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Costco Etiquette: Where Should You Leave Your Cart At The Food Court?

Cart at Costco food court
Cart at Costco food court - Bloomberg/Getty Images

One of the joys of shopping at Costco is treating yourself to a snack after your shopping trip. The food court sells slices of pizza, an iconic hot dog combo, and the latest addition: a giant cookie. While you could take your items to go, plenty of shoppers choose to sit or stand at the tables to enjoy their meal.

But where should you park a cart full of groceries while enjoying your meal? One Reddit user started a discussion online after witnessing an argument between two separate parties over where to park shopping carts. The user reported that one group of people sat down to eat after shopping, leaving their Costco shopping cart in between tables. Another group wanted to sit down, but complained that one of the walkways was blocked by the cart. The first group defended the placement, stating that they wanted their items close by, and that the second group should walk around. The Reddit poster was left wondering about food court etiquette at Costco.

The general consensus from commenters on the Reddit thread was that Costco carts should be parked away from, or right beside the table, so that it doesn't block a walkway. Some noted that since the food court is often crowded, it's most polite to leave space for people to walk. A Costco employee even got in on the discussion: "In the Japanese and Chinese warehouses, they don't allow carts in the food courts. Honestly, I feel like this is a good policy. At my location, the food court is small, and it becomes almost impossible to navigate, when people bring their carts in."

Read more: All The Benefits Of A Costco Membership

Try Visiting The Food Court Before Shopping

Costco pizza and chicken bakes
Costco pizza and chicken bakes - Fang Zheng/Getty Images

Some Costco locations may offer a separate side area to leave carts, as noted by some commenters on the Reddit thread. Some shoppers stated that they choose to leave their items elsewhere within view while dining. Although they won't be right next to the cart, they will still be able to see their items. Then, once they're done eating, they can simply grab the cart and go. Unfortunately, a separate area for parking carts isn't offered at every location.

A few commenters on the Reddit post suggested that Costco shoppers should plan out their shopping trips so that they don't have to worry about parking a shopping cart full of groceries in the first place. They suggested that the ideal strategy may be to get gas in your vehicle first, head straight for a slice of that delicious food court pizza once you're inside, and then walk around and shop after you've eaten.

Another commenter chimed in that this method could actually help save money while shopping. Some people believe that if you grocery shop while hungry, you may be more likely to splurge on snacks and treats that you're craving. Grabbing a bite to eat before you begin shopping could help cut out this risk — and prevent your cart from blocking any walkways.

Shoppers Prefer To Keep Their Groceries Close

Customers at Costco food court
Customers at Costco food court - Bloomberg/Getty Images

Some Costco locations have begun removing the standard tables with seating altogether and replacing them with standing tables. Although this would eliminate the issue of where to park the cart, some shoppers are unhappy about the idea of not having a spot to sit down after grocery shopping.

Although it may be inconvenient for others, some were defensive over their method of keeping the cart close. "If it's busy and I have to pick an inside table I'll still bring the cart [because] it's my stuff and it's my responsibility to make sure nothing happens to it," wrote one user.

Other users shared that they don't eat in the food court at all to avoid this issue. After shopping, if they order any of Costco's food court items, they opt to take everything out to the parking lot. After the groceries have been loaded in the car, the Costco members will simply eat in their car before driving home. This strategy allows them to keep their groceries close while not being in the way of anyone else.

Wanting to protect your purchased items is certainly understandable. But if you do have the opportunity to sit at a table, it may be considered the most polite to keep your cart out of the narrow walkways.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.