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Costco Closes Its Food Court to Non-Members, Leaving $1.50 Hot Dog and Soda Combo Fans Devastated Membership fees made up 73% of Costco's net profits last year.

By Sherin Shibu

Key Takeaways

  • Costco is limiting its food court to members-only and taking measures in some locations to enforce the policy.
  • Costco generated $6.29 billion in net profit in fiscal year 2023, according to its earnings report.
  • $4.58 billion of that total came from membership fees.
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Shoppers enticed by Costco's $1.50 hot dog and soda combo, which has stayed the same price since 1985, but not by the wholesale store's $60 annual membership fees may be out of luck — the company is making its food court "members only."

And there are reports that Costco is already taking steps to enforce the policy at certain locations. A Reddit user posted on Thursday that at a Costco location in Conroe, Texas, the person at the door checking receipts wanted to see the food court receipt.

Earlier this month, a Costco location in Orlando, Florida posted: "Effective April 8, 2024, an active Costco membership card will be required to purchase items from our food court."

Related: Costco May Start Requiring Members to Scan ID to Enter U.S. Warehouses

In January, a Costco in Issaquah, Washington went further than ever to enforce a member-only space, by asking members to scan their cards before entering the warehouse.

Costco Kirkland Signature $1.50 hot dog and soda combo, which has maintained the same price since 1985 despite consumer price increases and inflation, at the food court outside a Costco Wholesale Corp. store on June 14, 2022 in Hawthorne, California. Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP

According to Costco's earnings report from fiscal year 2023, memberships generated $4.58 billion in profit, which is 73% of Costco's net profit of $6.29 billion.

Statista data shows that the 2023 figure was an increase from the $4.22 billion generated by Costco memberships in 2022 and the $3.88 billion that memberships brought in for the company in 2021.

Costco memberships start at $60 per year for a Gold Star or business membership and go up to $120 annually for an executive membership. Costco has not raised the cost of memberships for 7 years, since 2017.

Related: Costco CFO Reveals Uncertain Fate of $1.50 Hot Dog and Soda Combo

Sherin Shibu

Entrepreneur Staff

News Reporter

Sherin Shibu is a business news reporter at Entrepreneur.com. She previously worked for PCMag, Business Insider, The Messenger, and ZDNET as a reporter and copyeditor. Her areas of coverage encompass tech, business, strategy, finance, and even space. She is a Columbia University graduate.

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