The Reason Why Your Local Costco Runs Out Of Rotisserie Chicken So Often

If you think Costco runs out of rotisserie chicken because the employees don't work fast enough, then you'd be dead wrong. In addition to high-quality finds sold in bulk, the big-box retailer is known for its plump and juicy rotisserie chickens. But alas, sometimes you reach the deli counter only to find the warmer empty. You might be wondering, why aren't they making more chicken?

Well, instead of blaming the Costco employees, a deli worker in the Costco subreddit asks members to please keep a few things in mind. For one, management expects them to predict the number of chickens they'll sell in two hours (so that the chicken doesn't sit for too long) and may "get mad" if they overproduce. The employee says, "This is one of the main reasons why we may run out so often. This is very difficult to do and an inefficient process." A shortage of help could be another issue. According to the overworked employee, "There is only one of me for chicken, wings, and ribs." They go on to say they "drink over 5 energy drinks every 8 hours" just to try and keep up with the workload. Speed is not the issue. It's more the lack of workers. (Side note: Redditors responded with justifiable concern over the consumption of that many energy drinks in one day). 

Other reasons why the warmer is empty

Another reason why you might have to do a lap around the store before more chicken appears is that there is no limit on how many rotisserie chickens shoppers can buy. According to the post, the employee saw one shopper grab 50 chickens that day and in a follow-up edit, stated a different person took 40 the next day. Regarding the greedy chicken shopper they wrote, "People began reaching in her cart and taking them. Was very satisfying to see but then she complained to my manager and I got written up for not intervening on them reaching into her cart." To give the shopper the benefit of the doubt, maybe she was donating them to a soup kitchen or she had a lot of mouths to feed. However, one Redditor responded that they "know of a restaurant that sells them" and tries to pass them off as their own. 

No matter the reason, this just goes to show that one person can wipe out the entire hot case. This begs the question, should Costco limit their rotisserie chicken? One Redditor responding to the post says yes, they should put a five chicken limit in place, and "if someone wants more than 5 at one time they need to order 24 hours ahead of time." This way, the workers can plan accordingly and not have to scramble (as much) if someone has a large order. 

How Redditors responded to the PSA

Redditors responded with support for the overworked deli worker. In addition to imploring them to slow down on energy drinks and not compromise their health, fellow employees agreed that burnout happens when trying to keep up with the demands at the deli counter. One person said, "I worked chickens for over 4 years. That is one of the hardest jobs in the warehouse because of all the extra thought and planning you have to do." Another deli worker said someone became angry with them because they ran out of chicken 15 minutes before closing time and couldn't make more. It's clear Costco deli workers deserve a break. 

If you're curious how many chickens you can buy without looking like an... inconsiderate person, Costco employees responding to the post generally agreed that buying two chickens is no big deal and makes sense for feeding a family or meal prepping. However, taking five or more, especially if multiple people are doing it, is kind of a slap in the face for the hardworking deli workers and shoppers who are waiting in line. Hopefully, knowing how hard Costco deli workers work to bring you chicken will encourage some shoppers to be a tad more understanding when they run out.