Costco Food Court News

April 27th, 2010 · 29 Comments

As the Soda Can Turns…These are the Beverages of Our Food Court

Costco Food Courts Go with Pepsi

Costco Switches to Pepsi

The drama of the Costco soda wars continues, this time moving the venue to the food court for a little change of pace though.  There was a comment here not too long ago from Janice about a switch at her Portland, Oregon Costco food court from Coke to Pepsi beverages.  So, I just wanted to give a little update on this situation with information I got from someone in the know.  All of the Costco food court locations will definitely be making the switch to Pepsi beverages and signage.  Several locations across California, and obviously Oregon, have already made the adjustments and if your location hasn’t yet, it will be happening soon.  After last year’s bullying by Coke, Jim Sinegal must have decided that he didn’t feel like dealing with that again, so when the contract for the food courts came up for renewal this month, Coke was out and Pepsi and their better deal were in.

Costco UK Food Court Review: Hot Dogs & Cottage Pie

Costco's Hot Dog & Cottage Pie

Costco's Hot Dog & Cottage Pie

Dave and I finally got a chance to try out the Costco UK food court, specifically the hot dog and cottage pie.  The hot dog was mediocre, but the cottage pie was a big winner with both of us.  (And yes, at our Costco Coke is still served in the food court but this was a week or so ago.)  So, first a little about the hot dog.  It is still a good deal at £1.50 (US $2.32) for a hot dog and soda, which is great and appears to be something that a lot of people take advantage of either before or after their shopping.  I was disappointed to find out that instead of having the cool onion and relish dispensers by the condiments, they put the onions on your dog for you.  And they’re none too generous about it either.   I like a lot of onion with my hot dog, raw onion breath and all, because it just makes it that much better.  So, there is this tiny little amount of onion cowering under the hot dog and then I got to the mustard dispenser to find that they don’t have the good spicy brown mustard that they have at the US locations either, just the bright yellow stuff like French’s.  And I know that is a classic choice, but honestly, it’s not my favorite.  Not to mention, they really seem to like their fancy mustard varieties here, so this was more than a bit surprising to me.  Oh well, in the end it was just the average hot dog.  I guess the US wins when it comes to hot dogs.  By the way, I don’t know what brand of hot dog they serve here but they definitely were not the Kirkland Signature ones that they switched to in the US.

So, enough about the hot dog, on to the really delicious bit: the cottage pie.  Wow, it was great!  I don’t know if it has just been a really long time since we’d had anything like this type of food or what, but we both loved it.  The filling part, was like this really delicious and hearty beef stew kind of thing.  It tasted like the best stew you’ve had; it was just that flavorful and thick.  Also, there wasn’t any of the mushy vegetables that I usually find in shepherd’s pie (and truly hate), which was really great because that was the thing I was dreading the most; what can I say I hate overcooked veggies like peas and corn.  And then on the top is this perfectly done ‘crust’ of mashed potatoes.  The potatoes were crusty, yet still fluffy and buttery, and ultimately delicious.  I don’t really think you can go wrong with really good beef and potatoes, but perhaps that is the Midwesterner in me talking.  It is more than the hot dog and soda, at £2.50 (US $3.86), though it is still really quite cheap for such a good little meal.  I’m sure it isn’t the healthiest thing on the menu, but it was a nice treat following our shopping.  After trying the cottage pie, I really do think they should consider adding this to the menu in the US because it would definitely go over well.  Dave would have been more than happy to go get a second one immediately.  So, my suggestion is, if you’re in the UK, try the cottage pie and skip the hot dog.

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29 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Kimberly // 2010.06.23 at 12:14 pm

    Evan, oh that’s a real shame! Why would they get rid of the amazing onion dispenser? I was always so impressed with what a clever idea it was.

    I wrote a whole post about the UK Costco Food Court that you should check out. It’s got the full details about all of the items offered.

  2. 2 Evan Brom // 2010.06.23 at 11:43 am

    I feel your onion pain. My costco in Tempe AZ just switched from the awesome onion dispenser to small cups of onions just like the kraut.

    Do you have a list of all UK menu items?

  3. 3 Pam // 2010.06.17 at 9:38 am

    I’m new to your site. My husband told me about it. Since I LOVE Costco and do 90% of my shopping there, I decided to check out this blog. I must admit that the first post I read is this one – Costco foodcourt changing from Coke to Pepsi. That makes me very sad as I never drink Pepsi. Although our midwest Costco does not carry my favorite -caffeine free diet coke, I am able to buy that when I visit the local Costco with my children in other parts of the country. I’m hoping to find happier posts as I continue, but I”ll admit, it is good to be prepared. Thanks for the warning.

  4. 4 James // 2010.05.11 at 7:07 pm

    Pepsi is horrible; Coke has been in the food court for ages and is vastly superior. I would rather pay more than get shitty Pepsi. What bullshit, especially since every sane person likes Coke better.

    $1.50 is no longer a good deal because all I do is fill up with water now.

  5. 5 Coke Lover // 2010.05.09 at 11:09 am

    No Coke in the Food Court…Costco is one more place I am not going shopping. I hate Pepsi it tastes like caramel water with a little fizz. If Costco feels they must change why not market the Costco Branded Drinks and let’s not even get me started about the dumping of Kosher Hot Dogs…

  6. 6 jeanne // 2010.05.08 at 9:34 pm

    I can’t believe costco would sell out to Pepsi. Hate it.

  7. 7 David // 2010.05.08 at 5:00 am

    The Watford Costco is my bi-weekly destination. The hotdogs there are Chicago’s Best (or something like that) which are kosher ones. And if there’s one thing this country cannot do, it is hotdogs (they’re usually made of crappy pork and often sold in cans!). So trust me, after enough time here, I consider going to Watford for a hotdog a treat! I even on occasion get the cole slaw or chili topping for the jacket potatoes on the side and make a slawdog or chilidog. I have the distinct feeling I’m quite alone in that endeavor when I’m there. I do miss the relish though, but I’ve learned to accept it as a trade-off for a beef hotdog. As an aside, no sign of Coke waning at the Costco here. Still fully stocked in the drinks aisle.

    • 8 Kimberly // 2010.05.10 at 3:16 am

      David, I’ve noticed that about the hot dogs here. Sometimes they just look like really big versions of the nasty Vienna sausages sold in cans. Yuck! With all the great sausages here, you’d think they’d be able to make some really outstanding hot dogs too. I think they should start selling the Kirkland Signature hot dogs here, they could easily be the best on the market. 🙂

      The stores will still be selling Coke in the rest of the store, just the vendor for the food court area has changed from Coke to Pepsi. I wonder if the decision to switch to Pepsi in the US will actually change what is sold at the Costco Food Courts in the UK and the rest of the countries, as well though?

  8. 9 Lu // 2010.05.06 at 5:19 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree on swamp water over diet Pepsi!

    I meant that Coke was the bully. I may be sad to see diet coke leave the good court but it would take a lot more than that to get me away from Costco! They have to stay strong to bring us the good deals

  9. 10 Brian // 2010.05.06 at 4:24 pm

    The Hebrew National dogs used to be served in Canada but Costco switched about 6 years ago. I am not sure of the name brand of the ones they currently serve, but they are really, really good. The H.N. here in Sacramento and every other N. CA club I have been in have been replaced by their own Kirkland brand, but I don’t really like them. And my youngest daughter, who considers herself a “Hot Dog Connoisseur” loves the Canadian ones, likes the Hebrew National and can live with the current Kirkland brand. Still a deal of a dog any way you slice them.
    As for the Pepsi/Coke issue, I am diabetic and cannot stand diet Pepsi at all. I think I even enjoy swamp water to diet Pepsi. There is probably more to the soda issue than what has been said. I have been doing business with Costco for 20 years and a lot of vendors would use the word “bully” with regards to Costco. I wouldn’t use that illustration, I would use aggressive, which is more accurate. In over all business integrity, Costco ranks at the top of the food chain, at least with my experience. But at the same time, in their agressive business model, if you can work with them, you will benefit significantly, if you can’t work with them and get in to an arm wrestling match, you will most likely loose. In other words, treat them well and they will treat you well. Try and jerk them around, then, it will truly be a David and Goliath scenario, but in this story, Goliath wins.

  10. 11 Lu // 2010.05.06 at 12:42 pm

    For many, it makes no difference if the drink is Coke or Pepsi, but for those of us that have a strong preference we have a strong feeling about this issue. While I’m sure some pepsi drinkers are celebrating this, my family and I will not longer be dining in the food court as the only coke I’ll drink is Diet Coke. This is not the first time I’ve heard that Coke tried to play hard ball and lost, perhaps they will learn their lesson soon! It would be better for me all around to stop drinking the stuff and I hate to support a bully!

  11. 12 Michael Woods // 2010.05.06 at 11:28 am

    Ok, I live in Phoenix, AZ. All of our Costco’s serve Hebrew National hot dogs still. About a year or so ago, they switched to the other brand of Kosher dogs they sell in the store, supposidly due to a problem with getting delivery from Hebrew National (Or some other corparte reason). People went crazy. The replacement hot dogs were not as good. They were soggy. The Hebrew National dogs started flowing again a few months later.

    As far as this debate over coke or pepsi, is it really that big of a deal. I was brought up on Pepsi and was always more found of it, but for Pete’s sake (who ever Pete is), its a beverage. When we went to a restaurant that served Coke or the dredded RC, I would simply order the Lemon Lime or Root Beer beverage of that line. Not a big deal!

    More over at Costco, you are getting a Hot Dog and a Soda for the less than most places charge for just the soda. If you don’t like Pepsi, fine, have a Mug Rootbeer(Unlike Barques, it is cafeene free!) or try a Lemon Lime Sierra Mist. If you don’t like it , you can always have water! Water is better for you than any soda anyhow!

    On to a lighter note, the new Paradise Valley location sells this wonder new dog food. Natures Path I think it is called. It is all natural salmon and sweet potato. It is a steal at $28 for a 35# bag (I think it is 35#, it is big). It is far better than anything they sell at the grocery store and is as good if not better than the top of line dry food at the petstore big boxes. In Phoenix, only two Costco stores sell it. The Paradise valley locatoin and the North Scottsdale locatoin.

  12. 13 Brian // 2010.05.06 at 10:45 am

    My family have been fans of the Costco food court for years. There are 5 of us and when our kids were younger we (me and the kids), not so much my wife, wanted to go to Costco for lunch EVERY Sunday after church. Being from Canada, the food courts in British Columbia serve awesome french fries with gravy. The hot dogs are really good too. We moved to Sacramento CA in October 2005, funny enough to start a business related to and requested by Costco to help them in the Northern California region. We were stoked when we had settled in and then headed to the South Sacramento Costco for our Sunday “tradition”. When we walked in we were totally disappointed, and my youngest almost cried, to see that they didn’t serve fries and gravy. And the hot dogs were different too. Regardless, we go used to the changes and still frequent the food court. The latest thing that royally sucks though is their change to Pepsi from Coke. But knowing the business culture of Costco, I knew instantly that there was a monetary/financial reason for the change. All my family is fine with it but I can’t stand Pepsi. But again I will get used to the change and continue to hit the food court. Once last thing, where else can you feed, and fill, and family of 5 for $12?

  13. 14 Heather // 2010.05.06 at 9:23 am

    We love Costco too… although ours still serves coke and our hot dog meal (dog and soda) is only $1.50. They used to have a pastrami sandwich but they got rid of it… I so wish they would bring it back!

  14. 15 R // 2010.05.02 at 3:11 am

    The combo pizza does have onions. It has a mixture of green peppers, red onions, mushrooms, black olives.
    I am not sure why they told you they would charge you extra that is a company no no. We just not have just the onions since the combo mixture comes already mix.
    Then onions for the dispenser outside come separate, as a rule we are not allow make special request like that, it is pretty much if it is not on the menu we can’t make it. We have to follow the program and the ingredients due to allergies ans cross contamination.

  15. 16 Kevin // 2010.05.02 at 12:35 am

    In the US, I would even put the onions on my slice of pizza, since onion is a normal topping, but they don’t put it on the combo pizzas. I asked about it as a topping when I ordered a whole take-away pizza, and I was told I would be charged extra. Why wouldn’t I then just take it for free from the dispensers?

  16. 17 Jessica // 2010.04.30 at 1:05 pm

    Another American in London here- stumbled upon your site while trying to find out about the cakes at the UK Costco. All the supermarket cakes here I find disgusting so normally make my own, but at Costco they always look so tempting. Only problem is the size since I have no self control when it comes to baked goods!

    You are hilarious with your love of Costco, although I admit we love them too. We normally shop at the Purley Way one and I have never seen lines like you did- crazy! A good excuse for you checking out the Lakeside one is there is a HomeSense by there (think HomeGoods) although I haven’t been myself.

    • 18 Kimberly // 2010.05.05 at 2:48 am

      Jessica, the best part about the cake is that you can freeze it and only thaw a couple of pieces at a time. It keeps helps the self-control too because you have to wait for it to thaw. 🙂 Seriously though, if you buy a fresh one and then cut it into pieces and wrap the pieces and freeze them, you can enjoy the cake without living on it for a week.

      We ended up checking out the Watford Costco this weekend because it seemed to have a fairly easy driving route and wasn’t that far. Much better! No one pushed us with their cart once and the checkout lines were what I would consider normal for a weekend day at Costco. I think we’re going to try a couple of the other locations too though.

  17. 19 tle // 2010.04.30 at 11:42 am

    I am loyal to Coke. Taste better and I also have stocks in the company. Guess I will be eating less at the food court. I don’t think Costco will loose money if less people stop by the food court!

  18. 20 Brandy // 2010.04.28 at 12:27 pm

    Im here in the states so we dont have the cottage pie but the hot dog combo cannot be beat. I shop at sams club but we have the same hot dog combo, ours is Nathans hot dogs but its pretty good. i love the food court.

  19. 21 R // 2010.04.28 at 9:15 am

    I work at one of the Food Courts and we have regulars that come everyday during the work week. Some of them I know by name and know what they get, so that when they are in line I get their food just before they get to the register and order.
    There is this family that has been coming every week for a while now, and I seen the wife be pregnant and is nice to see the their baby grow up now tho the point that their todler nos eats bits and pieces of the cheese pizza.
    So far here in the Midwest there have been no changes from Coke to Pepsi. We have not gotten any memos about yet.
    But If they change it to Pepsi I’ll stop getting sodas at work which will actually be a good thing
    :-).

  20. 22 Robin // 2010.04.28 at 3:20 am

    I only drink diet sodas, so my loyalty is Coke is more Brand than taste. I won’t suffer the change much.

    For me, the key to a good hot dog is a garlicky taste. I thought the new Kirkland hot dogs was a bit light on the garlic. I despise yellow mustard, so it’s deli mustard or I’ll pass.

    I think there are people who stop at Costco just for a cheap lunch. Definitely to pick up a pizza to go.

    I’ve been to other box stores and their food courts aren’t as popular. At the Costco in Oxnard, CA they put the food court outside the store. If you are running errands, rather than stop a drive through, you can grab a bite to eat at the food court before doing your shopping.

  21. 23 Justin // 2010.04.27 at 7:06 pm

    The hot dog and a drink meal just became a hot dog meal to me. Nothing Pepsi sells is worth drinking IMHO.
    The only thing Coke makes that I drink is Coke. Pepsi tastes hideous to me. Guess I won’t be doing that again then, even if it is only $1.50

  22. 24 Kimberly // 2010.04.27 at 12:17 pm

    Justin, I’m not sure if they actually made the switch to the Kirkland Signature hot dogs at all of the locations. I believe that was the plan, but I know that there were a lot of negative comments here about the taste of the new KS hot dogs and Polish sausages. So, maybe they decided to hold off on the change.

  23. 25 Kimberly // 2010.04.27 at 12:15 pm

    Hey XUP, if it makes you feel like we have more in common, I’d never in a million years think of having a Coke there either. LOL Hey, wait, aren’t you a vegetarian? 🙂

    We don’t eat at the Costco food court often, but if you like hot dogs and pizza, it’s a really good deal. They also have a nice looking chicken salad or an ice cream thing.

    And thanks for commenting anyway, even if you don’t hang out at Costco!

  24. 26 Justin // 2010.04.27 at 9:26 am

    I noticed they still have the signs for the Hebrew National hot dogs here at the Gilbert, AZ Costco. Have all locations changed? If so, you can’t really tell the difference with the KS dog. I guess I should ask them next time. Great site you have here.

  25. 27 XUP // 2010.04.27 at 9:25 am

    You live in such a foreign universe to me. Whereas we seem to find a lot of common ground when you comment on my blog, when I come here I can never find anything to say. Aside from never shopping at Costco, it would never in a million years occur to me to eat a hot dog, coke or cottage pie at a Costco or any other food court. It’s kind of fun to read about though…

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