Costco’s busy food court gets overhaul

Renovation means new counter location, more space for workers, equipment

Costco’s food court window is rotating toward the entrance of the store, intending to alleviate backups near the registers while improving efficiencies for workers who are constantly taking and filling orders behind the counter.

“It will create internal efficiencies and make it easier for our members to get out of the building,” said Tom Olson, general manager of the Kennewick Costco.

There can be up to a dozen people working in the 2,000-square-foot foot area that’s filled with coolers, pizza ovens and other food machinery. The remodel will add about 450 square feet dedicated to the food court service area, which Olson expects to make a big difference.

“People were bumping into each other. The volume had increased to where we couldn’t function in the space,” Olson said.

Outside of some cosmetic updates, the Kennewick food court hadn’t been updated since the store opened at 8505 W. Gage Blvd. about 17 years ago.

The five-week remodeling project is estimated to cost about $295,000, with work being performed by CTA Architects and Engineers, which has an office in Seattle.

During construction, the store is serving only hot dogs and sodas from a temporary cart.

When the project is finished in late October, there will be new equipment, including a larger cooler.

Olson said that while the company tests new offerings throughout its Northwest stores, he doesn’t expect any new menu items to be available once the construction is complete.

The self-service kiosks will remain, as Olson said about half of all food court orders are now placed this way.

“They’ve become a big part of our business,” he said.

Olson said he isn’t aware of any plans to bring an additional Costco warehouse to the area.

The food court remodel is scheduled to be completed by the third week of October.

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