Costco Vows To Keep Price Of Food Court Hot Dogs At $1.50 "Forever"

From the CFO’s lips to God’s ears!

Costco Food Court
Photo: PATRICK T. FALLON/Getty Images

Praise be! Despite soaring inflation, Costco executives have promised to keep the big box store's beloved hot dog and soda combo at $1.50 "forever."

During the company's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings call last week, Costco CFO Richard Galanti said there is no plan to change the price of the famously inexpensive meal in response to tightening margins.

After joking that "lightning just struck me" for being asked such a hot-button question, Galanti said that other parts of the business (like gas and travel) keep the hot dog's price in the same place it's been since the 1980s.

"Some businesses that are doing well with margin ... 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," he explained.

Just $1.50 has gotten Costco shoppers a jumbo all-beef hot dog and a 20 oz. soda (plus refills!) since 1985. A lot has changed in the 30 years since the combo was introduced, but the price has never once varied.

Each year Costco reportedly sells more than four times the number of hot dogs sold at all Major League Baseball stadiums combined. In fact, the chain sells in excess of 300 million hot dogs, pizza slices, and other ready-to-eat foods annually. Even though Costco could have easily raised the price a number of times—and raked in millions in the process—in the end, it pays to keep costs down.

Why? The hot dog combo and other affordable food court items are a proven incentive for shoppers, and exponentially increase foot traffic in stores. Inexpensive, easy-to-eat foods keep shoppers popping in, sometimes daily. And we all know it's impossible to leave without spending more than $1.50. It's the old come-for-the-hot-dog-and-leave-with-a-television principle!

Here's to another three-plus decades of $1.50 hot dogs!

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