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Costco's Billionaire Co-Founder Once Said He Would 'Kill' the CEO Who Wanted to Raise the Price of Its Hot-Dog-and-Soda Combo. Now, the Company Reveals Its Stance Amid Inflation. The $1.50 combo made its debut in 1985.

By Amanda Breen

entrepreneur daily

Costco's customer-first approach has helped the wholesale giant cultivate a loyal fan base over the years — one that expects reliable membership perks like the $1.50 hot-dog-and-soda combo, which has remained at that price point since 1985.

The company's co-founder Jim Sinegal even once famously said he'd "kill" Costco's current CEO Craig Jelinek if he hiked the hot-dog-and-soda combo's price, and it appears that message was heard loud and clear, per MarketWatch: Despite inflation, chief financial officer Richard Galanti has no plans to raise the price.

Related: TikTok Is Losing It Over Designer Finds at Costco

It was 2012 when Jelinek suggested increasing the combo's price. Sinegal's response, according to the CEO? "If you raise the [price of the] effing hot dog, I will kill you. Figure it out."

So perhaps it's no surprise that when Galanti was asked during a presentation on Costco's fourth-quarter-fiscal results which categories it's cutting back on — and if the beloved combo is on the chopping block — he held true to the company's ideals.

"We really don't look at it that way," he said, according to a transcript on S&P Global Market Intelligence. "I think the thing I mentioned earlier about there [being] some businesses that are doing well with margin, like [the] gas business, [in] a smaller way — in the travel business, those things help us be more aggressive in other areas, or, as you mentioned, hold the price on the hot dog and the soda a little longer — forever."

Related: Costco Is Becoming One of the Best Places to Buy a Car Thanks to This Huge Perk

Costco Wholesale Corporation is up nearly 5% year over year.

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a senior features writer at She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

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