9 Customer Habits That Drive Whole Foods Employees Crazy

A former Whole Foods employee shares all the things she wishes shoppers wouldn’t do.

 9 Complaints Whole Foods Employees Have About Their Customers
Photography by PHUONG NGUYEN

There are countless things customers do that drive Whole Foods employees crazy—trust me, I’ve seen it all. You may not even realize you’re being obnoxious, so here’s a list of bad habits that are sure to give you a bad reputation at your local store.

1. You treat the Whole Body staff as your personal physician.
If you’re sick or have an ailment and you’re looking for a remedy, do your research first. The staff in the supplement department are usually knowledgeable on the products and common uses, but it’s not their job to diagnose and prescribe supplements for you.

2. You let your children scooter around the store or ride on the cart.
You’d think it’s common sense that your child’s weight on the end of an empty cart will tip it over. You’re risking their safety and potentially knocking over product displays—glass, juice, sauce (refer to #1).

3. You try to also have a conversation with a Whole Foods employee while talking on the phone.
Neither person is actually getting your attention, and from a shopping standpoint you’re much more likely to forget something or buy the wrong thing if you’re distracted. For the sake of all involved, call the person back when you’re out of the store.

4. You eat food priced by weight while you’re shopping.
Handing your cashier an apple core or a banana peel and asking them to charge you for it doesn’t exactly work. They need to find someone to run back to produce, grab another piece of that fruit you just ate, bring it back, weigh it, and charge you. Feel free to hand them an empty energy bar wrapper—it’s got a barcode.

5. You wait until the checkout line to examine your produce for bruises and eggs for cracks.
If a Whole Foods worker has to run back and get you new eggs or if you leave the line to run back to the produce department to pick a new apple, you’re slowing down the process for everyone.

6. You try to carry all your stuff in your arms.
If you’re buying more than one or two things, even if you’re trying to shop quickly, grab a basket or cart. When we see you struggling, we will go and retrieve a basket for you—so just take the initiative and get it yourself. You also risk breaking something. I’ve seen plenty of tomato sauce jars smashed because someone was trying to juggle “just” basil, pasta, sauce, and cheese.

7. You don’t empty your basket when you’re ready to check out.
Placing your basket on a check out belt is not helpful. The cashier has to reach up into the basket, which wastes time for you, them, and everyone around you.

8. You mix fruits and vegetables in the same produce bag.
Your cashier will have to remove each different piece of produce since each is priced differently by pound or quantity.

9. You don’t bag your own groceries when it’s busy and there’s no one available to do it for you.
This one should be self explanatory.

Related reading: 
The Best Whole Foods Dips for a Colorful Summer Picnic
13 Whole Foods Secrets No One Will Tell You
How to Shop at Whole Foods

Published on May 26, 2017 - 9:40am EDT

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