In recent news, Costco has made a bold decision with how they run their business and are cutting out items on their menu. And people were pissed.
For decades, Costco has been a symbol of bulk foods, but also of their stellar food court menu items.
Of particular note was their decision to slash the popular Polish hot dog, which was what people were so livid about. As a result, Costco has gotten some serious backlash from the decision. From people saying that the trip with kids was actually bearable thanks to this particular item, while others have decided to never shop there again.
There’s even some campaigns running in an attempt to bring it back.
Honestly, it’s a little silly.
And I know that I’m saying that at a poor time since I’m a Canadian and I can technically purchase this rarity still. However I really don’t care that much for it.
The value of going to Costco for me isn’t the reward of a good meal at the end.
It’s actually leaving the place after getting everything that I need.
Y’know, kind of like how ordinary grocery stores work.
But I digress, because the reason I want to talk about this change is because of this story.
When a big company, or even a person attempts to make a change, be it big or small, we know there will be resistance. Costco got a lot of people shitting on it all because they made a menu change.
This isn’t the last company who has made some shifts and caused mass uproar.
- Back in 2011, Netflix got some backlash when they were suggesting a $6 boost in the subscription fee while providing nothing extra.
- When Apple Maps first launched in September 2012, people reported bugs, glitches, incorrect directions, and more. I even remember a few joke posts that referenced the sheer poor quality of the app.
The thing is though is that people got over it eventually.
- Netflix costs $14 CDN now at the highest. It was $10 CDN upon launch.
- Apple has smoothed out the Apple Maps app to make it a viable contender against Google Maps.
- And all the same, people will eventually move past the Polish hot dog.
The reason why this is all possible is that people will start to accept these new changes little by little.
They won’t mind the price hike from year to year on a Netflix subscription. People will also learn to figure out Apple Maps and continue to report bugs and glitches.
In the end, people will accept these changes.
But what is also key here is that these companies have gone through some serious considerations in making these leaps too.
Like all of our lives, we will have to change, but we can already figure out whether a change is good or bad for us.
This also provides opportunities to learn deeply about our attitudes and values. To do that, it boils down to a series of questions and our assessment of our answers.
Who Is Impacted?
The first big question is who is impacted the most by the change we will be making in our lives. Of course there is ourselves, however other people around us will be affected as well.
Costco has millions of shoppers and it’s only natural that if they make a change, a good portion will be upset. At the same time, depending on what other changes are happening, others will be happier to.
With Costco, they removed the Polish hot dog to add in options for Vegans and Vegetarians. It was something that was seriously lacking on their menu since they first opened doors back in 1976.
Being aware of who will be impacted puts into perspective how much influence people have, but also what they value. Since opening, Costco has valued customers the most. It’s why they charge wholesale prices and are generally a cheaper grocery store. At least when you are looking at the price per item ratios between grocery stores.
Either way, you want to be aware somewhat of who will be affected from a change in yourself or a business decision.
Will It Help Us Grow Or Hurt Us?
Next, you want to be able to predict people’s reactions to the changes. This takes understanding people in general and understanding your audience.
Whether your audience is the friends and family around you, or the people that engage with your business, you want to understand generally what these people think.
We’re not mind readers, however Costco probably has a good grasp of their customer base. They’ve been around for over 40 years and are the second largest retailer next to Wal-Mart.
The thing with this question though isn’t to focus on whether the change is good or bad. Obviously the angry customers who wanted the Polish hot dog around have voiced how poor of a decision it is. On the other hand there are people who want to shop there because clearly, Costco is thinking about them and want to provide some facilitation of their eating habits.
There will always be people who are for and against a change.
Instead what we want to shift our gears towards is whether the change is going to benefit or hinder us. It’s why we want to look at who will be affected by the change.
If it’s going to affect a small group of people, the change is something we can go through if it actually helps us. Things like quitting smoking or moving away from particular groups are some of those minor things.
It’s an important question to ask since the changes we make in our lives directly affect us. It’s our lives and we have to live with the decisions we make. Whether they are big or small, we’re stuck with them. You want them to be helpful for you.
Is It Worth The Risk?
With all of this in mind, we then place our focus back on the people as well. No matter what we do, a change is going to affect people for better or for worse. Whenever we make a change it creates a ripple effect that will impact every person.
Whether they are affected, but indifferent, strongly affected, or not at all affected depends on the person.
These sort of factors determine the risks people will take.
Costco knew a change in menu will affect the current shoppers. How many really depends on how many people routinely buy a Polish hot dog there.
The other thing to consider is how will the perceived outcome affect others as well. After all, a change means removing something old and replacing it with something else.
We need to look at the potential of these new healthier options and see if it’ll attract more people. In this instance, it’s a wise move because it broadens people’s view of Costco.
Even if a vegan or vegetarian won’t eat at the food court, it’s still nice to see it.
I have never eaten at the food court and think the change is rather welcoming. I think that because I can relate to it since I can’t have bacon or ham (without getting cramps later that is).
With our own lives we are looking back at those situations as well and looking at the costs, and what we can gain.
Is the potential gain worth taking that leap? That’s really up to you.
Does It Cover A Lack/Weakness?
The last question is an interesting one and I think it’s well worth considering. That is does the change cover something in which we have a flaw.
We all have flaws in our lives and a change can help with covering that naturally. If it does that, it can be well worth the risk of doing.
In Costco’s case they lacked vegetarian and vegan options since opening their doors in 1976. The food court is a key part to their business model and sets them apart from every other grocery store in the world.
It’s a great model, however it’s weak spot is that it couldn’t provide options to specific groups of people. With people being more health conscious, not to mention have develop food allergies, these things can get in the way of actually having a meal at their food courts.
As a result, I can understand why Costco made that change, and it is working in their favour.
For us, it can be well worth taking a leap as the change that we make in our lives can cover a problem.
Waking up early and working out can help our own health issues.
The same can be for quitting smoking since we lack a number of things as a result of smoking.
The changes we make are because we lack something that we value.
It’s important to understand why we move forward with it as a result.
For this reason, I tell people to justify our goals, to have a ‘why’.
It gives us a motivator, but also an opportunity to understand ourselves on a whole other level.
Change Takes Time
All of the changes in our lives take time.
Sure we will resist them at times and relapse as well.
That being said, it’s still a work in process and eventually, we will learn to accept these changes.
Our greatest gift is our ability to adapt. We will slowly get over the Polish hot dog, much like any other changes that companies make.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon