Grocery store curbside service…is it for you? Grocery store curbside service is a recent customer service option available for a small fee at local grocery stores Meijer, Busch’s, and Wal-Mart… or . You know the drill by now, curbside service has been available through most chains for about the past 4 years. Basically, customers go online to place their order, pay a fee, then head to the store when their order is ready to be picked up. The staff does your shopping for you, and will come out to your car with your bagged order and load it into your car.
When I first heard the idea, I thought it was great! Considering that I spend about 45 minutes at each Meijer shopping trip, the fee (often free) doesn’t even come close to what I’d value 45 minutes of my time. I’m quite the Type A personality and I immediately began planning what I could do with that recently freed up 45 minutes each week. Until…
The Cons of Grocery Store Curbside Service
Part of the reason I take 45 minutes when I shop (other than I buy a lot of food) is that I’m picky. I wouldn’t say it’s a flaw, but more of a necessity. I sift through the produce to find the best looking green pepper, the bag of organic apples that has the least amount of bruises (none of them are perfect), the watermelon with the latest expiration date, etc. I go to the back of the bread racks to get the freshest loaf of bread. And, when it’s all over, I always choose to go to the self checkout lane so that I can bag my own groceries. The meats all go in the same bags, breads go together, chips go together, the veggies that have the same “texture” and “density” go together so I don’t end up with a bag of potatoes bruising my bananas… If I opt for grocery store curbside service, do I really want someone else picking out my food?
I pick all my food myself because let’s face it, food has gotten VERY expensive. We spend hundreds of dollars on groceries each week. I can’t afford to have any waste due to poor shopping or bagging as a result of a grocery store curbside service.
I’m not saying anyone out there is looking to stick it to me, but would someone who does not know me do as careful of a job shopping and bagging my groceries for me? Maybe the grocery store might be more motivated to sell me milk near expiration date instead of digging through to the back get the milk with the latest expiration date possible.
Additionally, I understand that with some grocery store curbside services, you can specify if you want your bananas green, how ripe you want your avocados, etc. But, what do they do if the item you selected is not available? When I’m in the store, I can reach for a substitute to get me by. Who’s going to do that for me? Looks like I’d just end up without that item. So, I’m a little disappointed that the grocery store curb-side service is not an ideal situation for me. It really sounded so good when I first heard about.
The Pros of Grocery Store Curbside Service
The obvious pro is convenience. Besides speed and convenience there is the added benefit of the store upgrading your order on missing items they may be out of. They don’t have your bag of M&Ms? Fine, they’ll upgrade you to a party-size bag for the same price. If they’re out of your generic items, they’ll upgrade you to name-brand at no charge.
Grocer store curbside service isn’t fool-proof, but I’ve certain become addicted to it over the past few years.