As with Costco, changes may be in store for Walmart’s café division during the current calendar year.
This article is free of bias, and is based on corporate postings and media reports. All linked information within this article is fully-attributed to the following outlets: Wikipedia.org, Costco.com, People.com, SamsClub.com, Cheapism.com, and Mashed.com.
Earlier this week NewsBreak published my new article, “Plans For Changes to Costco Food Court Menus in 2022.” As Costco and Sam’s Club are at times referred to interchangeably, allow me to first clarify that the two entities are entirely distinct.
Costco is owned by Costco Wholesale Corporation, the result of a 1993 merger between Price Club and Costco, while Sam’s Club is a division of Walmart Inc. See each company’s Wikipedia page for further information.
Though each group’s food court menu is similar, they are competitive. For example, this excerpt from my above-linked article comments on the criticism endured by Costco when they pulled the Polish Dog, a near-30-year consumer favorite, from their menu in 2018: Costco released an official statement regarding the Polish Dog’s discontinuance on their company website. See here for “Why Did Costco Discontinue the Polish Dog,” which states: In order to simplify our menu and make room for healthier options, we have decided to offer only the all-beef Hot Dog. Sales show this is what the majority of members prefer. Though we understand many members loved the Polish Dog, we hope you enjoy our new offerings.
The article elaborates on an ensuing consumer outcry, including a petition, to bring back the item. To date, Costco has not heeded the demand.
Sam’s Club, however, has. See this July, 2018 People.com article from Madison Roberts, entitled “Sam's Club Starts Selling Polish Hot Dogs in All Stores After Costco Removes Them from Menu.”
As excerpted from Roberts‘ article, in reference to an official company statement and followup tweets proclaiming the item’s availability: While 200 cafés already sell the dish, a representative for Sam’s Club tells People in a statement they wanted to expand their reach to “make sure people everywhere can get their Polish dog fix at a great value.” They also note that you don’t have to be a loyalty member in order to dine in one of their cafés… Many customers responded to Sam’s Club’s tweet saying they were going to ditch their Costco membership for a Sam’s Club one in response to the news.
Other food items, such as a combination pizza of the likes also discontinued by Costco, remain for sale at Sam’s Club food courts. However, as with most restaurant or food court options available during the pandemic era, changes have been made.
Let us explore further.
Sam’s Club 2022 Menu
For a current listing of Sam’s Club menu items, click here for the SamsClub.com link, which also announces their cafes’ reopenings following temporary closures due to Covid-19: The Café is back! And we’ve got your old faves. And some new flavors. Available for takeout or in-club dinIng.
The final words in this announcement serve as another clear distinction from Costco: No membership needed.
Costco, for their part, requires store membership to eat at their food court.
It is worth noting that during the early days of Covid-19, websites such as Cheapism.com and Mashed.com comprehensively compared the two food courts. What was most frequently reported there and elsewhere was the presence of a secret menu at Sam’s Club.
That secret menu featured items such as their acclaimed Pizza Pretzel, which has since become a regular menu selection.
Today, Sam’s Club offers less menu options than Costco. This may soon change as we return to a semblance of pre-pandemic normalcy. The above Sam’sClub.com link provides the extent of what their cafés are presently offering. Rumors abound on social media that they will soon expand those options, but for now nothing has been announced formally or otherwise.
For further information on the Sam’s Club chain, see NewsBreak’s “Plans for Sam’s Club Closings in 2022,” where I address rumors as to general company plans for the current calendar year.
Consumer preferences aside, both Costco and Sam’s Club are doing what they believe they must in order to drive traffic to their food courts.
These businesses in many ways are no different than any other.
Thank you for reading.