way, when Costco serves hot dog, it means the jumbo one–not the teeny weeny type. You can also opt for the Polish sausage with no price difference. Get as much condiments especially pickles from the designated counter to sweeten the deal. Nobody will bother you anyway, not even the security guard. 

4.  The Costco Fast Food Court Is the Only Fast Food on a Deep Price Freeze

Remember, no other fast food outlet including McDonald’s can offer you better value, these days. The Big Macs have shrunk and the same goes for the A&W buddy burgers. But by all indications, the prices for virtually all goodies at the Costco fast food court will stay the same for many more years to come.  With Virgin Galactic, Amazon’s Blue Origin, and SpaceX’s space programs reportedly going on a high-flying spree in the next few years, let’s hope and pray that Costco will think of having outlets on the moon and in Mars. Deep space is better off with the Costco flagship flying in all directions. It’s really had the backs of the average Americans for decades. As a solution to world hunger, there is hope in the Milky Way galaxy and the rest of the universe. When you are in a position to freeze fast food prices for this long,  Costco can hold the key to space exploration without starving to death. The only real challenges are how to preserve and how to further shrink the size of fast food. The last one should be easy.

3. The Costco Fast Food Kitchen Has a Robot for Mixing  Pizza Ingredients

The Costco kitchen robot, which, surprisingly, doesn’t have a name yet, is the big secret behind the splendid taste of every Costco pizza. Whether pepperoni, cheese or both, artificial intelligence or AI is already behind the precise mixture of ingredients in the making of one of the Costco food court’s most popular fast foods. The use of  robots, apparently, is a much better alternative to the French sous vide method. It avoids the use of plastic bags to heat up the food item at a precise temperature.  Instead, it takes robotic arms to sprinkle the precise combination of sauce and spices. You might not recognize it, but for sure, the AI technology ensures that every Costco pizza lives up to exacting standards.

2. Organic Secrets of the Costco Fast Food

The retail warehouse club that was the first to realize sales of $3 billion in less than six years  has a lot of organic stuff in its store shelves. But the big question looming in the minds of the organics-conscious public is whether the Costco roti chicken is organic or not. Mark Schatzker categorizes the whole cooked chickens as non-pastured organic chicken. However, this information has attracted a sea of doubting Thomases from the health-conscious fried chicken lovers out there. Nevertheless, the law says that no chickens sold in the United States are injected with hormones or antibiotics. So you be the judge. But if you ask me, considering that the retail giant isn’t harboring any price increase thoughts? Boy, we all should be taking advantage. Just consider inflation and your growing family. How can you afford to feed your loved ones and their frenzy for good old fried chicken unless you rely on a firm that can manage to keep food prices down for many more years to come?

Some might say that with the money that Costco is earning from its over 90 million loyal members, keeping fast food prices down is just a drop in the bucket. Still, any retailer that knows how to keep food prices low deserves a pat in the back–if not our undying loyalty. Just think about it. Rather than scrounging dollar stores for the cheapest canned goods such as chicken flakes, cooked ham, and ready-to-eat bacon, you’re much better off health wise going to Costco. At least, you can get the freshly cooked food items that can satisfy your hunger after shopping till you drop. Undercover animal welfare activists are always watching around for any foul play in Costco’s chicken farm in Nebraska. In contrast, you can’t know for sure how canned fast food made in China is being made, processed, and cooked.  So which side are you on?

1. That Classic Ikea and Costco Food Court Wars: Who’s Winning?

Healthwise, there’s no question that the Ikea food court sports healthier fast food menus. Some people even argue that the less greasy looking items over at Ikea are actually more packed with nutrients. For $10, you can get a very satisfying meal at the beloved Swedish furniture and home appliance retailer.  And according to my friend who owns a Costco card, ten bucks is enough to satiate the gigantic hunger of a couple. If you prefer meatballs over fried chicken, Ikea wins. Else, there’s a reason why Costco is willing to loose millions to satisfy its teeming masses of hungry shop-till-you-drop loyalists. Still, a $1.50 hot dog and soda drink is too hard to pass up when you’re, say, a struggling student trying to control your student loans. And a Costco chicken bake filled with choice chicken breast cuts, cheese, and Caesar salad for the measly price of three bucks? Who can resist that? Just saying. It’s the simplest solution to world food hunger.  And now that Costco has a total of  759 outlets  worldwide, the company’s role in the food chain just will never be denied.  The solution to famine is easier than you think. Trust me, if you can afford a Costco card, you can be well-fed for life. So guess what? The real winners are you and me.

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