Last March, as the pandemic led restaurants around the world to close their doors, Costco made the decision to stop offering food samples and shut down its food courts, Business Insider reports. For over a year, the retailer offered a pared down menu and only handled takeout orders.

Over the past few months, Costco has started reintroducing menu items that were temporarily discontinued, CNN reports.

Today, Costco patrons at certain locations will find ice cream, smoothies and chicken bakes back on the menu, and some stores have even opened up outdoor seating areas. According to CNN, Costco’s next step is to bring back churros and indoor seating as states are loosening their COVID-19 safety restrictions.

Richard Galanti, Costco’s Chief Financial Officer, recently shared in an interview that the retailer is looking to make a comeback with its food courts and that he believes a return to normal operations is on the horizon.

“The food courts work. They’re one of the things we’re known for,” he said. “We’re pleased that they’re coming back. ... But it’s going to take some time.” (via

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There is currently no clear timeline for when indoor seating will return to Costco locations, reports. As for the food samples, Delish reports that they’ll be served from booths that feature plexiglass barriers. The site adds that the first samples on the docket will be breakfast sandwiches, meatballs and noodle dishes.

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