5 Warnings to Shoppers From Former Kroger Employees
Heed these warnings the next time you're grocery shopping.
Kroger is one of the most popular grocery chains in America, offering deals on everything from food to fuel. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, the company operates more than 2,700 grocery stores in the U.S., known for their stellar customer service and low prices. But before you visit the largest grocery store chain in America (or order delivery using their new service that's popping up all over), there are some important insider tips you'll want to be aware of. Read on for shopping warnings from former Kroger employees.
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Your cart might be sounding the alarm.
If you've ever left a Kroger and had the alarm sound on you, even though you certainly paid for all your items, your cart could be to blame. After a customer complained on Reddit that they were stopped by the alarm six different times, a current employee weighed in. "The carts automatically go off [if] they don't have a sensor turned off. That sensor is turned off when they pass through a register."
This is, of course, to prevent theft, but if you wheel your cart too far from the register, which is especially common at self-checkout, the sensor may not turn off. This also can happen if you wheel your cart through the checkout lane too quickly, the employee explains.
Employee wages are not equal at all stores.
No matter how much you love shopping at Kroger, it's important to be aware of the people who make this possible. Lately, some employees have been complaining about low pay. Kroger employs roughly 420,000 people, some of whom went on strike over their wages at the beginning of 2022. As The Guardian reported at the time, "More than 8,000 workers at nearly 80 Kroger-owned King Soopers grocery stores around Colorado started a three-week strike… as new union contract negotiations stalled." The workers claimed that, despite the company seeing big gains during the pandemic, their wages did not increase accordingly.
More recently on Reddit, an employee complained about low wages in the deli department. However, several other Kroger employees explained they make much more based on their location. In fact, one commenter said, "I went from $12.50/hr to $16.40/hr after we went on strike. I'm in colorado."
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Avoid telling employees how to do their jobs.
Kroger employees are friendly, but according to this Reddit thread, the thing they hate most is when customers tell them how to do their job. One Redditor shared a story about a customer telling them they "forgot how to order" when there wasn't enough hand sanitizer on the shelves. Another wrote that it's even a problem when it comes to checking out, saying customers "nitpick…about how I bag their groceries."
If you're shopping in Kroger, make sure to be kind to the employees, and think before offering guidance. It might be tempting to give advice, but they know what they're doing.
Bakers aren't always trained.
Do you love ordering freshly baked cake or muffins from the bakery? Cross your fingers that the baker at your Kroger has experience because they don't always undergo training. A Kroger bakery employee shared on Reddit, "Beyond the two-day bakery training at another store, I have no commercial bakery experience."
And while your cupcakes may still taste yummy, it's a stressful situation for the bakers. "I feel like I'm getting set up for failure, or at least a couple of really [bad] bakes before I get the hang of things," shared the employee. Commenters weighed in and explained that many of the bakers don't receive training and instead learn at home, especially if stores are short-handed.
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Don't make ridiculous delivery orders.
Now that Kroger is offering its delivery service in many places, it's tempting to start ordering all your items. But make sure you're being sensible about what's going on your order. In a recent Reddit thread concerning the "stupidest thing you saw a customer and/or employee do," a Kroger alum describes customers putting in separate orders with only one item each (for which you'll be charged extra fees) or ordering problematic items in bulk.
If your order is questionable, a manager can go ahead and cancel it. For example, the former employee described a customer who put in an order for "30 2pks of frozen pie crust the week before Thanksgiving." Needless to say, this order was canceled.