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Costco Is Planning to Reopen Its Food Courts

By Tim Nelson | FoodAndWine.Com

Troy Warren #foodie-all

And they’re bringing back samples, too. 

While Costco stores across the country have continued operations over the past year, diehard fans know that things just haven’t been the same. Sure, you could still score deals on all sorts of oversized food products, but there’s no bulk bounty that can truly compete with the glory of that $1.50 hot dog and soda combo. 

Now, signs suggest that a stop at the food court could soon become a normal part of your Costco run once again. According to CNN, Costco’s food court menu is gradually working its way back to full capacity, and seating is back at locations (primarily in warmer locales) where food courts are located outdoors. Over time, churros will take their rightful place on the menu once again, and there’s increasing hope that indoor food court dining can come back as vaccinations progress and states start to ease up on their restrictions. 

Though food courts probably aren’t where Costco makes their best margins (I mean, a hot dog and a soda for $1.50? In this economy?!), but there’s no doubt they’re a core pillar of the Costco experience. “The food courts work. They’re one of the things we’re known for,” Costco CFO Richard Galanti told CNN. “God willing [they’ll come back]. But it’s going to take some time.” 

Free samples, another think that Costco diehards have been missing out on, could return to the fold as well. Costco is cautiously adding them in certain stores, with plexiglass-lined sample stations set to dole out prepared foods to one customer at a time. Once that’s in place, the plan is to bring samples of cooked items back at some point down the road. 

So while you may not notice these changes on your next trip, Costco is hard at work trying to figure out the best, safest way to revive the most important parts of the membership experience. So if you’ve refused to pay even $2 for a hot dog over the past year or so, rest assured that your wait will soon be over. 

This story originally appeared on allrecipes.com